Dodgers fans share memories of Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda

"It didn't matter what type of day he was having. He would stop and take pictures with the fans."
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dodgers fans all across California are paying tribute to Tommy Lasorda, who died Thursday evening at home. He was 93.

Michelle Santisteban of Montebello said she has been to Dodger Stadium more than 600 times. She showed up at the stadium on Friday morning with flowers to honor him.

"My heart was broken, tears, just speaking about it, it's sad that we've lost a legend," said Santisteban. "He was a legend."

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Valente Quintero, known as "Baseball Head" because of the way he always paints Dodgers images on his body at games, said Lasorda will always be remembered for being a winner with the Dodgers.

"He would always put a smile on peoples' faces," said Quintero. "It didn't matter what type of day he was having. He would stop and take pictures with the fans."

Of course, Tommy Lasorda was also known for his antics on the baseball field, and language that could be colorful at times.

"I remember there was an interview after (Dodgers opponent) Dave Kingman hit three or four home runs against the team," said Dodgers fan Cameron Coy, who has held season tickets for 25 years. "And a reporter asked him innocently enough about what he thought of Kingman's performance.

"And (Lasorda) went on this profanity laced tirade."

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Lasorda was always seen having fun, with many fans remembering him for jokingly getting into a fight with the mascot of the Philadelphia Phillies. And Lasorda never minded if the joke was on him; a memorable video clip showed Lasorda falling over backwards while coaching along the third baseline in another game.

"Tommy was kind of a rock star," said Dodger's public address announcer Todd Leitz. "He was certainly a fixture at Dodger Stadium. He was just always there, it was something that provided continuity from Dodger history up to the present day."

The last World Series of Lasorda's career as manager for the Dodgers was in 1988, where the Dodgers triumphed over the Oakland Athletics. But Lasorda was able to witness the Dodgers become champions once again in 2020. That was just three months ago.

"He did get his final wish of getting to watch the Dodgers win the World Series before he passed away," said David Vassegh of AM570 LA Sports. "That's the blessing in all of this. And in talking with all the players who played for Tommy, this is not a somber day for them.

"It's the celebration of life for a man who lived 93 years and lived life to the fullest."
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