Dodgers Legend Dead at 93

Manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda led team to 2 World Series
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 8, 2021 12:43 PM CST
MLB Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda Dies
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda celebrates after the Dodgers beat the Montreal Expos for the National League title in Montreal in this Oct. 19, 1981, file photo.   (AP Photo/Grimshaw, File)

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 70-plus years with the franchise, has died at 93. The Dodgers said Friday he had a heart attack at his home in Fullerton, Calif., the AP reports. Resuscitation attempts were made en route to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 11pm Thursday. Per ESPN, Lasorda started his longtime career with the Dodgers after the 1948 minor league draft, making his way up to the big leagues in 1954 as a left-handed pitcher. He played in that spot until 1955, when he was demoted to the minors to make way in the Dodgers' lineup for Sandy Koufax, the Los Angeles Times notes. He retired from pitching in 1960 and then served as a Dodgers scout before becoming a minor league manager.

He became the third-base coach in the big leagues in 1973, and three years later, when manager Walter Alston retired, Lasorda took the helm. Over the next 20 years, Lasorda brought the team to eight division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series wins. Lasorda, who was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, had a history of heart problems, including a heart attack in 1996 that ended his managerial career. He spent the last 14 years with the Dodgers as special adviser to the chairman. "My family, my partners, and I were blessed to have spent a lot of time with Tommy," Dodgers owner Mark Walter tells the Times. "He was a great ambassador for the team and baseball." Lasorda is survived by his wife of 68 years, Jo, as well as a daughter and granddaughter. (More MLB stories.)

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