Baseball Mourns Tommy Lasorda | MLB.com (www.mlb.com)

Tommy Lasorda may have bled Dodger Blue, as he liked to say, but the reaction to news of his passing on Friday showed that he belonged to all of baseball, as people throughout the game expressed their sadness as well as their gratitude for the impact he had on their

Tommy Lasorda may have bled Dodger Blue, as he liked to say, but the reaction to news of his passing on Friday showed that he belonged to all of baseball, as people throughout the game expressed their sadness as well as their gratitude for the impact he had on their lives and the National Pastime.

“Words cannot express my feelings,” former Major League player and manager Bobby Valentine, who played for Lasorda, said on Twitter. “A friend and mentor for 52 years is no longer with us. Tommy no one will ever fill the void you left. Thank you for everything.”

Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who was behind the mic for so many of Lasorda’s career highlights, mourned the loss of his friend:

“His heart was bigger than his talent and there were no foul lines for his enthusiasm.”

Tommy Hutton, who played for Lasorda while coming up through the Dodgers’ Minor League system, looked at him as a father.

“I have been blessed in this lifetime to have had two fathers,” Hutton said. “My biological Dad and my baseball Dad. He scouted me, signed me and taught me the way baseball should be played. RIP Tommy Lasorda and [prayers] to your wife Jo and family.”

Current Dodgers star pitcher Walker Buehler remembered Lasorda as “one of the most passionate and entertaining people I’ve been around in my life.”

D-backs CEO and team president Derrick Hall, who started his front office career in the Dodgers’ organization, rising to vice president of public relations, treasured the time he got to spend with Lasorda.

“I am so sad with the passing of Tommy Lasorda, who was such an important part of my life and career,” Hall said. “I will cherish the meals, stories, laughs and travels forever. One of a kind legend.”

But it wasn’t just those who played or worked with Lasorda who felt a sense of loss on Friday.

Tony La Russa had high praise for his fellow Hall of Fame manager:

“Tommy is in the conversation of greatest managers. He was an outstanding ambassador for baseball that influenced and entertained fans everywhere. He also was a great leader and championship game strategist. Gone but will never be forgotten!”

“Nobody lived, breathed, and slept baseball more than Tommy Lasorda,” Alex Rodriguez said. “He was more than just a World Series-winning manager for those great L.A. teams in the ‘80s. He BLED Dodger blue. He was a true gentleman, along with being a champion and Hall of Famer.”

Hall of Famer Frank Thomas remembered Lasorda’s love for the game as “second to none.”

Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, who appeared with Lasorda on “The Baseball Bunch” television series in the 1980s, offered his condolences. Lasorda was the “Dugout Wizard” on the program.

“I’m saddened to hear of the passing of the great Tommy Lasorda, Mr. Dodger,” Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Lasorda Family.”

One of the biggest triumphs of Lasorda’s managerial career came in 1988, when his Dodger team beat the heavily-favored A’s in the World Series.

“The baseball community has lost a legend and one of the game’s great personalities,” the A’s said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the Lasorda family and the entire Dodgers organization.”

During his managerial career, celebrities could often be seen in Lasorda’s office or sharing meals with him at restaurants, including legends like Frank Sinatra.

So, it is only fitting that some in Hollywood today are also mourning his loss, including Jimmy Kimmel:

“No one loved anything more than Tommy Lasorda loved the Dodgers — it was a thrill to know him. Sending love to his family, friends, players and fans.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.



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