Jo Lasorda, the widow of longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, died Monday at her home in Fullerton, California, the team announced. She was 91.
Jo's death comes nine months after her husband died of cardiac arrest at the age of 93 following years of heart issues. The couple had been married for 70 years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers family were saddened to learn of the passing of Jo Lasorda, widow of Dodgers’ Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda. Jo, 91, passed away Monday evening at 8:59 p.m. at her Fullerton home. We send our deepest condolences to the Lasorda family at this time.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 21, 2021
Tommy and Jo met in 1949 when he was a minor league player for the Single-A Greenville Spinners in South Carolina. He would marry Jo, a Greenville native, a year later.
From the Greenville News:
"I stole a young lady out of that city 64 years ago," Lasorda said. "I played there in 1949, and I married a young lady in 1950."
As Jo would later recount to the Los Angeles Times in 2011, Tommy had to borrow $500 for the wedding.
Over the course of the next several decades, Jo would build her own life out west with her husband, who was well-known for his bombastic personality on the field and in the clubhouse, but apparently not so much at home. Jo told the Times that Tommy had somehow never cursed in front of her.
She also wasn't interested in hearing his tirades on tape, including his infamously irate analysis of Dave Kingman's three-homer night against the Dodgers:
“You couldn’t pay me to listen to it,” she says. “It’s ridiculous someone doesn’t have enough adjectives that they have to use the same stupid word.”
Reminded it’s her husband who went off, she says, “I told him you have to have more words in your vocabulary than that.”
While Tommy was leading the Dodgers, Jo, a Southerner in southern California, was an active member of the community and led the fundraising for the Thomas Lasorda Jr. Field House in Yorba Linda, named in honor of the couple's son who died of AIDS in 1991. She was a breast cancer survivor, and also lived through back surgery and two knee replacements, per the Times.
After all those decades together, the Times asked her if she ever considered divorce:
“Divorce, no,” she repeats. “Murder, yes.”
Lasorda is reportedly survived by her daughter Laura, granddaughter Emily and sister Gladys Reeves.