Former Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson has died at the age of 76. Anderson best know for managing the “Big Red Machine” in Cincinnati for nine years. He managed the Tigers for 17 seasons. Sparky died in hospice care which he had entered earlier this week. Anderson joined the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004.
Why was Sparky Anderson in the Hall of Fame?
Sparky Anderson was not inducted into the Hall of Fame for his baseball playing days. Sparky played one year in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies. Sparky put up mediocre numbers as a player and his playing days ended.
He was inducted to the Hall of Fame due to his success as a manager. When he was fired by the Cincinnati Reds he left the organization setting records for best winning percentage and number of wins by a manager. He led the Reds to four World Series and two World Series Championships. Sparky went on to have the most wins by a Detroit Tigers manager. In 1984 in a World Series I remember, the Detroit Tigers defeated the San Diego Padres. Sparky Anderson became the first manager to win World Series in both leagues. Finishing his twenty-six year career with 2,194 major league wins as manager placed Sparky Anderson 6th on the all-time list. The Championships, the win totals at both clubs, and his win totals are the reason Sparky Anderson is in the Hall of Fame.
Never Matched His Success
The Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers have not experienced the success the teams enjoyed when Sparky Anderson managed them. Perhaps Sparky benefited from the era when he managed. Perhaps economies in those cities have changed. Regardless of circumstances Sparky did win. It is quite a legacy for Sparky that his success has not been repeated.
AP Article on Fox Sports