LCalifornia training confirmed his death late Thursday night on Friday.
Lasorda received a cardiovascular arrest at home just after 22.00 Pacific time and was immediately taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 22:57
While he has largely marked the Dodgers fans during his 21 years at the helm of the club, he also made his mark in Montreal, where he was a big star in the Royals and where Claude Lavoie knew him.
So equipment officer at Brooklyn Dodgers AAA club school, the young Lavoie quickly learned to negotiate with the hot left-handed pitcher.
“Tommy took up space in the locker room, and when it did not suit him, he would ruin things,” Lavoie recalled when contacted by The Canadian Press on Friday. Nor was he Judge Ed Vargo’s best friend. When the latter kicked him out or did not have a night to Tommy’s liking, he waited for him near the referee’s room, which was right by our locker room. I saw screaming matches in the corridors of Delorimier Stadium!
“I was young at the time, maybe 16 or 17, but when Tommy lost or was kicked out, I wanted to go out of the closet for a while: things would fly!”
Lasorda left Montreal at the same time as the Royals, after the 1960 season. Lavoie began a career in the Sûreté du Québec. But when Major Baseball moved to Montreal, Lavoie found himself on the Expos security team, as the visitor’s wardrobe manager, a position he held for almost 25 years that allowed him to find Lasorda.
“I was always on guard when the Dodgers were in Montreal. He had known me as a ‘batboy’ and always wanted to test me! The wardrobe was never to his liking, lunch was not good … but it was never again! I got to know him better over the years. One thing is for sure: he must have been paid for lunch more often than he paid for! “
He has witnessed it on at least one occasion.
“Tommy was friends with Ron La Dora, who had a restaurant on the corner of Haig and Sherbrooke. Sometimes he ate there or had a meal in the stadium. He asked me to organize this for him.
“One Sunday, after their stay at the Olympic Stadium, the Dodgers’ flight was delayed and they would not leave until later in the evening. So he asks me to check with Ron if it is possible to get the whole team to eat at the restaurant. Ron is obviously very happy to welcome them, “said Lavoie.
“Everyone has fun, laughs, eats and drinks very well. When the time came, however, Tommy had forgotten to pay the bill … It was the second time Tommy had done the battle against Ron La Dora, who had taken the same thing: he knew the character “, Lavoie continued.
“He was like that, Tommy: he had a good heart, he was loud, but you never knew if he was serious or not,” he concluded.
Brilliant career as a manager
Born Thomas Charles Lasorda on September 22, 1927 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, he began his professional career in 1945, when he contracted with the Philadelphia Phillies. He missed the 1946 and 1947 seasons due to military service.
When the Dodgers claimed him a few years later, it was in Montreal that he shone and collected more than 100 victories between 1950 and 1960.
His career in the Majors was less brilliant: he had a 0-4 record and a 6.48 earned running average in 26 games between 1954 and 1956, with the Dodgers and Kansas City Athletics.
It is as a leader that he left his mark.
From 1976 until his retirement in 1996, he was the leader of the team, and collected a record of 1599-1439, and twice received the title of manager of the year in the National, in 1983 and 1988. He led the team with eight titles in the West Section, four titles in the National and two conquests of the World Series, in 1981 and 1988.
He always claimed that his blood was Dodgers blue.
Lasorda fulfilled his dream of seeing the organization once again claim the commissioner’s trophy in October last year, when he traveled to Arlington, Texas, for the sixth game in the series won at the expense of the Rays of Tampa Bay.
For the past 14 years, Lasorda has served as a special adviser to the president. He was the team’s longest-serving employee since descriptor Vin Scully retired in 2016, after 67 years at the microphone.
Lasorda had a history of heart disease, including a heart attack in 1996 that forced him to resign as leader. Another incident in 2012 necessitated the installation of a pacemaker, replaced five years later.
Lasorda had just returned home on Tuesday after being hospitalized since November 8 with new heart problems.
A Baseball Hall of Fame member since 1997, Lasorda has spent more than 70 years in the Dodgers organization. When his crampons were on, he was alternately a scout, leader and member of the leadership.
“In a franchise where so many legends have passed, no one wore a uniform or represented how the Dodgers are like Tommy Lasorda,” Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement. A tireless advocate for baseball, his dedication to the sport and the team he loved so much was second to none. […] Tommy is unforgettable and irreplaceable. ”
He left behind his wife of the last 70 years, Jo, their daughter, Laura, and their granddaughter, Emily Tess. Their son, Tom, died in 1991 of complications from AIDS. ONwith the Associated Press