Legendary Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda has died at the age of 93.
For some, the man who represented the Dodgers more clearly, professionally and loudly than any other entity has passed away on Friday at the age of 93.
Tommy Lasorda, the team’s two-time World Series-winning manager, whose last act on the public stage was to attend their Game 6 victory in Texas just over two months ago, died days after reportedly being released from the hospital.
After rumors of his death began to circulate thanks to a cryptic — yet fairly clear — statement from former Mets manager (and Dodgers player) Bobby Valentine, the Dodgers confirmed the news with a series of loving messages, including a remembrance by Vin Scully.
Valentine’s tribute read thusly: “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.”
Before too long, social media was ablaze with thoughts and prayers for all of Lasorda’s loved ones — which, as far as we can tell, refers to the entire Dodgers family. The elite manager viewed each and every member of the fan base as a family member, after all, spending six decades championing the virtues of the franchise to anyone who would listen with his trademark brusque bravado.
His resumé is dotted with near-constant victory, sporting National League championships in 1977 and 1978, a World Series win in 1981, and the upset victory he presided over in 1988, which he was perhaps most proud of.
Watching a champagne-soaked Lasorda extol the virtues of his club, which accomplished goal after goal that no one thought possible, is cathartic to this day.
Lasorda was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1997, just one year after officially retiring as a manager.
If you’re as iconic as he was, you don’t have to wait the customary five years. They simply get the honorific over with so that you can spend as many years of your life in Cooperstown as possible, trickling your joy and ebullience throughout the Hall’s community.
Lasorda went out a winner — naturally — and will be sorely missed by anyone who professes to love the eccentricities that make baseball great.