The city of Fullerton proclaimed it “Tommy Lasorda Day” Wednesday in honor of the late Los Angeles Dodgers manager and longtime city resident, and also held a moment of silence for Jo Lasorda, the baseball legend’s widow, who died Monday at age 91.
Wednesday would have been Tommy Lasorda’s 94th birthday, and the city was already planning a daylong string of events, including signing a Sister City covenant with Tollo, Italy, in honor of Tommy Lasorda’s parents. With Jo Lasorda dying on Monday, the city added a moment of silence to the day’s events in her honor.
On Tuesday night, the Fullerton City Council also held a moment of silence for Mrs. Lasorda.
“We’re very saddened by the news” of Mrs. Lasorda’a death, said city spokeswoman Anissa Livas.
Tommy and Jo Lasorda lived in Fullerton for some 68 years, according to the city.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers family were saddened to learn of the passing of Jo Lasorda,” the Dodgers said in a statement Tuesday announcing Jo Lasorda’s death. “She was surrounded by her loved ones at her home.”
Jo Lasorda died at 8:59 p.m. Monday, according to the team. No cause of death was given.
Tommy Lasorda died Jan. 7 at age 93. The two were married on April 14, 1950 — a 70-year union.
At Wednesday’s event in Fullerton, the Lasordas’ daughter, Laura, told ABC7 she is comforted knowing her parents are reunited.
“I think that if you’ve been married happily for 70 years, which I don’t know how many people can actually say that, but to witness it and experience it and the two of them being together, the eight or nine months that they were apart, I think that this is the best birthday present that my father could get, is having my mother by his side in heaven,” she said. “So I’m going to be a little happier than I am sad. But the two of them really did walk hand in hand all those years.”
Tommy Lasorda managed the Dodgers for 20 years, from 1976 to 1996, leading the team to two World Series championships. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 1997.
Jo Lasorda was born Joan Miller in Greenville, S.C., on March 14, 1930, and met Tommy Lasorda at a Greenville Spinners minor league baseball game in 1949, when he was a left-handed pitcher for the then-Brooklyn Dodgers’ farm team.
Jo Lasorda is survived by their daughter, Laura; a granddaughter, Emily Tess; and a sister, Gladys Reeves of Greenville, S.C. A son, Tom Lasorda Jr., died in 1991.
Funeral services were pending.