Monday, August 7, 2017

no. 688 - sparky anderson

Who is the man: Sparky Anderson was the toast of the town after the 1970 season, leading the Reds to the World Series in his first season as manager. But when this card was issued, Cincinnati was struggling and wound up finishing fourth in the NL West in 1971.

Can ya dig it: Anderson looked managerly right from the start.

Right on: I've known most of my life that Anderson's given first name was George, but it still looks odd written out.

You see that cat Anderson is a bad mother: The first manager to win the World Series in both leagues. That's all I gotta say.

Shut your mouth: Anderson liked to talk and reporters liked him because he liked to talk. I remember being taken aback, reading my Bill James Baseball Abstract in either 1983 or 1984 and James criticizing Anderson (probably over using Enos Cabell). It was the first time I read an unkind sports word about Anderson! Anderson's response to James was that James was "a little fat guy with a beard ... who knows nothing about nothing."

No one understands him but his woman: Anderson met his wife, Carol, in the fifth grade. They were married for 57 years.

(A word about the back): That is an impressive line for your first year managing. I'd say he's a fine leader.


  1. Bill James' reply to Sparky's putdown was classic: "Actually, I’m seven inches taller than Sparky is, but what the heck, three out of four ain’t bad, and it sure beats being described as the guru of baseball statistics.”

  2. Sparky had one of strangest playing careers of anyone I've heard of. A one year regular for the Phillies playing in 152 games then never played a game in the majors afterwards.