Hall of Fame Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda dies at 93
Tommy Lasorda, Former storied manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers died of cardiopulmonary arrest after being rushed to a Los Angeles area hospital Thursday evening. Lasorda had been hospitalized earlier in November for heart issues and was only released Tuesday this week.
The former skipper was 1 game shy of 1600 career wins with the Dodgers who he managed from 1976 through 1996 winning National League manager of the year twice, 4 NL pennants and 8 division crowns. taking the team to two world series wins in that period.
Lasorda was born September 22, 1927 in Norristown Pennsylvania and started his career with the Phillies in 1945 before taking a hiatus for military service in 1946-1947. from there he quickly returned to the game he loved and was drafted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. along his was to what would eventually lead him to LA included a stop with the Kansas City Athletics and a minor league coaching position. He rejoined the relocated Dodgers Team in LA as a third base coach and was elevated to manager in 1976 after the retirement of hall of fame skipper Walter Alston.
In his later years after the Dodgers, Lasorda took the USA Olympic Baseball team to a gold medal in 2000 defeating a heavily favored Cuban National Team. He has served as an ambassador to the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009.
Legendary Dodgers Broadcaster Vin Scully among others were quick to praise the former Dodger:
"There are two things about Tommy I will always remember," Scully said in a statement. "The first is his boundless enthusiasm. Tommy would get up in the morning full of beans and maintain that as long as he was with anybody else.
"The other was his determination. He was a fellow with limited ability and he pushed himself to be a very good Triple-A pitcher. He never quite had that something extra that makes a major leaguer, but it wasn't because he didn't try. Those are some of the things: his competitive spirit, his determination and above all, this boundless energy and self-belief. His heart was bigger than his talent, and there were no foul lines for his enthusiasm."