Tommy Lasorda, one of the best managers in Dodgers’ history, dies at 93

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The Dodgers announced this morning that longtime manager and team ambassador Tommy Lasorda died late Thursday night. He was 93 years old.

On Monday, Lasorda had returned home from the hospital, as he had been in there since Nov. 8 due to heart issues. He also spent three weeks in the intensive care unit.

He led the Dodgers to their second-most recent World Series championship, as the 1988 Dodgers upset the heavily favored Oakland Athletics. He also led the Dodgers to the 1981 World Series title over the New York Yankees. He managed the Dodgers from 1976-96 with a career record of 1,599-1,439-2, and stayed on in many different roles, including vice president, general manager, senior vice president and special adviser to the chairman. Lasorda was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame 1997. One of his more underrated accomplishments was leading the 2000 USA Baseball team to the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.

I had two personal interactions with Lasorda … kinda. The first was when I was 12 or 13 and I went to a Dodger-Giant game at Candlestick Park with my dad. He was signing autographs down the third-base line. When he got to the kid a few feet away from me, who was wearing a Giants’ hat, he said, “Nah, you’re a Giants’ fan,” and moved onto the next kid. I thought that was funny. The other time, I saw him coming back to the Camelback Ranch complex in 2013. I went up and shook his hand. He just kinda mumbled. Rate my story.

Here are some of the reactions from Twitter and some videos.

Some memorable moments, for sure.

It wasn’t all good for Lasorda, who never accepted the fact his son, Tom Lasorda Jr., was gay. He also was uncomfortable having Glenn Burke — a gay man, though, not known at the time — as a player on his 1976-77 teams. The younger Lasorda died of complications from AIDS in 1991, while Burke was traded in May 1978. It’s an ugly part of Lasorda’s life, but something that cannot go unmentioned.

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Lasorda is survived by his wife Jo (married 70 years), their daughter Laura and granddaughter Emily Tess.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.