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Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Sparky Anderson

Sparky Reds

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…

Sparky Tigers

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.

Happy Reds birthday, Sparky Anderson!


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.

No Hall of Famers on World Series winners

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.

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.

Four out of five Reds Hall of Fame bobbleheads announced

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…

Davis 44 bobblehead

Pretty nifty, eh?

Become a member of the best team Hall of Fame in the country! Details here!

2012 FPC: Cincinnati Reds

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

Fantastic. Write them a nice letter and see what they send you!

Retired Numbers: #11

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

Retired Numbers: #10

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

TTM Success…from about a decade ago: Sparky Anderson

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 yesterday about Sparky Anderson. You should read it.

Gypsy Queen – Sparky Anderson

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.

Even legends die.

George Lee “Sparky” Anderson
February 22, 1934 – November 4, 2010
There’s a lot in that dash.

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