Generally, I am against non-players in the Hall of Fame. Managers, general managers, commissioners…let them have a special wing dedicated to them, but keep the Hall of Fame portion for players only. But I have a soft spot for Sparky Anderson. He was the man that led the Reds to four World Series appearances and two Championships in the 1970s…the skipper of the Big Red Machine! But he didn’t stop there…
In 1984, Sparky led the Detroit Tigers to the World Championship, becoming the first manager to win the World Series in both the National and American Leagues. I guess if you have to include managers in the Hall of Fame, Sparky is a pretty solid choice.
February 22, 1934
The greatest manager in Reds history, Sparky Anderson skippered the club during the famous “Big Red Machine” era of the 1970s. The Reds won 863 games, four National League Pennants, and two World Championships with “Captain Hook” at the helm. Anderson joined the Detroit Tigers in 1979, and became the first manager to win a World Series in both leagues in 1984. Anderson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000 along with one of his greatest clutch players with the Reds, Tony Perez.
I thought it would be interesting to go back through the years and see how many teams have won the World Series without a Hall of Fame player (managers are not under consideration). The most recent team to win with a HOFer was the 1996 Yankees with Wade Boggs, but that will change very soon with Pedro Martinez (2004 Red Sox) likely going in next year. Prior to the 1997 Marlins, you have to go back to 1988 to find a Famerless team (though Don Sutton did play part of the year in LA). Two other teams in the 80s accomplished the feat (1984 Tigers and 1981 Dodgers); as far as I can determine no older team won without at least one Hall of Famer on the roster.
Below are the Famerless World Series winners. Player names in italics are potential future Famers in my opinion. While the Giants and Red Sox and even the ’08 Phillies have a few that could one day be considered Cooperstown worthy, it is doubtful anyone from the 2002 Angels squad will be enshrined.
- 2013 Red Sox
- 2012 Giants
- 2011 Cardinals (Albert Pujols)
- 2010 Giants
- 2009 Yankees (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera)
- 2008 Phillies
- 2007 Red Sox (Curt Schilling)
- 2006 Cardinals (Pujols, Scott Rolen)
- 2005 White Sox (Paul Konerko) (* Frank Thomas was with the team, but did not play in the postseason. Can’t remember why, injury maybe?)
- 2004 Red Sox (Schilling, Martinez)
- 2003 Marlins (Miguel Cabrera)
- 2002 Angels
- 2001 Diamondbacks (Schilling, Randy Johnson)
- 2000 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera)
- 1999 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera)
- 1998 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera, Tim Raines)
- 1997 Marlins
- 1988 Dodgers (* Sutton played during the season, but was released in August)
- 1984 Tigers (Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris)
- 1981 Dodgers (dare I say Steve Garvey?)
Of course, the Dodgers had Tom Lasorda and the Tigers had Sparky Anderson leading them to the promised land, so even without any future Famers in the field, the teams had brilliant minds in the dugout.
Sparky Anderson, Jim O’Toole, Eric Davis, and Barry Larkin will be the first four bobbleheads offered to Reds Hall of Fame visitors on select days this season. A photo of the Davis figure was posted on the Reds Hall of Fame Twitter account today…
Pretty nifty, eh?
Become a member of the best team Hall of Fame in the country! Details here!
This is my team. As news began breaking that Joey Votto had signed a long-term deal with the club, I received my requested Cincinnati Reds fan pack in the mail. And wow…what a fan pack it is! A couple of schedules, four stickers, a set of baseball cards, a necklace, and a frame-able Sparky Anderson painting! This is how you do fan packs, folks.
Here’s their score:
The inclusion of pocket schedule(s) = 1 point (two schedules, featuring Brandon Phillips)
Stickers = 4 (two of each different design)
Trading cards = 29 (the entire team set that was given away at GABP last year)
High-quality promotional items = 2 (Sparky Anderson 8.5×11 artwork that will be hanging on my wall soon, and a necklace that has a flashing light on it)
Other stuff = 0
Timeliness = 10 points
TOTAL SCORE = 46 POINTS
And here we have our first individual who has had two different uniform numbers retired.
Sparky Anderson, Detroit Tigers
The Cincinnati Reds retired #10 in Anderson’s honor in 2005; the Tigers retired #11 in 2011. “Captain Hook” was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000 and passed away in 2010.
Carl Hubbell, New York Giants
Jim Fregosi, Los Angeles/California Angels
Luis Aparicio, Chicago White Sox
Paul Waner, Pittsburg Pirates
This group includes a few of the most hotly debated Hall of Famers in Dawson, Rizzuto, and Santo.
Dick Howser, Kansas City Royals
The first person honored with a retired number by the Royals, Howser led the team to a championship in 1985. As the manager of the league champion, Howser was named the manager of the 1986 AL All-Star squad. That would be his final game as he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and could no longer perform his duties. He attempted a comeback in 1987, but was too weak. He passed in June 1987.
Andre Dawson, Montreal Expos
Phil Rizzuto, New York Yankees
Ron Santo, Chicago Cubs
Rusty Staub, Montreal Expos
Sparky Anderson, Cincinnati Reds
I don’t remember exactly when I sent a letter to George “Sparky” Anderson asking for his autograph. It was some point after the news that he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but whether it was before or after induction I can’t be sure. In any case, I have a couple of Sparky cards signed, as well as this homemade “card” (which is about the size of two baseball cards placed side-by-side).
I tried to Google my old autograph site, but I can’t remember what I called it and have no idea what the URL was. The host was FortuneCity, and I had sites devoted to my fun cards and my TTM collection. I really wish I had that written down somewhere. Even if the site itself was gone, I could probably pull it up using the Wayback Machine. I know the number 198 was used in the URL somewhere, but that’s all I got.
There was a cool article on thepostgame.com yesterday about Sparky Anderson. You should read it.
I really need to pick up a pack of GQ to see what all the fuss is about. Are they really worth the price of a pack?
My latest custom is former Reds and Tigers manager Sparky Anderson. RIP Captain Hook.