Magic Johnson Remembers ‘Mr. Dodger’ Tommy Lasorda in Moving Post

by Suzanne Halliburton

Magic Johnson, the quintessential Los Angeles Laker, paid tribute to Tommy Lasorda, another of LA’s sporting icons.

Johnson did so as a friend of Lasorda and as the co-owner of Lasorda’s beloved Dodgers. Johnson bought the team in 2012.

Tommy Lasorda, the long-time manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, died Thursday night of a heart attack. He was 93. The city and all of the country’s baseball fans woke up to the news of the passing of the charismatic, brilliant Lasorda, who managed Dodgers for 20 years and led them to two World Series titles.

Johnson posted a photo of the two of them sitting at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game. He then paid homage to the man he called “Mr. Dodger.”

Johnson posted on Twitter: “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.” Cookie (Johnson) and I are praying for the entire Lasorda family. May he RIP.”

Tommy Lasorda had been in poor health in recent months. He was hospitalized in November due to an undisclosed illness. He was released from the hospital earlier this week and died at his home. The Dodgers said in a statement: “Lasorda suffered a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home at 10:09 p.m. He was transported to the hospital with resuscitation in progress. He was pronounced dead at 10:57 p.m.”

Magic Johnson and Tommy Lasorda Owned LA in the 1980s

Johnson and Lasorda starred during a glittering period for Los Angeles sports. Lasorda was manager from 1976 through 1996. Johnson became point guard of the Lakers in 1979. He officially retired the same year as Lasorda.

Lasorda won World Series titles in 1981 and 1988. He also led LA to four National League pennants and eight division titles. Meanwhile, Johnson and the Lakers “Showtime” won the NBA title his rookie season and four more times during the 1980s.

In all, Lasorda worked for his beloved Dodgers for a half-century. Four years after his retirement as a manager, he led the U.S. baseball team to the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

The last time the public saw Lasorda was during game six of the 2020 World Series. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball moved the World Series to Arlington, Texas. The Dodgers clinched the title that night, it’s first since Lasorda was in the dugout, turning in the lineup card.

For more Outsider coverage of Tommy Lasorda, click here.