Legendary Tigers/Reds Manager Sparky Anderson dies at 76: Sparky Anderson, the all-time leader among Tigers managers in victories, visibility and inimitable quotations, died today at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was 76.
posted by tommytrump to baseball at 03:33 PM - 20 comments
posted by BornIcon at 03:30 PM on November 03
His prime was before my time, but I do remember his class and grace after the Tigers lost the ALCS to the Twins in 1987. Sparky definitely knew his baseball. Just hoping he doesn't suffer too much...that sort of thing sucks.
posted by TheQatarian at 04:27 PM on November 03
Kind of embarrassed by it, but the picture of Sparky and Dave Concepcion just brought a tear to my eye while eating lunch in the student center. May his journey end with as little pain as possible for everyone involved.
posted by tahoemoj at 04:46 PM on November 03
Dammit. Loved me some Sparky Anderson. Here's hoping the pain is brief.
posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:09 PM on November 03
Was growing up in Michigan during the "Roar of 84". He became one of my heroes then. For anyone who hasn't read "Bless you Boys", it gives great insight into his genius of just letting his kids play, as he puts it. Can't stand the thought of losing him like this.
posted by smithnyiu at 06:35 PM on November 03
I would have sworn he was 76 years old when he appeared on WKRP back in 1979. He's had that white hair for a loooong time.
I hated the Tigers in 1987 (being a Jays fan), but I never disliked Sparky Anderson. Him and Lasorda always seemed to be the two archetype managers for me.
posted by grum@work at 10:00 PM on November 03
All my love for baseball can be traced back to me being a young-un watching both my uncle play Legion ball and the Big Red Machine coached by Sparky. Always seemed like a class act. Godspeed, Sparky.
posted by littleLebowski at 08:34 AM on November 04
I always liked Anderson's personality and his love and knowledge of baseball. Also, I had the chance to meet and talk to him years ago, as a kid, at a banquet where many athletes were in attendance. He spoke with me and my friend about who was the better pitcher in their time, Tom Seaver or Jim Palmer (my friend was a Oriole fan, and I was always looking to twist the knife a bit!). Sparky was really great with us and went through the virtues of each pitcher.
But my favorite Sparky moment was when he was going to have a sports talk show on "WKRP in Cincinnati," one of the best sitcoms ever. I loved it when Herb Tarleck, the sales manager, was in the booth annoying everyone before Sparky went on the air for the first time, and when Andy and the rest booted him out, Herb stuck his head back in and said, "Sparky, one question. Why the white hair?"
posted by dyams at 09:15 AM on November 04
The late 80s was a great time in Detroit sports. We had Sparky, Chuck Daly, Jacques Demers, and Wayne Fontes as our coaches, and all 4 teams were at least competitive. All 4 were genuine characters, with great minds for their respective games, and great love for their players and fans. Easily the era when my passion for sports was the strongest, before I became the cynical old man I am now. It pains me to the core to see the world lose someone like Sparky, but from what I know about dementia, he's pretty much already gone. Gonna miss you, old man...thanks for all you gave us...
posted by MeatSaber at 01:23 PM on November 04
Reports are Sparky Anderson has already passed on. Rest in peace.
posted by dyams at 02:19 PM on November 04
posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:45 PM on November 04
posted by tommytrump at 04:06 PM on November 04
posted by THX-1138 at 04:08 PM on November 04
posted by Demophon at 04:31 PM on November 04
I had the exact same thought. Even though I'm too young to have seen him on WKRP, I vividly remember his 1986 Topps card (the same year I became aware of professional baseball), and I thought he must have been the oldest manager ever.
posted by AaronGNP at 04:35 PM on November 04
posted by TheQatarian at 04:37 PM on November 04
From my own encyclopedia of all things sports.
Baseball Manager: see Anderson, George Lee.
posted by Howard_T at 05:05 PM on November 04
posted by ursus_comiter at 06:54 PM on November 04
I had the same thought others did. Sparky always seemed like he was in his 80s. Maybe it was his wisdom. I always liked him. Old skool. R.I.P
posted by scully at 08:11 AM on November 05
posted by yzelda4045 at 09:18 AM on November 05
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