A giant in the world of Major League Baseball has died. In news first reported by TMZ and ultimately confirmed by the club with which he has become synonymous, former Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers player and manager Tommy Lasorda passed away on Friday. He was 93 years old.
In one capacity or another, Lasorda spent 71 years as a member of the Dodgers organization, the longest tenure one person had with one club in the sport’s history. The Dodgers called him “one of the sport’s most popular ambassadors” in their statement, an accurate phrase that also somehow undersells the Hall of Fame inductee’s impact on baseball as a whole.
In a follow-up tweet, the Dodgers released statements from owner Mark Walter, team president Stan Kasten, and perhaps the only man as well-known for their time with the franchise as Lasorda himself, iconic broadcaster Vin Scully.
A native of Pennsylvania, Lasorda’s playing career included a number of stops, and while he spent a few years as a member of the Dodgers organization as a player, he only made one start for the franchise in 1955. Ultimately, he returned to the Dodgers as a scout in 1961, moving up the ranks in the organization until he became its manager in 1976. His tenure in L.A. included a pair of World Series wins, one in 1981 and one in 1988, along with a number of trips to the postseason and his number two retired by the organization. Following his managerial career, Lasorda moved into a front office role in L.A.
Beyond this, Lasorda was revered for being a big, affable personality with an infectious love for the game of baseball. His 1,599 wins as a manager are the 22nd most in the history of the majors.