Friday, November 5, 2010
R.I.P. Sparky Anderson
Baseball lost a noble champion and a true treasure yesterday with the passing of former Cincinnati and Detroit manager Sparky Anderson. While he's celebrated most for being the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues, Anderson's real gift to baseball was his personality.
For a game that's been widely likened to watching grass grow, baseball produces a disproportionate share of colorful characters, and Anderson was foremost among them. Baseball was never boring when Anderson was involved, not only because he knew the game so well, but because he loved to share his knowledge and passion - not just with his players, but with reporters and fans with whom so many other managers couldn't be bothered.
There are no hollow platitudes in the tributes to Sparky Anderson. He was everything he's being remembered as - smart, kind, gentle, funny, humble and courageous. It speaks volumes about his character that there are at least as many fond memories of Anderson the man as there are of the manager.