Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Tigers To Retire Sparky Anderson's Jersey

It's about time. The Detroit Tigers are finally going to retire Sparky Anderson's number 11 jersey. The date of the retirement is yet to be determined.  The Tigers will have a patch on their jersey to honor Anderson and raise a flag with his name on it at the home opener. Anderson led the Tigers to their last World Series title in 1984.

Anderson was one of the greatest managers of all time, and that is validated by his three World Series championships and Hall of Fame induction. He also led the Cincinnati Reds to world championships in 1975 and 1976. He acheived a rare feat by winning championships in both the American and National League.

Anderson managed the Tigers from 1979-1995. I remember when he started he said he would bring a championship here in five years. He brought them that title in 1984. He was became disappointed with the game before he left the Tigers and believed he was forced out because he didn't want to manage replacement players during the strike. There were rumors that there were feelings of ill will between himself and owner Mike Illitch.

Although Anderson had a habit of pumping up young players (Kirk Gibson was the next Mickey Mantle) he knew his baseball. It's great to see him get some long overdue recognition from the franchise. Hopefully they'll put a statue of him in Comerica Park someday.

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