Dodgers Legend Tommy Lasorda Dies Aged 93Jake Cooper | 11 Jan 2021
Legendary Dodgers manager and global MLB ambassador Tommy Lasorda has died. He was 93. A statement issued on Thursday by baseball commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed the former pro-pitcher’s death.
The statement also honoured the baseball and Dodgers giant, describing Lasorda to have been one of the finest managers ever known by the game. His celebrated career initially started out as a pitcher back in 1949, after which he would ultimately go on to manage two World Series title wins and an impressive four pennant-winning champions.
During his time serving Major League Baseball in his capacity as Global Ambassador, Lasorda helped create a sport that welcomes diversity and inclusion – recognising strength in players not only from back home, but also from countries such as the Dominican Republic, South Korea, Japan, and even Mexico. Lasorda, who was the son of Italian immigrants, turned baseball into a strong and international sport, wrote Manfred.
Lasorda Lived For The Dodgers
Lasorda died after spending nearly 71 full seasons with the Dodgers, which in sporting terms, equates to an unprecedented display of loyalty and love for club. The past two decades were spent in his capacity as special advisor to the chairman of the club.
Current chairman Mark Walter honoured Lasorda by writing in his tribute of the vast amounts of time he and his family and partners had had the privilege of having spent in the legend’s presence. He described Lasorda as an important and significant ambassador not only for the team, but also for baseball. Lasorda was a mentor to player and coach alike, wrote Walter, and always made time for fans by handing out an autograph and a special story.
A Life Dedicated To Baseball
Though a great career Major League pitcher in his own right, what would ultimately earn Lasorda a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame would be the two decades he spent managing his beloved Dodgers.
Up until his death the oldest living Hall of Famer, Lasorda now hands the baton of distinction to Willie Mays (89). The widely loved Tommy Lasorda is survived by his wife Jo, to whom he was married for a phenomenal 70 years, and the couple’s family.
Manfred said he deemed it exceptionally fortunate and appropriate that Lasorda during the final months before his passing saw his beloved club win the World Series for the very first time since his (Lasorda’s) own 1988 team.