Dodgers: Vin Scully, Magic Johnson and More React to Loss of Tommy Lasorda
Baseball and Dodgers nation lost a true icon in the game on Thursday night. Thomas Charles “Tommy” Lasorda was one of the game’s loudest voices and biggest characters throughout his near 76 years in and around it.
As we mourn in the wake of the loss of a legend, some of the many great stories from the people he touched around the world are being shared. Perhaps none bigger right off the bat than the only other Dodger that can carry the same legendary status as Tommy. Hall of Famer Vin Scully shared his thoughts on the passing of Lasorda in a statement released by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There are two things about Tommy I will always remember. The first is his boundless enthusiasm. Tommy would get up in the morning full of beans and maintain that as long as he was with anybody else. The other was his determination He was a fellow with limited ability and he pushed himself to be a very good Triple-A pitcher. He never quite had that something extra that makes a major leaguer, but it wasn’t because he didn’t try. Those are some of the things: his competitive spirit, his determination, and above all, this boundless energy and self-belief. His heart was bigger than his talent and there were no foul lines for his enthusiasm.
It has been a painful time for Mr. Scully who last week lost his wife Sandi after a long battle with ALS. So his words mean even more during a time like this.
Beyond Vin, many baseball legends and dignitaries shared their thoughts on and memories of Tommy. This morning on MLB Network, current manager Dave Roberts was asked about the great Lasorda.
"Win or lose, he bled Dodger blue. Just continue to share that passion and let his legacy live on forever, man."
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) January 8, 2021
A sentiment shared by many who have reacted to the news, it’s important to note the easing feeling of knowing that Tommy saw the last championship. In fact, he was with the organization for every championship.
Related: The Best of Tommy Lasorda! 8 Most Memorable Moments!
Dodgers part-owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson — an LA icon in his own right — addressed all of Dodger nation in his thoughts and words on Tommy.
I will miss our conversations about the Dodgers & the Lakers. He meant the world to the Dodgers organization, MLB, and to the city of Los Angeles. He will always be known to Dodger Nation as “Mr. Dodger.” Cookie and I are praying for the entire Lasorda family. May he RIP.?? pic.twitter.com/fu8OIwqSWo
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 8, 2021
I will miss our conversations about the Dodgers and the Lakers. He meant the world to the Dodgers organization, MLB, and to the city of Los Angeles. He will always be known to Dodger Nation as “Mr. Dodger.” Cookie and I are praying for the entire Lasorda family. May he RIP.
Former LA general manager and long-time friend Fred Claire also shared thoughts on Tommy.
The world of baseball has lost one of its greatest ambassadors and I have lost a dear friend with the passing of Tommy Lasorda. My heart and prayers go out to Jo and Tommy’s family and friends throughout the world. No one represented the spirit of the Dodgers more than Tommy. pic.twitter.com/WnE465dYYh
— Fred Claire (@Fred_Claire) January 8, 2021
Olivia Garvey, daughter of Dodgers legend Steve Garvey shared the words of her father in a post that are as good a place as any to wrap here.
…You got the greatest call up.
Tommy Lasorda is off with the big Dodger in the sky. Thank you for two championships, countless memories, and everything you ever did for the great game of baseball.
Truly MLB lost a baseball legend and a great Italian American. Someone in the game who knew him well said this of him: “Dodger Stadium was his address but every ballpark was his home”.
Tommy was at times vulgar and for some former players hard to get along with; but at the bottom of it all; he was a winner. For me, a virtually lifetime fan (since I was 9 in 1963), he epitomized working class. Blue collar. He was, to us the fans, the union guy on the shop floor. The little guy who through hard work and a never ending positive attitude, never gave up. Every chance to move up the ladder he took. And embraced. And his enthusiasm boiled over. From his coaching box at third base for Walter Alstom, he overshadowed EVERY third base coach in the game. And then becoming manager, he became the Hall of Fame field boss who we will always remember and embrace. Rest in Peace, Tommy.
There is an void in our baseball world.As a baseball coach myself I can feel the pain for our beloved “coach”.I can only imagine the line up he’s already submitting up in Heaven! R.I.P.???
Tommy was Mr. Dodger, Mr. Ambassador, & Mr. Baseball. A BASEBALL ICON!! I met Tommy several times over the years and he was always attentive and genuine, he knew no other way. He was REAL. I will always cherish the pictures I have with him and with him and my wife at Camelback during Spring Training. He would come riding up in his golf cart and take a seat behind a table and sign hundreds of autographs. One year my wife had on a Dodger Shirt from 1962 that had the pictures of the entire team embossed on it. Tommy got a huge felt tipped marking pen and autographed it on the back shoulder. I yelled at him to “take your hands off my wife”; he looked at me with a huge grin, gave her a big hug and then playfully shook his finger at me. PRICELESS!!
I m a Dodger fan of 69 years and absolutely loved this man.
Tommy, I had the pleasure of meeting you many times, and let me say, you deserve to be called “Baseball’s Ambassador”. My deepest sympathy to your wife, Jo, and the rest of the Lasorda family. You brought so many smiles to so many Dodger fans!!!!! You always had time to tell a story, or reminisce about Sinatra and Rickles. You never placed yourself above the fans!!!! You were Mr. Dodger!!! RIP
I grew up in Bklyn next door to Wilpon. My cousin played with Fred and Koufax on the same HS team. Koufax is my Idol. Lasorda would say if it wasn’t for him Koufax never would’ve made it to the majors. Lasoda got sent to the minors when Koufax got the call to the majors! Been a Dodger fan for over 60+ years! Been to Vero and Camel back for spring training games. Tommy will always be Mr. Dodger! As Garvey said he got the Ultimate Call UP. Rest In Peace. Hopefully I will be able to come to some of your games in Dodger Blue Heaven!
Like a lot of older Dodger fans I witnessed not only the arrival of Vinny but the slow growth of Tommy from a pitcher with not quite enough to stick, but with lots of other assets to exploit so he could continue doing what he loved. All baseball fans are grateful for what he gave the game.
This has been a tough winter in LA, a city blessed by so many fine people or the purest quality. We lost Rafer Johnson, Alex Trebek, Sandi Scully and now Tommy Lasorda.
Who will stand and fill in for them?
So very grateful to have been born and raised in Los Angeles where I and my brother and sister Angelenos have been blessed with Sandy Koufax, Vin Scully and Tommy Lasorda. IT’S TIIIIIMME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!!
I loved and hated Tommy but 98% of the time it was pure love. Tommy’s passing touched me deeply because he and Vin Scully are the main Dodgers. Tommy got us all fired up! I can recall when he became the third base coach of the Dodgers and he was like an animated cartoon character. I was so excited that he became the manager because Walter Alston was so stoic and we needed a change. Tommy, just know that we all adored you and may you rest in love and peace and be surrounded by all the great Dodgers of the past in heaven. Oh my God, I can only imagine the ballgame that is going on up there. Maybe they will even let you pitch – that’s until Sandy eventually joins you. Much love
I remember once hearing Tommy Lasorda say that he was going to be working for the Dodgers even after he died. Folks asked him “how in the world are you going to do that?” Tommy’s response was upon my passing, “I want the Dodgers schedule on my grave so that folks passing by will know where and who the Dodgers are playing that day.” Tommy was one of a kind. He will be missed, but not forgotten.