Rest in Peace George “Sparky” Anderson.
Today Hall of Fame Manager Sparky Anderson passed away in his hometown of Thousand Oaks, California. As a child I always liked Sparky & The Tigers for reasons that I can not really explain to this day. I think it has to do with the fact that I loved Tiger Stadium (even though I never visited the place) and their Manager seemed so interesting to me. I remember when I first started collecting Baseball cards around 1st & 2nd grade and finding his cards in packs. I still remember being memorized by the white haired Manager of the Tigers. He looked like he had an aura of Baseball wisdom surrounding him and I felt like “THIS is what a Baseball Manager is supposed to look like!”
As I got older and learned more about him I realized that the man was one of the greatest Managers in Baseball history as he was the first Manager to win a World Series for both a AL & NL team (beating my Padres in 1984) and from what I have learned treated his players with a level of understanding and respect that many Managers are incapable of. When Sparky retired after the 1995 season I remember being shocked seeing Buddy Bell as the skipper of the Tigers in 1996, it just didn’t seem right to me.
All in all, today should be a sad today for Baseball fans, no matter what teams you root for. Baseball lost a legend today and his career should be celebrated. Rest In Peace Sparky.