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Tommy Lasorda, who signed Nomo to MLB, dies at 93

Baseball manager was the face of the Los Angeles Dodgers for decades

Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, one of baseball's most engaging personalities and an ambassador for the sport, has died at the age of 93, the Major League Baseball team said on Friday.

Lasorda, who was the face of the Dodgers for more than six decades, suffered a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home late on Thursday and was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after, the team said in a statement.

"In a franchise that has celebrated such great legends of the game, no one who wore the uniform embodied the Dodger spirit as much as Tommy Lasorda," Dodgers chief executive Stan Kasten said in a news release.

"A tireless spokesman for baseball, his dedication to the sport and the team he loved was unmatched. He was a champion who at critical moments seemingly willed his teams to victory.

"The Dodgers and their fans will miss him terribly. Tommy is quite simply irreplaceable and unforgettable."

Lasorda congratulates Nomo after the Japanese pitcher's first winning game as a Dodger in June 1995. (Reuters/Kyodo)

Lasorda won two World Series, four National League pennants and eight division titles during a 20-year career as Dodgers manager.

Lasorda's connection with the Dodgers dated back to 1949, when he was drafted as a pitcher while the storied National League club was still based in New York City's Brooklyn borough.

But Lasorda's tenure in the dugouts far outshone his playing career and he eventually became one of the team's most enduring and widely recognized figures, standing out as an emblem of the ball club through several changes in ownership.


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