Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, has died. He was 93.
The Dodgers said Friday that he had a heart attack at his home in Fullerton, California. Resuscitation attempts were made on the way to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday. Lasorda had a history of heart problems, including a heart attack in 1996 that ended his managerial career and another in 2012 that required him to have a pacemaker. He had just returned home Tuesday after being hospitalized since Nov. 8 with heart issues.
Lasorda had served in the role of special adviser to team owner and chairman Mark Walter for the last 14 years, and maintained a frequent presence at games sitting in Walter's box. Lasorda worked as a player, scout, manager and front office executive with the Dodgers dating to their roots in Brooklyn. He compiled a 1,599-1,439 record, won World Series titles in 1981 and ’88, four National League pennants and eight division titles while serving as Dodgers manager from 1977-96. He was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1997 as a manager. He guided the U.S. to a baseball gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Lasorda was the franchise’s longest-tenured active employee since Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully retired in 2016 after 67 years. He drew standing ovations when introduced at games in recent years.
We remember Lasorda’s storied career and take your calls, via 866-893-5722.
With files from the Associated Press
Fred Claire, former major league baseball executive who served in numerous roles for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1969–1998 including the role of executive vice president and general manager from 1987 to 1998; he tweets @Fred_Claire
Jon Weisman, author of “Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw, and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition” (Triumph Books 2018); he tweets @jonweisman