News came today that the baseball world lost one of its’ managerial legends with the passing of Sparky Anderson. Anderson was a bit before my time, retiring after the 1995 season, but I had definitely heard of him and knew that he had accomplished a lot as both the manager of the Reds and the Tigers.
According to his Baseball-Reference.com manager page, Anderson became the manager of the Cincinnati Reds for the 1970 season, and proceeded immediately to lead the team to a 102-60 record and the National League pennant. He was the manager for the famous Big Red Machine, leading the Reds to the 1975 and 1976 World Series championships, and only finished out of the top 2 in the NL West once season out of the 9 years he managed the team. He was unceremoniously fired after the 1978 season despite this performance, and ended up as the manager of the Tigers during the 1979 season. He would spend the next 17 season as the manager of the Tigers, winning 2 AL East titles and the 1984 World Series.
Some key accomplishments in his career, according to his Wikipedia page:
- He was the first manager to win the World Series in both leagues (1975-1976 with the Reds, 1984 with the Tigers)
- He was the AL Manager of the Year twice (1984, 1987)
- He finished his career 3rd on the all-time managerial wins list when he retired, and is currently 6th on the list now.
- He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2000 by the Veterans Committee.
- His #10 was retired by the Reds, and his #11 has been inactive with the Tigers since his retirement.
Anderson seemed to be widely viewed as a class act, and one of the game’s greats. He will definitely be missed, and while a lot of that will be centered around Cincinnati and Detroit, the whole baseball world has lost a legend today.