Reading about the ongoing controversy involving the LA Dodgers and Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, I was reminded of two Catholic men who were cornerstones of the Dodgers for years, and were not shy about sharing their faith.

First, there was Tommy Lasorda, whose deep affection for religious sisters was prominently displayed in his office:

The oversized, gold-framed portrait of Mother Teresa was fairly easy to spot for Tommy Lasorda when he sat at the desk of his fifth-floor executive office space at Dodger Stadium, carved out for him after he was given a “special adviser” role by Dodgers ownership.

Even among the countless other glossy photos of former presidents, legendary entertainers, and star athletes, Lasorda made sure that it was visible — it was even autographed. Not far is a portrait of Los Angeles Archbishop Emeritus Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Then there is also a picture of an unassuming nun wearing a white habit.

“That’s Sister Immaculata, my seventh-grade teacher,” Lasorda explained in “I Live For This! Baseball’s Last True Believer,” a 2007 biography on him. “She was the only one who believed in me.”

But he left this world having catechized legions of believers in his boisterous guarantees that there was a “Big Dodger in the Sky,” and that “if you don’t love the Dodgers, there’s a good chance you may not get into heaven.” He used that motivational will on his players to ignite two World Series championships in 1981 and 1988, both times against heavy odds, and then, after coming out of retirement at age 73, to guide a squad of U.S. amateurs to an unlikely gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

The faith that Sister Immaculata instilled in him as he was growing up poor, attending the Italian Catholic parish of Holy Savior in his hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia, is something he never forgot.

“She said, ‘Thomas, a lot of them think you’re rowdy, think you’re a bad boy. But I don’t think you’re a bad boy. I think you’ve got a lot of good in you and someday you’re going to make people proud of you,’ ” Lasorda once explained in a 2014 interview with The Catholic Sun, the Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Phoenix.

There’s more here. 

And then there was the great announcer Vin Scully: 

A 2009 recipient of the Cardinal’s Award from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for his dedication to his Catholic devotion, and still proud of a CD recording of “The Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary” he recorded for the Catholic Athletes for Christ, Scully gave Angelus News his time to reflect on a variety of topics during several recent conversations as the MLB playoffs got into full swing:

Tom Hoffarth: How might you spend this month paying attention to the baseball postseason?

Vin Scully: To tell you the truth, Sandi is one of the world’s greatest watchers. Even when the Dodgers had the playoffs clinched [at the end of September], she would stay with those 9-0 games on TV right down to the last out. I’d say, “Honey, how can you do that?” And she’d say, “I want to see how it comes out.” Either way, you can bet we’ll watch every pitch for sure.

Hoffarth: You’ve touched on this many times over the years, but at this point in your life, how does your faith keep you focused on what comes your way?

Scully: Thank God, my faith has always kept things in perspective. Completely. It has not wavered.

As many who have known me know, I’ve had some pain in my life [at age 5 with the death of his father, the deaths of his first wife, Joan, and his son, Michael]. Faith is the one thing that makes it work, makes me keep going. You appreciate what you’ve been given.

You know, this isn’t the only stop on the train. There’s one big one we’re still waiting for. I used my faith to guide me straight and narrow and strong, for sure. I think about that every week when I’m in line going up to the rail to receive Communion. That’s a pretty important moment. It always was and always will be.

Hoffarth: You frequently attended Sunday Mass at Dodger Stadium on game days for many years. You have your own family parish you are able to attend regularly now. What brings you joy about attending Mass?

Scully: I have such a lovely parish, a very extra-warm congregation. It only took about a week to meet all the ushers and the two priests who preside there. I think about the first priest I met there; he had been long retired and he has since passed away, but I said to him one morning: “Hi, Father, how are you?” And he said, “Well, I could be taller.” That just broke me up completely.

Hoffarth: You had a very Catholic upbringing in New York, from Fordham Prep to Fordham University. But there was a story you once told us about how your career — your life — could have changed dramatically back when you were in school at a very young age.

You are a natural left-hander. You played baseball throwing left-handed. You wrote in your scorebook left-handed. But there were perceptions about those who were left-handed in your formative years that could have altered the course of Dodgers history, right?

Scully: (laughing) So way back when I was in my first year of grammar school in New York — I guess I was 6 years old — one of the good Sisters of Charity would whack me across the knuckles with a ruler every time I used my left hand.

Once in a while, out of frustration, they would turn the ruler so I would get hit on the edge, which would break the skin. It’s prehistoric to think of this now, isn’t it?

I preached about Scully last year, not long after his death, and noted:

Vin Scully was proud to show the world what he treasured — above all, his faith.

He leaned on it often. His father died when Vin was just four. Years later, his first wife, Joan, died of an accidental overdose when she was 35. His son, Michael, was later killed in a helicopter crash.

Scully said it was his faith that sustained him. He often mentioned his devotion to the Blessed Mother.

“Her prayers are more powerful than those of the rest of heaven combined,” he once said. “No one was closer or more devoted to Christ on earth, so it only makes sense to see the same thing in heaven. Now, the Blessed Virgin seeks to help her spiritual children get home to spend eternity with her Son.”

If you want to know how we can achieve that, Christ this morning tells us.

“Gird your loins, light your lamps. Be like servants who await the master’s return.”

Live in expectation for what is to come, for who is to come.

Store up treasure in heaven.

What must he think of what is happening now? What would Vin Scully and Tommy Lasorda have to say?