LOS ANGELES - The sports community is mourning the death of Hall-of-Fame Dodgers’ manager Tommy Lasorda.
The 93-year-old passed away Thursday night at his home after a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest.
Lasorda was known as baseball’s most popular ambassador; he spent 71 seasons with the Dodgers.
The baseball world and Los Angeles community is paying tribute to the legend, hailing him as a larger-than-life personality and endless advocate for the game he loved.
"Tommy Lasorda was one of the finest managers our game has ever known,'' Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "He loved life as a Dodger. His career began as a pitcher in 1949 but he is, of course, best known as the manager of two World Series champions and four pennant-winning clubs. His passion, success, charisma and sense of humor turned him into an international celebrity, a stature that he used to grow our sport."
Fellow Dodgers icon and longtime voice of Los Angeles baseball Vin Scully received news of Lasorda's passing just days after his wife Sandra Scully had died.
"I want to express my gratitude for all your kind messages about my beloved Sandi. And with the loss of my dear friend Tommy, it's been quite a lot to bear," Vin Scully said on social media.
"For the last 8 years I’ve sat next to Tommy at every Dodgers game and he taught me invaluable lessons on the strategy and history of baseball," said Los Angeles Lakers legend and Dodger part-owner Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson.
"Nobody lived, breathed, and slept baseball more than Tommy Lasorda. 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," tweeted baseball icon Alex Rodriguez.
"So much love he had for baseball, for the Dodgers. To win, to love this game, to live and play with joy was his message to us. Rest in peace in Blue Heaven," Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen tweeted.
Lasorda was an icon in Los Angeles and the face of the Dodger franchise. Mayor Eric Garcetti even calling him ‘the soul of the city’.
"No one loved the Dodgers more, no one was more respected in the organization, and no one was more passionate about the game or L.A," the mayor tweeted.
Comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel wrote on Twitter, "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.''
Actor Henry Winkler also offered his best wishes, writing, "Goodbye Tommy. You were an ambassador for baseball, our city and for humanity. You were never without your warm smile and enthusiasm. Your spirit will be missed here on Earth.''
The LAX pylons will be lit Dodger blue and white through the weekend to honor Lasorda along with Mr. Los Angeles, former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who also passed away Thursday.