Sparky Anderson Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Childhood and Early Life
American baseball coach Sparky Anderson was born George Anderson on the 22 February 1934 in Bridgewater, South Dakota. When he was eight years old, his family relocated to Los Angeles.
Sparky Anderson was educated at the Susan Miller Dorsey High School in Los Angeles, California.
Rise to Fame
After playing amateur baseball in Southern California, Sparky Anderson signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1953). By 1955, Anderson was the every-day second baseman for the Double-A Fort Worth Cats. After the 1958 season, the Dodgers traded Anderson to the Phillies. In 1959, he won the second base position. He then produced 12 extra base hits and 34 RBI and was returned to the minors. He was then with Toronto of the International League (1960-1963), after which he retired.
In 1964, Sparky Anderson aged 30, took over as manager of Toronto. He went on to manage four minor league teams before serving as a third base coach with the San Diego Padres in 1969. In October 1969, he was named manager of the Reds.
Under his coaching, the Reds reached the National League pennant in 1970. In 1975 and 1976, the Reds won back-to-back World Series titles. In 1978, he was dismissed by the Reds. He joined the Tigers halfway through the 1979 season, leading them into the World Series where they defeated the Padres. The Tigers won the American League East (1987). Anderson retired after the 1995 season. His record is 2,194-1,834 wins, ranking at No.6 on the all-time list.
After retiring as a manager, Sparky Anderson worked in the media as a baseball commentator including CBS’s radio coverage of the World Series.
Sparky Anderson founded the CATCH organisation in Detroit in 1987. The organisation provides care for children seriously ill whose parents are financially unable to do so.
Awards and Achievements
In 2000, Sparky Anderson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as well as the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. In May 2005, his No.10 jersey was retired by the Reds. He was also inducted into the Canadian Base Ball Hall of Fame (2007). He was the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues He was also the only baseball manager to lead two franchises in career wins.
Sparky Anderson married Carol Valle on the 3 October 1953.
He died on the 4 November 2010 at the age of 76.