Famed Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda passed away on Thursday evening at the age of 93. Lasorda had been, until that time, the oldest living member of the Hall of Fame.
According to a release from the Dodgers, Lasorda suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest at his home and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Tommy Lasorda spent over 70 years with the Dodgers organization, an unbelievable feat matched only by his 70 year marriage to his wife, Jo. He was able to see his Dodgers win the World Series again when he attended the final game of the 2020 Fall Classic, something he had dearly hoped to witness again in his lifetime, since the last Dodgers win had come when he was still manager of the team in 1988.
Lasorda had a largely forgettable playing career with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Kansas City Athletics, but it was his turn as a coach and manager that elevated him to the status of an icon. During his tenure with the Dodgers as a manager he had a 1599-1439 record, won four NL pennants, eight division titles, and two World Series championships (‘81 and ‘88).
In 1997 in his first year of eligibility, Lasorda was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and that same year the Dodgers retired his number 2 jersey and renamed a street after him in Dodgertown.
Following his retirement he remained with the Dodgers as Vice President, then interim General Manager, later Senior Vice President, and finally Special Advisor to the Chairman. He was an absolutely integral part of the organization for his entire life.
The Los Angeles Dodgers posted this farewell.
There’s a special connection with Lasorda to current Tigers GM Al Avila. Al Avila’s father Ralph was a long-time scout for the Dodgers and a good friend of Lasorda’s. Former Tigers catcher Alex Avila’s middle name is Thomas, named for Tommy Lasorda, as Tommy was Alex’s godfather.