George 'Sparky' Anderson, Hall of Fame manager was 76 *

sparky-anderson.jpgA Morning Buzz item today mentioned that Anderson had been placed in hospice care with complications of dementia. He died today at 76 in Thousand Oaks. Anderson was the first baseball manager to win World Series titles in both leagues, with the Reds and Tigers. "Sparky was, by far, the best manager I ever played for," Pete Rose told ESPN. Anderson grew up in Los Angeles and played ball at Dorsey High School.

L.A. Times columnist Helene Elliott on Twitter: "RIP Sparky Anderson. He was always kind and welcoming to me in a time many baseball managers didn't want female sportswriters around."

* Speaking of: In Sparky's own words, via the late Jim Healy: "I've always been fair with the [bleep]ing writers." Audio file at John Speedie's awesome Jim Healy tribute site.

* OK, one more link: Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski on the two sides of Anderson.

Yes, he was George Anderson, the kind of man who could not send back a steak because he did not want to be a bother, the kind of man who would read the Bible sometimes as he tried to make sense of the world around him, the kind of man who would not write notes, not ever, because he felt embarrassed by his spelling and a little bit empty because he didn’t learn much in school. “I only had a high school education,” George used to say, “And believe me, I had to cheat to get that.”

Yes, that was Sparky Anderson — baseball manager, entertainer, leader, conservative, comedian, psychologist, enemy of pitchers, teller of tall tales, botcher of the Queen’s English, defender of the game … no one description could possibly contain all the energy and force and contradictions of Sparky Anderson...

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