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Updated: November 4, 2010
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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Baseball-great and former Manager Sparky Anderson passed away


...Sparky Anderson...
(1934 - 2010)

THOUSAND OAKS, California (USA) - Former Major League-Manager and baseball great Sparky Anderson has passed away on Thursday, November 4 at the age of 76. Three days ago, he was admitted to a hospite care in Thousand Oaks (where he had lived almost his entire live) due to complications from dementia.

George Lee Anderson had been in professional baseball for 42 years, including 30 as a Manager. The always smiling baseball personality played one season in the Major League when he was a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1959 and batted .218.

After he made his managerial debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Triple-A in 1964, he made his debut as Major League-Manager in 1970 when he was with the Cincinnati Reds. At that time, despite being only 36, he already had turned gray and his white hair became his trademark throughout his career. He managed the Reds from 1970-1978, leading them to four championships in the National League. In 1975, Cincinnati won the World Series in a 7-game classic vs. the Boston Red Sox. A year later, the Reds swept the New York Yankees in the World Series in another classic, as this was a confrontation with another legendary Manager, Billy Martin. Playing for the Reds, which were known as 'The Big Red Machine' in those days, were players like Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, Ken Griffey, Sr. and George Foster. His uniform number 10 was later retired by the Reds.

In 1979, he Managed in his first of 17 seasons (1979-1995) with the Detroit Tigers, with whom he won the World Series in 1984. The Tigers then played against the San Diego Padres and playing in one game for the Padres back then was Bruce Bochy, who last weekend won the World Series as Manager of the San Francisco Giants. Playing for the Tigers were Kirk Gibson (who is the current Detroit-Manager), Alan Trammell, Lance Parrish and Jack Morris.

In 1984 and 1987, Anderson was named Manager of the Year, while he also managed five All Star Games in his long and successful career. Last year, Anderson returned to the field in Detroit to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the championship-title of the Tigers. His last visit to a baseball game was last May when he visited an interleague-game of the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Detroit Tigers in Los Angeles, which is closeby Thousands Oaks. Anderson, who was known almost only by his nickname Sparky instead of his birthname, became the first Manager to win a World Series-championship in both leagues. In his 26 Major League-seasons, Anderson managed 4030 games and registered 2194 victories, which is sixth on the all-time list. In his nine seasons in Cincinnati, he won 863 games, in his 17 seasons at Detroit he won 1331. With this, he became the only Manager who has the most career wins with two different clubs. In 2000, Anderson was elected into the Hall of Fame.

(November 4)

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