Tommy Lasorda, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ iconic former manager has passed away. He was 93.
On Thursday evening, Lasorda suffered a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest. From his home, he was transported to the hospital. However, by 10:57 p.m. he was pronounced dead, as per a statement released by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Twitter.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 8, 2021
Lasorda had been a great part of the team’s history. He joined the Dodgers first as a player. He then ended up staying with the team for 71 seasons as a coach, a manager, and an executive.
Remembering Tommy Lasorda
At the news of his passing, Dodger president CEO Stan Kasten released a statement. He said: “In a franchise that has celebrated such great legends of the game, no one who wore the uniform embodied the Dodger spirit as much as Tommy Lasorda. A tireless spokesman for baseball, his dedication to the sport and the team he loved was unmatched. He was a champion who at critical moments seemingly willed his teams to victory. The Dodgers and their fans will miss him terribly. Tommy is quite simply irreplaceable and unforgettable.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred also released a statement. “Tommy Lasorda was one of the finest managers our game has ever known. He loved life as a Dodger,” he said. “His passion, success, charisma and sense of humor turned him into an international celebrity, a stature that he used to grow our sport,” Manfred added.
Apart from Kasten and Manfred, Mark Walter, the owner and chairman of the Dodgers, also released a statement. Walter said: “My family, my partners and I were blessed to have spent a lot of time with Tommy. He was a great ambassador for the team and baseball, a mentor to players and coaches, he always had time for an autograph and a story for his many fans and he was a good friend. He will be dearly missed.”
Lasorda achieved his career record of 1,599-1,439 (.526) while working as the team’s manager from 1976 to 1996. During his time as manager, he helped his team win eight division titles. His teams also came out victorious in four National League and two World Series championships (1981 and 1988).
Lasorda was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, which was also his first year of eligibility. Also in 1997, the Dodgers retired his jersey player number 2.
He also helped out the United States baseball team who are playing for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, four years after he retired as the Dodgers’ manager. There, Lasorda and the US team brought home a gold medal.
Also after his retirement as a manager, Lasorda stayed with the Dodgers in a number of different roles. He served in multiple executive roles — from vice president to special ambassador.