Former L.A. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda undergoes pacemaker surgery

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FILE PHOTO: Hall of Fame manager Lasorda throws first pitch at World Baseball Classic game between Venezuela and Italy in Kissimmee

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, the baseball Hall of Fame great who led his team to two World Series championships in the 1980s, has undergone surgery to replace his pacemaker, the club said on Friday.

The team confirmed last Saturday that the 89-year-old Lasorda was hospitalized, without revealing any further details, after the Orange County Register reported that he had been admitted to an intensive care unit.

Lasorda is in his 68th season as part of the Dodgers organization. He has served for the past 11 years as special adviser to the team’s chairman, following decades as a player, scout, manager and front-office executive.

In a message posted on the Dodgers’ Twitter account on Friday, the team said: “Tommy Lasorda underwent surgery to replace his pacemaker yesterday. He’s doing well and looking forward to returning to Dodger Stadium.”

A spokesman for the team declined to elaborate, except to say that Lasorda was “resting comfortably.”

Lasorda has had a history of heart problems and was hospitalized in 2012 after suffering what the team described as a minor heart attack.

More recently, he was hospitalized for 10 or 11 days in October, for a variety of reported issues, but was released in time to attend Game 3 of the National League Championship Series between Los Angeles and the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.

He appeared at Dodger Stadium last month for the unveiling of a statue honoring All-Star Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who joined the Brooklyn Dodgers lineup in 1947 as the first African American to play in the Major League Baseball.

During Lasorda’s 20-year tenure as Dodgers manager ending in 1996, he compiled a 1,599-1,439 regular-season record, leading the team to World Series victories in 1981 and 1988, as well as to four National League pennants and eight division championships.

He returned to the dugouts to manage the U.S. Olympic baseball team to a gold medal victory during the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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