Former Major League Baseball manager Sparky Anderson has been placed in hospice care in his Thousand Oaks, California home. The legendary Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds manager, born George Lee Anderson, was suffering from issues arising from his dementia.
A family spokesperson, Dan Ewald, spoke about Anderson’s condition, “It’s the type of ailment that takes a toll over time.”
76-year-old Sparky Anderson set the all-time record for the Tigers with 2,194 wins over 17 years. He managed the team from the middle of the season in 1979 until 1995 and led them to a 1984 World Series title. He ranks third in major league history in terms of total wins. In 2000, Sparky Anderson was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame–a fitting way to end his run as a legendary manager.
Sparky Anderson gave a humble acceptance speech for the honor and said:
The players are the ones who earn their way into Hall of Fame. Managers like me, we just ride in on their backs.
Not only was Sparky Anderson a manager, he also played the Phillies second baseman for one season in 1959. From 1970 until 1978, Anderson managed the Cincinnati Reds and helped them clench two World Series titles in 1975 and 1976.
Sparky Anderson was an inspiration to be around. Reds owner Bob Castellini said in a statement, “We are very sad to hear the news of Sparky’s failing health. Every day here we are reminded of his contribution to the success of this proud franchise.”