Reactions to the death of Tommy Lasorda

Reactions to the death of Tommy Lasorda
Hall of Fame and former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda passed away at the age of 93. Former Los Angeles Dodger manager Tommy Larsorda before a baseball game between Korea and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch Stadium on Thursday March 12. 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. (Keith Birmingham/The Orange County Register via AP)

By The Associated Press

Reactions to the death of Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. He died Thursday at the age of 93:

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“He was bigger than life. He was the most amazing person I’ve ever been around. He knew everyone’s name. He knew every story. He knew every pitch that was ever thrown and every at-bat that he ever saw. He could captivate an audience, whether it was the girls’ softball team in the Olympics or the world press corps at the White House. He was an amazing person in that he did more of everything. He stayed up later than everybody else. He ate more food than everybody else. He told more stories than everybody else. He gave more signs than anyone else. In a World Series that he won in 1988, they had 18 hit-and-runs on to beat the Oakland Athletics. There are teams now that don’t have 18 hit-and-runs in an entire season. So he did more. And the bite that he took out of the apple was the apple of life and he took a big bite.” — Bobby Valentine, who played for Lasorda and later managed in the majors.

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“Tommy Lasorda was one of the finest managers our game has ever known. He loved life as a Dodger. His passion, success, charisma and sense of humor turned him into an international celebrity, a stature that he used to grow our sport. Tommy welcomed Dodger players from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea and elsewhere — making baseball a stronger, more diverse and better game. Tommy loved family, the United States, the national pastime and the Dodgers, and he made them all proud during a memorable baseball life.” — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

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“You have to know who to pat on the back, when to pat him on the back, when you have to kick them in the butt and when you have to stroke them a little bit. And Tommy had that gift, to know what players needed what. The timing was always on the money with Tommy.” — former Dodgers catcher and major league manager Mike Scioscia.

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“My wife, Sue, and I are deeply saddened by the passing of our wonderful friend, Tommy Lasorda. Besides being a great manager and Hall of Famer, Tommy was a devoted supporter of the game of baseball. He and I were both proud and often talked about his role as manager of the gold medal-winning United States team at the 2000 Olympics. Tommy was one of the sport’s primary spokespersons on a daily basis throughout his adult life. All of baseball will miss him.” — Former MLB commissioner Bud Selig.

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“Laura and I are saddened by the death of Tommy Lasorda. The baseball great was full of life throughout his 93 remarkable years. He was a good player, a smart manager, and a fine ambassador for our national pastime. I’ll never forget his energy leading his beloved Dodgers — or stepping in as third base coach for a tee ball game on the South Lawn of the White House. I believe he loved only his country, his wife Jo, and his family more than baseball.” — former President George W. Bush.

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“Tommy Lasorda, this wonderful man, Hall of Famer in baseball and in life, this is him, so much joy. 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, sir and thank you. — Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen.

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“It is not his love of life, his love of a good pasta dinner, his love of friends, his love of baseball. It is the support and encouragement he gave our young players. And that was constant throughout his life. … He was committed to players. He was committed to the organization. He was committed to the city. He was committed to the fans. His commitment — he was all in, and everything he did, he did nothing at all 90%.” — former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley.

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“Rest In Peace Tommy. One of the most passionate and entertaining people I’ve been around in my life. Tough, tough day.” — Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler.

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“I will miss our conversations about the Dodgers & the Lakers. He meant the world to the Dodgers organization, MLB, and to the city of Los Angeles. He will always be known to Dodger Nation as `Mr. Dodger.′ — Lakers great and Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson.

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“In my 54 years in MLB I don’t think I met a more magnetic, jovial man who loved the game as much as Tommy Lasorda did. A man who all he had to say was `hello’ and I would be in hysterics. And when Tommy Lasorda knew who I was , I knew I had officially arrived.” — former MLB executive Tony Siegle.