Tommy Lasorda died last night, the Los Angeles Dodgers have announced. The longtime manager of the Dodgers suffered “a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest” at home late last night, and passed away minutes later. He was 93.
Lasorda was synonymous with the Dodgers for years — as the Dodgers’ announcement noted, he spent 71 seasons with the team, joining them as a pitcher acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies organization in 1949, pitching in their system for several years, and making his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. Lasorda spent a month in 1953 during spring training with the St. Louis Browns before being returned to the Dodgers, was acquired by the Kansas City A’s from Brooklyn in spring, 1956, and was then traded by the A’s to the New York Yankees in July, 1956, before being sent back to the Dodgers in May, 1957.
After being released in 1960, Lasorda became a scout for the Dodgers, then a minor league manager in 1966. He managed in the minors until 1973, when he joined the major league coaching staff under manager Walt Alston. When Alston retired in September, 1976, Lasorda took over as manager, a role he filled until a heart attack in June, 1996, led to his retirement. Lasorda was inducted into the Hall of Fame the next year.
Upon retiring, Lasorda assumed a front office position, and was a member of the Dodgers’ organization up until his death yesterday.
Lasorda had a career 1599-1439 managerial record, all with the Dodgers. The Dodgers won four pennants with Lasorda at the helm, and were World Series champs under him in 1981 and 1988. That 1988 team managed by Lasorda was the last Dodger team to win a World Series until 2020.
Lasorda is also known for his colorful, larger-than-life public persona. He appeared in a number of television commercials and had cameo appearances in numerous films and television shows.
Our thoughts and best wishes go out to his family and to the Dodgers organization.