LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his 71 years with the franchise, has died. He was 93.
Lasorda was the manager of the Pocatello Chiefs minor league baseball team in the 1960s.
Terry Fredrickson, co-owner of Pocatello’s current semi-professional baseball team The Gate City Grays, believes Lasorda’s time in Pocatello decades ago has had a lasting impact.
Fredrickson said there are always a lot of fans at Grays games wearing Dodger hats, which he attributes to the local connection with Lasorda. Fredrickson hopes to host a fan night in Lasorda’s honor during a Grays game in the coming season.
”It’s kind of a bragging point for us. We like to throw that out as kind of a, ‘Hey, check us out. We had Lasorda here,’” Fredrickson said. “I have people come up to me all the time who say, ‘(Local baseball) hasn’t been this fun since Lasorda was here.’”
The Dodgers said Friday that he had a heart attack at his home in Fullerton, California. Resuscitation attempts were made en route to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday.
Lasorda had a history of heart problems, including a heart attack in 1996 that ended his managerial career.
He spent the last 14 years with the Dodgers as special adviser to the chairman.
The Idaho State Journal staff contributed to this report.