The Baseball World Loses Sparky Anderson

It’s been a sad few months for major league baseball who lost several prominent names such as Bob Sheppard, George Steinbrenner, Ernie Harwell and now Sparky Anderson. Sadly only one day after being placed in hospice care Anderson who was only 76 years-old passed away on Thursday from complications of demintia. During the 1970’s Anderson made his mark as a manager as he led the Cincinnati Reds to connsecutive World Series championships in 1975 and ’76. In his nine year tenure with Cincinnati, Anderson managed to not only win 863 games but also gain the respect and admiration of his players. “Sparky was, by far, the best manager I ever played for,” said Reds first baseman and the all time hits leader Pete Rose. “He understood people better than anyone I ever met. His players loved him, he loved his players, and he loved the game of baseball. There isn’t another person in baseball like Sparky Anderson. He gave his whole life to the game.” Following his years in Cincinnati Anderson came to Detroit where he would go on to register 1,331 wins during his 17 years as manager of the Tigers. In 1984 Anderson would officially become the first manager to win World Series Championships in both leagues when he led the Tigers to a title.”Being a good baseball player and person went hand-in-hand with him,” said Alan Trammell, the 1984 World Series MVP. “He wanted us to put our dirty clothes in the bin so that the clubhouse guys didn’t have to pick up after us. Anderson whose real name was George earned his nickname in the minor leagues where he played with a lot of spirit and energy as an infielder. His only experience in the major leagues came in 1959 when with the Philadelphia Phillies he only hit .218. In 2000 only five years after he retired as the Tigers skipper Anderson was elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. The only managers with more wins that Anderson are Connie Mack, John McGraw, Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre. Anderson who was a two-time AL Manager of the Year award winner finished up with a 2,194-1,834 record.

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