Remembering Tommy Lasorda


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Rest in peace, Tommy Lasorda. The man that made legends!

Kayden Mandley, Photojournalist

Hall of Fame Los Angeles Dodgers manager, Tommy Lasorda, died at age 93 last week after suffering from heart failure in his Fullerton, California home. Lasorda passed away in the hospital on January 7th after many attempts of resuscitation were made, and even though it was fairly known that Lasorda had a history of medical problems — he had a heart attack which ended his career as a sports team manager, and he had another heart attack in 2012 which left him with a pacemaker — none of the Los Angeles Dodgers sports fans predicted such an end for the man who led the Dodgers to two World Series titles.


A few months prior to his death, Lasorda flew to Texas to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers win their first World Series title since 1988. “He was a great ambassador for the team… a mentor to players and coaches… and he was a good friend,” says Mark Walter, the Dodger’s team owner, and chairman, “He will be dearly missed.” In memory of Tommy Lasorda, let us take a look at his major accomplishments throughout his life.


Born on September 22, 1927, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Thomas Charles Lasorda’s career as a professional baseball player began in 1945 when he played for the Philadelphia Phillies. After serving in the Army for two years, Lasorda returned from his duties in 1948 and was drafted from the Phillies to the Brooklyn Dodgers after catching the team’s eye. Lasorda pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers before being traded to the Triple-A Denver Bears in 1956, but he was later sent back to play for the Dodgers a year later. In 1960, Lasorda was finally released but remained on the team as a scout, then as a manager, then as a front office executive. 


After guiding the Dodgers to victory in the World Series in 1981 and 1988, earning four national league pennants, winning eight division titles from 1977 to 1996, and receiving a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Lasorda’s achievements as the Dodgers’ team manager did not go unnoticed. In 1997, Lasorda was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.


Anyone that personally knew Lasorda agreed that he lived and breathed baseball. “I bleed Dodger blue!” Lasorda frequently exclaimed. In response to his unpredictable death, Niamh Mayhew (12) insists that “He was the blueprint of an amazing ballplayer, and no one will ever be exactly like Tommy Lasorda.” Many of Lasorda’s mentees and loved ones sent out words of gratitude, appreciation, and admiration towards Lasorda. Bobby Valentine, one of the players Lasorda had managed in the minors, tweeted out, “Words can not express my feelings. A friend and mentor for 52 years are no longer with us. Tommy no one will ever fill the void you left. Thank you for everything. R.I.P.”