Tommy Lasorda Dies: LA Dodgers Legend Was 93

Los Angeles Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda has died at the age of 93. The team announced Friday that the Hall of Fame great “suffered a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home” on Thursday night.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued the following statement:

“Tommy Lasorda was one of the finest managers our game has ever known. He loved life as a Dodger. His career began as a pitcher in 1949 but he is, of course, best known as the manager of two World Series champions and four pennant-winning clubs. His passion, success, charisma and sense of humor turned him into an international celebrity, a stature that he used to grow our sport. Tommy welcomed Dodger players from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere — making baseball a stronger, more diverse and better game. He served Major League Baseball as the Global Ambassador for the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic and managed Team USA to gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Tommy loved family, the United States, the National Pastime and the Dodgers, and he made them all proud during a memorable baseball life.

“I am extremely fortunate to have developed a wonderful friendship with Tommy and will miss him. It feels appropriate that in his final months, he saw his beloved Dodgers win the World Series for the first time since his 1988 team. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest sympathy to his wife of 70 years, Jo, and their entire family, the Dodger organization and their generations of loyal fans.”

Lasorda was released from an Orange County, CA hospital earlier this week after being hospitalized since mid-November.

Lasorda was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. He has spent more than 70 years in the Dodgers’ organization, managing the team from 1976-1996. His teams won 1,599 games, two World Series and two more National League pennants during his tenure.

After having a heart attack in July of 1996, the two-time NL Manager of the Year retired the following month. Lasorda stayed with the Dodgers as a special adviser to the chairman.

In retirement, he coached the US national team to a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics. He was also a pitcher for the Dodgers, dating to their Brooklyn days.

A fiery manager known to toss around a few expletives to rally his team, Lasorda became a familiar face on television and in films, often playing himself.

Still a regular at Dodger Stadium, Lasorda attended Game 6 of the 2020 World Series and watched Los Angeles clinch its first championship since the team’s 1988 win under his leadership. Until recently he traveled regularly, speaking to groups about baseball, the Dodgers and his career.

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