Tommy Lasorda has died. The iconic former Dodgers manager was 93-years old. The Dodgers released a statement this morning announcing that Lasorda suffered a sudden cardiac arrest at his home in California and was transported to the hospital. After resuscitation attempts, the Hall of Famer died at 10:57 PM Thursday, January 7th. Tommy Lasorda was hospitalized back in November for a serious illness which had him on a ventilator at one time. However, his condition improved in recent weeks and he was able to return home.
Former Major League Baseball manager Bobby Valentine says, "Words cannot express my feelings. A friend and mentor for 52 years is no longer with us. Tommy no one will ever fill the void you left. Thank you for everything. R.I.P." Tommy Lasorda managed the Dodgers to two World Series titles, four pennants, and eight division titles from 1976 to 1996. He was named NL Manager of the Year twice, won 1,599 career games, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. He even found time to star in the 1992 movie Ladybugs with Rodney Dangerfield. In addition, he played himself in episodes of Silver Spoons, Who's The Boss?, CHiPs, Hart to Hart, Fantasy Island, Hee Haw, Simon & Simon, and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Tommy Lasorda was born on September 22nd, 1927 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, which is located just outside of Philadelphia. In 1945, at the age of 18, he began his baseball career as a left-handed pitcher after signing with the Phillies organization. "I did not have a lot of ability, but I'll guarantee you one thing, when I stood on that hill of thrills, I didn't believe that there was any man alive who could hit me," Lasorda said in 1997. "And if they did hit me, which they did, I thought it was an accident." His career was interrupted in 1946 due to his service with the United States Army, though he returned in 1948.
In 1954, Tommy Lasorda found himself playing for the Dodgers before going on to the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. From there, he went on to the world of coaching for the Dodgers from 1973 through 1976, before taking over as manager. "Regarded by many as baseball's most popular ambassador, Lasorda spent 71 seasons in the Dodger organization with Dodger Blue running through his veins," the team said in a statement. "He spent the last 14 as special adviser to the chairman."
While 2020 proved to be a tough year for everybody, the Dodgers went on to greatness. "Lasorda's wish to see another Dodgers World Championship was fulfilled last October, when he traveled to Arlington, Texas to witness the Dodgers 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of the World Series," the Dodgers statement continued. Tommy Lasorda was able to see his team go all the way again before passing away. It was Los Angeles' first World Series championship since 1988, when Lasorda was their manager. He was known for his colorful personality and often outspoken opinions regarding players and other personnel associated with Major League baseball, on and off the field, which fans almost always appreciated. the official Dodgers Twitter account was the first to announce the passing of Tommy Lasorda.