Tommy Lasorda Biography – Tommy Lasorda Wiki
Tommy Lasorda (born Thomas Charles Lasorda) was an American professional baseball pitcher, coach, and manager. He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1976–1996. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 1997.
Thomas Charles Lasorda was born Sept. 22, 1927 in Norristown, Pa. He got his start in professional baseball at the age of 18 as a southpaw pitcher when he signed with the Phillies in 1945. His career was interrupted when he served two years in the military.
In 1948, Lasorda made a historic return to the baseball scene with the Schenectady Blue Jays as he authored a 25-strikeout performance. In 1949, the Dodgers drafted him from the Phillies, and he made a new home pitching for the Greenville Spinners and the Montreal Royals. During his time with the Royals, Lasorda led his team to four minor league championships.
Lasorda made his major league debut on Aug. 5, 1954 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He played for the Dodgers for two seasons before being traded to the Kansas City Athletics, where he pitched for one season. After a few more stops, Lasorda returned to the Montreal Royals in 1958 and led them to another championship and won the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher award.
After the 1960 season, Lasorda ended his playing career and became a scout for the Dodgers until 1965, when he took his first managerial job with the Dodgers’ Pioneer League affiliate in Pocatello, Idaho. In 1966, he moved to the Ogden Dodgers and led them to three consecutive Pioneer League championships. From 1969-1972, Lasorda skippered the Triple-A Spokane Indians and Albuquerque Dukes in the Pacific Coast League. He was voted as the Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year in 1970, and his 1972 Dukes won the Pacific Coast League championship.
In 1973, Lasorda made his way back to the majors as a third base coach for the L.A. Dodgers under another future Hall of Fame manager: Walter Alston. Alston retired in 1976 after 23 years with the Dodgers, and Lasorda took the reins.
In his first two full seasons at the helm, Lasorda led the Dodgers to two straight National League championships – and became the first NL manager to win pennants in their first two seasons. After losing to the Yankees in both the 1977 and 1978 World Series, the Dodgers went on to win the World Series over the Yankees in 1981. They defeated the Oakland A’s in the 1988 World Series to give Lasorda his second title, and he won his second Manager of the Year Award that year (following his first in 1983).
Lasorda managed four All-Star Games for the NL, and nine of his players won NL Rookie of the Year awards. Lasorda continued to lead the Dodgers until his retirement in 1996. By that time, he had built up a total of 3,038 games managed, with a record of 1,599-1,439.
After retirement, Lasorda stayed busy working in baseball. In 2000, he managed the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team to a gold medal in the Sydney Summer Games. He also continued to represent the team publicly and working in the front office, always claiming he bled Dodger Blue.
He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 following a career in which he won 1,599 games, two World Series and two more National League pennants – all with the Dodgers. He earned eight honorary doctorate degrees, and had an asteroid named after him by Cal Tech.
Tommy Lasorda Age
Tommy Lasorda was born on September 22, 1927, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He died on January 7, 2021, in Orange County, California. He was 93 years old.
Tommy Lasorda Wife
Tommy Lasorda married to his wife Jo Lasorda in 1950. The couple met in Greenville, South Carolina, Jo’s hometown, while Lasorda was playing there for the Greenville Spinners. They have resided in Fullerton, California, for more than 5 decades.
Tommy Lasorda Children
Tommy Lasorda and his wife had two children, a daughter Laura Lasorda and a son, Thomas Jr. Their son, Tom Jr., died of complications related to AIDS in 1991. Lasorda denied that his son was gay, according to sportswriter Bill Plaschke, he insists his son died of cancer. On September 7, 1997, Lasorda and Jo named a gymnasium and youth center in memory of their son in Yorba Linda, California.
Tommy Lasorda Family
Tommy Lasorda was the son of Italian immigrants. He was the second of five sons born to Sabatino and Carmella Lasorda. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jo Lasorda, a daughter Laura Lasorda and a granddaughter, Emily. His son, Thomas Jr. died in 1991.
Tommy Lasorda Health
On June 3, 2012, Tommy Lasorda was hospitalized in New York City after suffering a heart attack. On November 8, 2020, he was hospitalized for heart problems and was reported to be “in serious condition” in intensive care. On December 1, 2020, Lasorda was taken out of the intensive care unit as his condition continued to improve. After being released from the hospital on January 5, 2021, Lasorda suffered sudden cardiac arrest at his home two days later and was rushed back to the hospital, where he was was pronounced dead that night; he was 93.
Tommy Lasorda Death
Tommy Lasorda died on January 7, 2021, at the age of 93. According to The Dodgers, Lasorda suffered sudden cardiac arrest at his home on January 7, 2021, and was rushed back to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead that night at 10:57.
Mark Walter, Dodgers owner and Chairman said in a statement: “My family, my partners and I were blessed to have spent a lot of time with Tommy. He was a great ambassador for the team and baseball, a mentor to players and coaches, he always had time for an autograph and a story for his many fans and he was a good friend. He will be dearly missed.”
Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten said: “In a franchise that has celebrated such great legends of the game, no one who wore the uniform embodied the Dodger spirit as much as Tommy Lasorda. A tireless spokesman for baseball, his dedication to the sport and the team he loved was unmatched. He was a champion who at critical moments seemingly willed his teams to victory. The Dodgers and their fans will miss him terribly. Tommy is quite simply irreplaceable and unforgettable.”
Commissioner of the MLB Rob Manfred issued the following statement: “Tommy Lasorda was one of the finest managers our game has ever known. He loved life as a Dodger. His career began as a pitcher in 1949 but he is, of course, best known as the manager of two World Series champions and four pennant-winning clubs. His passion, success, charisma and sense of humor turned him into an international celebrity, a stature that he used to grow our sport. Tommy welcomed Dodger players from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere — making baseball a stronger, more diverse and better game. He served Major League Baseball as the Global Ambassador for the first two editions of the World Baseball Classic and managed Team USA to gold in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Tommy loved family, the United States, the National Pastime and the Dodgers, and he made them all proud during a memorable baseball life.
“I am extremely fortunate to have developed a wonderful friendship with Tommy and will miss him. It feels appropriate that in his final months, he saw his beloved Dodgers win the World Series for the first time since his 1988 team. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest sympathy to his wife of 70 years, Jo, and their entire family, the Dodger organization and their generations of loyal fans.”
Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum said in a statement: “Tommy Lasorda enjoyed a remarkable life in baseball. His legacy will be one of determination, leadership, and perseverance. Those wonderful characteristics that he carried, not only through his career, but throughout his life, and his passion for the game and for the Hall of Fame, will be greatly missed in Cooperstown. We extend our deepest sympathies to his dear wife of 70 years, Jo, the entire Lasorda family and the Dodgers organization.”
Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine tweeted: “Words can not 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 Cause of Death
Tommy Lasorda’s cause of death was a heart attack.
Tommy Lasorda Net Worth
Tommy Lasorda’s net worth is estimated to be $15 million.