Tommy Lasorda walks with an American flag draped across his left shoulder after guiding the U.S. to Olympic gold at Sydney 2000

Tommy Lasorda, who managed U.S. baseball to Olympic gold, passes away





By Josh Barr

Tommy Lasorda, the only person to manage Olympic and World Series champions, passed away on January 7. He was 93.

Lasorda was perhaps best known for guiding the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles during his 21-year tenure. He retired from the Dodgers in 1996 and the following year was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The charismatic Lasorda was 73 years old when he managed the U.S. Olympic baseball team at Sydney 2000. It was the first Olympic Games to include professional players, though the roster did not include any active major leaguers and Lasorda admittedly was unfamiliar with his roster.

We aren’t going 6,000 miles to lose,” Lasorda said before the team traveled to Australia.

Doug Mientkiewicz hit a walkoff home run in the semifinals to beat South Korea, 3-2, then pitcher Ben Sheets shut out two-time defending champion Cuba in the final, 4-0. Lasorda cried when the U.S. players received their gold medals – a triumph that was labeled Miracle on Grass and remains the only time the U.S. Olympic baseball team has won gold.

“This may have been the biggest upset since David slew Goliath,” Lasorda said. “I really think it was a miracle.”

Baseball was removed from the Olympic program following Beijing 2008 but returns this summer at Tokyo.

About the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum offers an immersive and universally accessible look into the journey of Team USA’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Through interactive exhibits, innovative displays, and a comprehensive artifact collection, the Museum instills the Olympic values of excellence, friendship, and respect, as well as the Paralympic values of determination, equality, inspiration, and courage in every visitor. It honors yesterday’s legends with the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame while inspiring tomorrow’s legends through entertaining activities and events. The USOPM is more than a museum but a life-changing experience that will continue to educate and inspire the public to take part for generations to come.

Recent Posts


From athlete meet & greets to exciting Museum programming, our Diamond Cuts newsletter has you covered. Sign up to receive the latest events and happenings at the Museum. Take part.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Skip to content