On November 4, 2010 Sparky Anderson died at the age of 76 at his home. His death was a result of complications from dementia. He left behind a wife, three children, nine grandchildren, and a legacy that will remain for years. He was much loved in Cincinnati and Detroit, the two cities where he coached and helped bring home pennants. He is known as much for his boisterous behavior and his Yogi Berra-like sayings as for his baseball accomplishments.
Sparky Anderson was the first baseball manager in history to win a World Series in both baseball leagues, the American League and the National League. This was a feat not repeated until the 2006 World Series by Tony La Russa. Sparky Anderson’s World Series wins were in 1975, 1976 and 1984. His Cincinnati Reds number was retired and his Detroit Tigers number has remained inactive since he retired after the baseball player strike of 1994. The ‘Sparky Anderson Baseball Field’ was completed in 2006 at California Lutheran University and the Detroit Tigers hosted a Sparky Anderson Day at Comerica Field.
Sparky Anderson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. He was very proud of this accomplishment and considered the Hall of Fame very precious. When asked about his success as a coach he is famously quoted discussing the two types of baseball managers. “One, it ain’t very smart. He gets bad players, loses games and gets fired. There was somebody like me that I was a genius. I got good players, stayed out of the way, let ‘em win a lot, and then just hung around for 26 years.”