USA Today reports that Lasorda suffered from a sudden Cardiopulmonary arrest while at home on Thursday. He was transported to the hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after. Previously he had suffered from a heart attack in 1996 that put an end to his managerial career, which first started in '76.
After playing in the league for just three seasons in the '50s, he graduated to coach and then manage the Dodgers two decades later. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 1997.
The Dodgers legend was with the team as a player, a coach, a manager, and finally an executive for a total of 71 seasons.
"My family, my partners and I were blessed to have spent a lot of time with Tommy," said Dodgers owner and chairman Mark Walter. "He was a great ambassador for the team and baseball, a mentor to players and coaches, he always had time for an autograph and a story for his many fans and he was agood friend. He will be dearly missed." Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten added that Lasorda is "quite simply irreplaceable and unforgettable."
Retired Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully said that he will remember him for his "boundless enthusiasm" for baseball and the team. "He was a fellow with limited ability and he pushed himself to be a very good Triple-A pitcher," said Scully. "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."