As a Reds fan, I feel like the fans need to know some people in the history of the ball club. One of them is George Anderson. Nicknamed “Sparky” Anderson, this was the manager in charge during the Big Red Machine era in the 1970’s.
In seven seasons with the Reds, Anderson went to the World Series four times and won twice, once over the Boston Red Sox and once over the New York Yankees. He then was fired in 1978 and took over for the Tigers of Detroit one year later and managed there until 1995.
With a record of 2,194-1,834 all time, Anderson was the first manager to win 600 games in both the National League and the American League, as well as win a World Series in both leagues. Most of those wins were with the Tigers (1,331 in Detroit, compared to 863 in Cincinnati.)
After his time as a manager, Anderson served as a color analyst with the California/Anaheim Angels from 1996 until 1998. In 2000, Sparky Anderson was elected into the Hall of Fame.
The origin of George’s nickname is interesting, as it was given to him by a radio broadcaster in Fort Worth when Anderson played there in 1955.
On his Hall of Fame plaque, it is mentioned that the manager was “the crank the turned the Big Red Machine.” Also, many former players have said their piece about the former manager on this article written by the Associated Press.
Anderson died on November 4th from complications of dementia, which is basically a loss of brain function. One thing is clear, baseball just lost a great guy. Rest in peace.
Until next time,