Tommy Lasorda’s Cause of Death: How Did Dodgers Legend Die?

tommy lasorda death

Getty Tommy Lasorda, arguably one of the greatest managers in MLB history, died on January 7, 2021.

Tommy Lasorda, arguably one of the greatest managers in MLB history, died on January 7, 2021, as first reported by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 93.

The Hall of Fame manager, who captained the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976 to 1996 led the franchise to 1,599 regular-season wins, four National League pennants, and two World Series titles.

As for Lasorda’s cause of death, he suffered sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at home at 10:09 p.m. PT on Thursday. On Friday morning, the Dodgers released a statement saying Lasorda suffered “a sudden cardiac arrest at his California home and was transported to the hospital with resuscitation in progress.” He died on Thursday night at 10:57 p.m. PT.

Back in November, he was hospitalized in Orange County, California, and placed in intensive care. After a few weeks, Lasorda was moved into the rehab center where he stayed months. On January 5, Lasorda was finally discharged and returned to his home.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Jo Lasorda, their daughter, Laura, and granddaughter Emily Tess.

The Dodgers legend hasn’t been seen in public since Game 6 of the 2020 World Series in Arlington, Texas, ESPN reported. During that game, he watched as the Dodgers clinched their first championship win since 1988.

“It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Tommy Lasorda,” Dodgers’ fan account Pantone 294 tweeted. “Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and the Dodger Organization. He wanted nothing more than to witness a WS Championship before he died. We are happy he got to see that wish fulfilled. RIP Tommy.”

What Is Cardiopulmonary Arrest? Is it the Same as a Heart Attack?

Tommy lasorda death

GettyFormer Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda looks on from the dugout as he serves as an honorary coach during the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on September 22, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Cardiopulmonary arrest, which is also known as cardiac arrest, “is the cessation of effective ventilation and circulation,” according to the National Institute of Health. However, cardiac arrest is not also a “heart attack,” a mix-up commonly made, according to the American Heart Association.

“While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest, the two terms do not mean the same thing,” AHA states on their website:

Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack (or myocardial infarction) refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply. Heart attack can be understood as a “circulation” problem. A heart attack is quite serious, sometimes fatal.

By contrast, cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. The heart stops beating properly. Hence the name: The heart’s pumping function is “arrested,” or stopped.

When a person experiences cardiac arrest, it typically results in death if cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, isn’t immediately performed followed by a defibrillator, which “is used to shock the heart and restore a normal heart rhythm within a few minutes.”

Irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, can sometimes cause cardiac arrest, as can ventricular fibrillation, which means the “heart’s lower chambers suddenly start beating chaotically and don’t pump blood,” according to AHA.

Tributes to Lasorda Filled Twitter Following the News of His Death

GettyTommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the game against the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium on July 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

The Dodgers’ official statement on Lasorda’s death included moving tributes by Hall of Fam broadcaster Viny Scully, Mark Walter, the team’s owner and chairman, and Stan Kasten, who’s president and CEO of the franchise.

On Twitter, all major sports outlets and Dodgers fans shared statements on Lasorda’s death. Starting 9 shared a famous quote of Lasorda, “There are 3 types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”

Action Network HQ’s Darren Rovell tweeted, “Celebrating Tommy Lasorda’s life is not hard. Two World Series Rings. Ate everything he wanted. Drank everything he wanted. 70 Years in the same work uniform. Lived For 93 Years. Absolute Legend.”

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