Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda,
who died Thursday at age 93 after a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest, spent 71 years in the Dodgers organization. The Norristown, Pennsylvania, native made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954. After a journeyman career as a pitcher, Lasorda started his coaching career with the Dodgers organization. He worked his way up to manager in 1976, won World Series in 1981 and ’88 and officially retired in 1996. Since then, he had held multiple positions in the Dodgers’ front office.
Lasorda, who once said, “I bleed Dodger blue and when I die, I’m going to the big Dodger in the sky,” was never short on words. He became known as much for his colorful sayings as his managerial prowess. Take a look back at some memorable images and quotes from Lasorda’s life.
Lasorda won a World Series ring with the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, though he didn’t pitch in the Series. “About the only problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure,” Lasorda said in his autobiography, “The Artful Dodger.” Jim Kerlin/AP Photo
Throughout his career, Lasorda never hesitated to give his opinion. “Sometimes you’ve just got to let an umpire know that you’re not satisfied with his decision,” he said. “… Not that it’s going to do you any good, but you’ve got to let them know.” Sakuma/AP Photo
“When we win, I’m so happy, I eat a lot,” Lasorda told Forbes in 2004. “When we lose, I’m so depressed, I eat a lot. When we’re rained out, I’m so disappointed, I eat a lot.” Sporting News/Getty Images
Lasorda won two World Series and twice was NL Manager of the Year. “I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand,” he wrote in “The Artful Dodger.” “If you hold it too tightly, you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.” Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
“All last year we tried to teach him English, and the only word he learned was ‘million,'” Lasorda said of Mexico native and Cy Young winner Fernando Valenzuela, right, who signed a contract to become baseball’s highest-paid pitcher in 1986. Ray Stubblebine/AP Photo
He had a hard time keeping quiet where an umpire was involved, but Lasorda never apologized for his managing style. “I motivate players through communication, being honest with them, having them respect and appreciate your ability and your help,” he said. Sporting News/Getty Images
Lasorda made a point to hug his players and eat with them. He even stretched with Jane Fonda with them. “There was always a standard rule that the manager would not associate with the players,” he said. “… I was very close to my players in every way. ” Ray Fairall/AP Photo
To Lasorda, just getting to a World Series was great, but there was nothing like hoisting the trophy. “The best possible thing in baseball is winning the World Series,” he said. “The second-best thing is losing the World Series.” Mike Powell/Getty Images
When asked if he ever got burned out on baseball, Lasorda answered with a question of his own: “I ask you, have you ever got tired of kissing a pretty girl?” Lasorda, who was married to his wife, Jo, for 70 years, clearly never tired of either. The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
No one ever had a longer tenure with any one team than Lasorda’s 71 years with the Dodgers organization. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination,” he said. Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Lasorda’s picture hangs in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. He also entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. “The Hall of Fame is eternity and I thank God for all of it,” he said at his induction ceremony. “I am living the dream.” Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Perhaps Lasorda’s most famous quote speaks directly to his long-lasting career in the game: “If you love your job, you haven’t worked a day in your life.” Paul Sancya/AP Photo