Tommy Lasorda, Beloved Hall Of Fame Baseball Manager, Dead At 93

By Jason Hall

January 8, 2021

Baseball has lost one of its biggest personalities.

Tommy Lasorda, a Hall of Fame manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died at the age of 93. Major League Baseball confirmed Lasorda's death Friday (January 8) morning.

“Tommy Lasorda was one of the finest managers our game has ever known. He loved life as a Dodger," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in an official statement. "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 went 0-4 as a Major League pitcher during three seasons as a member of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers (1954-55) and Kansas City Athletics (1956) before later embarking on a legendary managerial career.

Lasorda was hired as the Dodgers' hitting coach in 1973 and promoted to manager in 1976, a job he held until 1996, which included two World Series championships (1981, 1988) and two National League Manager of the Year awards (1983, 1988.)

Lasorda died after serving his 71st season with the Dodgers organization, which culminated in a World Series championship last October. The larger-than-life personality continued to serve as an ambassador to both the Dodgers and the game of baseball for the remainder of his life after his retirement from managing in 1996.

Lasorda was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 and was one of only four managers to manage the same team for more than 20 years, along with Connie Mack, John McGraw and his predecessor, Walter Alston.

Photo: Getty Images

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