November 4, 2010

Sparky Anderson (1934-2010)

Well...that didn't take long.

A day after it was announced that he was in hospice care, the world is saying goodbye to 2000 Hall of Fame inductee Sparky Anderson.

The outspoken former manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers died this afternoon in Thousand Oaks, California from complications from dementia.

Anderson retired from managing after the 1995 season, finishing with a lifetime record of 2194–1834 (good for a .545 winning percentage). While most of his career was spent in Detroit (1979-1995), his plaque in Cooperstown shows him donning the cap of the Reds, whom he managed from 1970 to 1978.

The skipper guided the "Big Red Machine" to World Series championships in 1975 and 1976 and then led Detroit to the 1984 title.

"Sparky is one of the nicest persons you could ever know. (He's a) dedicated family man and he loves baseball," former Tigers pitcher Milt Wilcox (who played for Anderson from 1980-1985) told The Hall exclusively. "I was lucky to get to see and talk to him earlier this year in Detroit!"

On May 28, 2005, during pre-game ceremonies in Cincinnati, Anderson's number 10, was retired by the Reds.  His number with the Detroit Tigers, (number 11), has been inactive since he retired in 1995, but has not been formally retired. 

Something tells me that will be remedied soon.

Sparky Anderson was 76.

For an excellent, comprehensive look back at the Hall of Famer's career...check out The Baseball Page.

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