Tommy Lasorda, one of the most recognizable managers in Los Angeles Dodgers history, passed away on Thursday at the age of 93, according to the Canadian Press. The long-time Dodgers skipper had been dealing with heart problems. He was in an intensive care unit in an Orange County hospital in November, released from hospital on January 5, but then suffered a bout of cardiac arrest on January 7.
Lasorda was the Dodgers manager from 1976 to 1996. He had a managerial record of 1599 wins and 1439 losses, for a winning percentage of .526. On two occasions during his tenure, the Dodgers won the World Series. In the 1981 strike-shortened season, the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in six games, and in 1988, the Dodgers beat the Oakland Athletics in five games.
A two-time National League manager of the year, Lasorda was first honored in 1983, and the second time in 1988. In 1983, the Dodgers had the best record in the National League with a record of 91 wins and 71 losses, and beat the Atlanta Braves by three games to win the National League West. Then in the playoffs, the Dodgers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in four games in the National League Championship Series. In 1988, the Dodgers had a record of 94 wins and 67 losses, and beat the Cincinnati Reds by seven games. The Dodgers then beat the New York Mets in seven games to win the NLCS, before winning their sixth World Series title in franchise history. The Dodgers would not win another World Series until 2020.
Lasorda ranks 22nd all-time in Major League wins for a manager. He had his number two retired by the Dodgers in 1997, the same year he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Four years after managing the Dodgers, Lasorda was the manager for the United States at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The United States beat Cuba 4-0 in the gold medal game.