MLB Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda passed away on Jan. 7 at the age of 93 after suffering a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest at his home. The Los Angeles Dodgers confirmed the news and sparked tributes from many sports fans, including musician Justin Timberlake. The man responsible for "Cry Me a River" posted a long message about Lasorda on Instagram and shared a heartwarming story.
Timberlake posted a photo that showed him and Lasorda backstage at SNL. He said that the baseball legend had wanted to see him rehearsing in his element during a hosting stint. "A real legend and one hell of a man," he wrote. Timberlake then shared a story about Lasorda helping him surprise his stepfather with an epic birthday gift.
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"My stepdad, Paul was always a big fan and on one of his birthdays my good friend [Eytan Sugarman] helped me surprise him with a dinner with Mr. Lasorda (he insisted I call him Tommy. I still always called him Mr. Lasorda)," Timberlake explained. "He shows up at my apartment in NYC and told my stepdad (who was awestruck) all the stories behind their legendary wins and losses, and his amazing career. He stayed far longer than I could ever have asked for and was so happy to be there and put a Cheshire Cat smile on my stepdad’s face. This, maybe the most, spoke to his heart and character because I’ve heard so many stories like my own about his generosity and humility."
Timberlake is one of the many high-profile figures that shared condolences and reminisced about Lasorda. Country superstar Tim McGraw was among this group and showed a photo of him and the baseball legend enjoying a game together. "Got to hang with Mr. Lasorda at a game a few years back... He told me some great stories about my Dad 'Tug.' I'll always cherish that conversation. Rest well in baseball heaven skip," McGraw wrote in the caption of his Instagram post.
Similarly, Magic Johnson talked about his previous interactions with Lasorda at home games. "For the last 8 years I’ve sat next to Tommy at every Dodgers game and he taught me invaluable lessons on the strategy and history of baseball," the retired NBA star wrote on Twitter.
Following the news of Lasorda's death, Dodgers fans flocked to the ballpark to show their love. They left flowers and tributes to a growing memorial. Many have also begun buying his jersey in order to represent an icon in the coming years.