One of my Aunts suffered from this dreadful disease from 1996-2003 and it was heartbreaking every time I walked into that nursing home almost daily to see her. Nevertheless she knew who I was and would introduce me to the same staff there daily. She just at times didn’t remember which one of her brothers I belonged to. But then there were days where she would. That was the good with the bad I wanted to project in the very early Wednesday morning blog above when it was announced he was now under Hospice care. I never imagined he’d be gone before the day ended. Nov. 4th is also the day I lost my Grandmother in 1992.
At 76 Sparky Anderson this once player then Cincinnati and Tigers manager ” The Winning-est Manager ” has left behind not only a Family filled with sorrow. But a Baseball League and countless fans with so much to remember him by. And the Tiger Fans who will never ever forget what he did for the Tigers Organization. I am more deeply saddened because I wanted to hope for better days. I know being placed in Hospice it was bad, but I figured why in the moment express it. Now we can only offer our condolences to all who knew him personally. His Family and Friends that had so much admiration for this genuinely beautiful human being. The warmth of his smile will never leave any of us. And I will never forget where I was when Kirk Gibson blasted that Grand Slam and how a City Celebrated that Victory. It was Sparky’s team. He managed it Wire to Wire and Motown will never ever forget it.
The upcoming days will be very hard for all. The tears that will flow as the video’s of the entirety of his Baseball career plays out and for the years we had him here in Detroit. Every time somebody from our local Detroit news stations sat down with him on a golf course in his later years here and interviewed him. I like many just had to watch. His personality was that enjoyable and loved. You just wanted to hear him speak and LAUGH. Well that now has been silenced for our ears but for our Hearts, Sparky Anderson will always be with us. A lot of people have left us just over the past few years, George Kell, Mark ( Bird ) Fidrych, Ernie Harwell, Bob Probert and we loved each and every single one of them. But Sparky had even more of a place in our hearts because of CATCH.
And he will never be forgotten ever in the City of Detroit.
The 1984 Tigers finished with the best record in baseball that season and a franchise best for most wins in a season, ending with a 104-58 record to win the American League East Division. The team swept the Kansas City Royals in three games to win the American League pennant and then defeated the San Diego Padres in five games during the Fall Classic. The Tigers captured the organization’s fourth World Series title on October 14 that season, in front of 51,901 fans at Tiger Stadium.
These were the attendees of the 25th Anniversary
Rod Allen (OF)
Doug Bair (RHP)
Juan Berenguer (RHP)
Dave Bergman (INF)
Tom Brookens (INF)
Darrell Evans (INF)
Barbaro Garbey (INF/OF)
Kirk Gibson (OF)
Johnny Grubb (OF)
Guillermo Hernandez (LHP)
Larry Herndon (OF)
Ruppert Jones (OF)
Jack Morris (RHP)
Lance Parrish (C)
Dan Petry (RHP)
Dave Rozema (RHP)
Bill Scherrer (LHP)
Alan Trammell (INF)
Milt Wilcox (RHP)
Sparky Anderson (Manager)
Roger Craig (Pitching Coach)
Dick Tracewski (Infield Coach)
Gates Brown (Hitting Coach)
Pio DiSalvo (Trainer)
Sparky, you inspired an entire Baseball Team of Players.
Your warmth, giving nature and spirit could never capture enough words, stories or pictures in anybody’s lifetime to epitomize you. As a manager you lit the teams you coached to Pennants and World Series in both the National and American leagues. As a Man your kindness and generosity have helped and will continue to help beyond all of our passings. And you will forever be our NUMBER 1.
For 17 years you were ours as in Detroit’s. Yes 1984’s team had the Talent. But it took a magnificent pilot to guide them to the Victory. Somewhere in Heaven God must be putting together a Baseball Teams of greats. He even has in place the Play Booth with George and Ernie.
He’s got a Bird to Fly and now he has a Mentor with the biggest heart to teach. He has TIGERS…… The Best and the cream of the crop.
You took a team, you grabbed a city and you did it with every bit of Class anybody could have asked for. We Thank You from the bottom of our Hearts where there will always be a place that you sit.
May God Speed to all that were close to you and may they always know that Sparky Anderson is the better part of all of us.
AND WITH SPARKY, WE WERE MORE THAN BLESSED!