January 19, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

A timeline of the life of Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda

A timeline look at the life of Tom Lasorda, who died Thursday night of a heart attack at age 93:

Sept. 22, 1927: Born Thomas Charles Lasorda in Norristown, Pa.

Before 1945 season: Signs with the Philadelphia Phillies. Assigned to the Concord Weavers of the Class D North Carolina State League.

October 1945: Drafted into the Army. Serves two years, missing the 1946 and 1947 baseball seasons.

1948: Assigned to the Schenectady Blue Jays of the Canadian-American League.

May 31, 1948: Strikes out 25 batters in a 15-inning game and drives in the winning run with a single.

Nov. 24, 1948: Selected by the Brooklyn Dodgers from the Phillies in the minor league draft.

Remembering Tommy Lasorda

Aug. 5, 1954: Makes his major league debut, giving up three runs and six hits in three innings of relief against the St. Louis Cardinals. Finishes the season having pitched nine innings, giving up five runs (all earned) and eight hits while striking out five and walking five.

May 5, 1955: Makes his only start for the Dodgers, giving up one run on no hits in one inning, walking two. He has three wild pitches in the inning, setting what was then a major league record. He is spiked by Wally Moon in a play at the plate and is removed from the game when the inning ends because his knee is bleeding so badly.

June 6, 1955: Makes his final appearance as a pitcher for the Dodgers, pitching one-third of an inning and walking one.

March 2, 1956: Purchased from the Dodgers by the Kansas City Athletics.

1956 season: Appears in 18 games with the Athletics, starting five. He finishes the season 0-4 with a 6.15 ERA. He never pitches in the majors again. His final line: 0-4, 6.48 ERA, 58.1 IP, 53 hits, 56 walks, 37 strikeouts.

July 11, 1956: Traded by the A’s to the New York Yankees for Wally Burdette.

May 25, 1957: Purchased by the Dodgers from the Yankees.

1958-60: Pitches in the minors, for the Dodgers.

July 7, 1960: Released by the Dodgers, who then hire him as a scout. In all, Lasorda pitches 13 seasons in the minors, going 136-104 with a 3.63 ERA.

1965: Named manager of the Pocatello Chiefs, the Dodgers’ Rookie League team.

1966-68: Manages the Dodgers’ Rookie League team in Ogden, Utah. Team wins the league title all three seasons.

1969-72: Manages the Dodgers’ triple-A team, located in Spokane, Wash., from 1969-71 and Albuquerque in 1972. Team wins the league title in 1970 and 1972.

Before the 1973 season: Named third-base coach of the Dodgers. Finishes minor league managing career with a 524-412 record, winning five league championships.

Sept. 29, 1976: Named manager of the Dodgers, replacing the retiring Walter Alston.

1977-78: Guides Dodgers to World Series in his first two seasons with the team. They lose to the Yankees both times.

1981: Leads Dodgers to their first World Series title since 1965.

1979-82: Manager of four consecutive rookies of the year (Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax).

1983: Dodgers win NL West, but lose to Philadelphia in the NLCS. Lasorda is named NL manager of the year after the season.

1985: Dodgers win NL West, but lose to St. Louis in the NLCS.

1986-87: Dodgers finish under .500 for two consecutive seasons, causing some to question whether Lasorda should remain as manager.

1988: Underdog Dodgers win the NL West, then upset the New York Mets and Oakland A’s in the playoffs to win the World Series for the second time under Lasorda, who is named NL manager of the year.

June 3, 1989: Minor planet Lasorda, discovered by Eleanor Helin while working at the Palomar Observatory, is named after him.

Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and Dodgers Fred Claire, Dodger Vice President Fred Claire hoist the World Series trophy.

Dodgers Vice President Fred Claire, left, and manager Tommy Lasorda hoist the World Series trophy following the team’s victory in 1988.

(Associated Press)

1992-96: During a dry period for the Dodgers as far as the postseason goes, Lasorda manages five more Rookies of the Year: Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo and Todd Hollandsworth.

June 24, 1996: Complaining of abdominal pains while in Houston, Lasorda goes to the hospital and is told he had a heart attack. He is replaced on an interim basis by Bill Russell.

July 29, 1996: Lasorda officially retires and is named Dodgers senior vice president.

Aug. 3, 1997: Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Aug. 15, 1997: The Dodgers officially retire his No. 2 in a ceremony at Dodger Stadium.

June 22, 1998: Named interim GM after Fred Claire is fired. He resigns after the season and resumes his role as senior vice president.

Summer, 2000: Manages the U.S. to the gold medal at the Summer Olympics, beating Cuba, which had won the previous two gold medals, in the championship game.

Tommy Lasorda shows his patriotic side after being named manager of the 2000 U.S. Olympic baseball team.

Tommy Lasorda shows his patriotic side after being named manager of the 2000 U.S. Olympic baseball team.

(Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)

June 3, 2012: Lasorda is hospitalized after a heart attack.

July 22, 2020: The baseball field at the University of Pennsylvania is named for Lasorda.

Oct. 27, 2020: Dodgers win their first World Series since 1988, beating the Tampa Bay Rays. Lasorda is in the stadium at Arlington, Texas, during the decisive Game 6.

Nov. 15, 2020: Lasorda is hospitalized near his Fullerton home and placed in intensive care. He returns home on Jan. 5.

Jan. 7, 2021: Lasorda suffers a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home at 10:09 p.m. He is transported to the hospital with resuscitation in progress and pronounced dead at 10:57 p.m.