The National Baseball Hall of Fame Remembers Sparky Anderson

November 04, 2010
Sparky Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

"The players make the manager; it's never the other way." -- Sparky Anderson

Sparky Anderson's Hall of Fame plaque (elected, 2000)

George Lee Anderson


Cincinnati N.L., 1970-78

Detroit A.L., 1979-95

One of the game's most successful and colorful managers, his 2,194 wins rank third in baseball history behind Connie Mack and John McGraw. The crank that turned the Big Red Machine, his skillful leadership helped those Cincinnati teams dominate in the 1970s. Revered and treasured by his players for his humility, humanity, eternal optimism and knowledge of the game. Baseball's only manager to win a World Series in both leagues and lead two franchises to victories. His teams won three World Series, seven division titles and five pennants, compiling a .619 post-season winning percentage.

Sparky Anderson Bio

Born: February 22, 1934 at Bridgewater, S.D.

Died: Nov. 4, 2010 at Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Height: 5-9 Weight: 170

Threw right and batted right

George "Sparky" Anderson was the first manager in history to win World Series championships in both the American and National leagues, with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. His career totals include 2,194 victories, two manager of the year awards, five league pennants and three World Series crowns. His heavy use of the bullpen staff earned him the nickname "Captain Hook." Known for his jovial disposition, and prone to hyperbole, he once said of Willie Stargell, "He's got power enough to hit home runs in any park, including Yellowstone."

The Hall of Fame Remembers Sparky Anderson

"Sparky was a brilliant manager whose successes between the white lines, in both leagues, are well documented – 2,194 wins, five pennants, three World Series victories and two manager of the year awards. Not only did his jovial disposition, warm demeanor, infectious smile and innate ability to build confidence allow him to get the most out of his players, but assured him of befriending everyone he touched. He will be missed in Cooperstown, especially during Hall of Fame Weekend where he was a favorite among the fans and his fellow Hall of Famers." – Jeff Idelson, Hall of Fame President

"Sparky was a great man and a great manager. He was the man who put together some great teams and made us go. He was a great man and we will miss him. We love him." – Hall of Famer Tony Perez

Quotes Spoken by Sparky Anderson

"A baseball manager is a necessary evil."

"Baseball is a simple game. If you have good players and if you keep them in the right frame of mind, then the manager is a success."

"The only thing I believe is this: A player does not have to like a manager and he does not have to respect a manager. All he has to do is obey the rules."

"My idea of managing is giving the ball to Tom Seaver and sitting down and watching him work."