Tommy Lasorda 1927-2021
January 9, 2021 12:50 PM   Subscribe

LOS ANGELES -- Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved, has died. Thomas Charles Lasorda (September 22, 1927 – January 7, 2021) was an American professional baseball pitcher and manager. He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1976 through 1996. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 1997.

Lasorda played in MLB for the Dodgers in 1954 and 1955 and for the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. He coached for the Dodgers from 1973 through 1976 before taking over as manager. Lasorda won two World Series championships as manager of the Dodgers and was named the Manager of the Year of the National League (NL) twice. The Dodgers retired his No. 2.
posted by goalyeehah (19 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"I bleed Dodger blue and when I die, I'm going to the big Dodger in the sky."

posted by Gray Duck at 1:04 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]

He was a good manager who managed some pretty incredible teams. It took some incredible guts to send Kirk Gibson to the plate in the 1988 World Series.

He had a reputation as a hypocrite and backstabber.

I knew his son briefly before he passed away from AIDS in 1991 He was the 180 degree opposite of his father. A whippet-thin fashionista who looked like Andy Warhol. Though I am straight, I could recognize a caring, generous and lovely man.

I was disgusted by how Lasorda refused to openly acknowledge his son's homosexuality and that he died of AIDS.

He was also complicit in the Dodgers treatment of outfielder Glen Burke in the late 1970's

I was told that he later acknowledged his homophobia and denial of how his son died. A friend who was influential in the gay community felt that he was doing it only to show how liberal he was.

If he was sincere, I hope that gave him, his wife, and daughter some peace.
posted by goalyeehah at 1:24 PM on January 9 [9 favorites]

RIP, Tommy Lasorda.

Go Giants!
posted by chavenet at 1:35 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]

posted by BlahLaLa at 2:01 PM on January 9

As I tweeted yesterday morning — I was going to say that heaven will be painted Dodger Blue tonight, but as Tommy would remind me, it's always that color. RIP, skipper.
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:08 PM on January 9

My husband and I were at a restaurant in Orange County having one of the most expensive meals we'd had at that point in our relationship when our waiter came around with two glasses of wine. We'd already had the wine we'd ordered and weren't expecting more so we were a bit confused. She told us it was Tommy Lasorda's birthday and he'd purchased a few magnums of wine so the whole restaurant could toast. We were still students at the time and were totally blown away that this was a thing anyone would do.

Knowing next to nothing about him we toasted with him with a right good will. I'll confess I still know next to nothing about him but I can't help but feel a bit positive about him - it was such a glamorous thing to have happen during a fancy dinner out.

Cheers, Mr Lasorda.
posted by potrzebie at 2:12 PM on January 9 [8 favorites]

posted by Joey Michaels at 4:22 PM on January 9

posted by PresidentOfDinosaurs at 5:04 PM on January 9

posted by otherchaz at 5:16 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]

The only thing I can think of when I hear the name Tommy Lasorda:

posted by kuanes at 5:33 PM on January 9

The only thing I can think of when I hear the name Tommy Lasorda:

That's not the only thing for me, but it's certainly one of the first things. Mmm, Fletch.
posted by Fukiyama at 6:19 PM on January 9

posted by clavdivs at 6:43 PM on January 9

As a sports indifferent the only thing I ever knew about Tommy Lasorda was his popcorn. It's Not Sorta Good…It's Lasorda Good! It was alright.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 7:32 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]

Tommy Lasorda was reasonably fluent in Spanish, but he had the worst accent I've ever heard. He was effective at communicating with his Latino players, but man, that accent...
posted by blob at 9:10 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]

posted by Cash4Lead at 9:43 PM on January 9

He beat up so many pro level mascots... Youppi, the Phanatick, the other one no one can remember... he fought them all! Meanwhile - Dave Roberts still can't escape Fenway without tipping his cap to a grateful mob.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:49 AM on January 10

My first visit to Chicago coincided with the White Sox hosting the 2005 World Series. On the afternoon of game 1 I went looking for an Italian restaurant on Rush Street. I knew I had chosen well when they showed me to my table and I realized it was right beside Tommy Lasorda's.

posted by HillbillyInBC at 2:28 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]

Not being a baseball fan, I first heard his name through his commercials.
posted by hydra77 at 8:23 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]

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