Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sparky Anderson Dies at Age 76

Sparky Anderson, a Hall of Fame manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers, passed away today at the age of 76.

I'm surprised to hear he was only 76. I remember him from the 1980s and he looked like an older man then. Must have been his white hair and the fact that in 1985 I was fifteen and EVERYONE looked old to me.

Anderson won 2,194 games as a manager, which was the third-highest total in major league history when he retired, trailing Connie Mack and John McGraw. He now stands sixth, also trailing Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre.

Anderson was the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues and the only manager to lead two franchises in career wins.

He led Cincinnati's Big Red Machine to World Series wins in both 1975 and 1976. He won the National League pennant four times in Cincinnati from 1970-78. He was was fired after consecutive second-place finishes in 1980.

Anderson went to the American League and won there, too, directing the Tigers to a World Series title in 1984 and a division title in 1987. He retired after the 1995 season and was added to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee.

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