Godspeed to Sparky Anderson, former manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers, who passed away today from complications due to dementia.
I am not qualified to write about one of my childhood favorites, so I'll link you to the incomparable Hal McCoy, retired sports writer for the Dayton Daily News.
His thoughts are here
I will share this much: Sparky was so popular he even appeared on the hit TV series "WKRP in Cincinnati" as himself. He was supposed to be taking part in a live call-in show.
CALLER: How ya doin'?
CALLER: That's good. (Pause) Well, see ya!
That rerun happened to be playing the night I visited Tiger Stadium for the first and last time in 1999. We took it as an omen. Yes, the woeful Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles later that day.
Rest in Peace, Sparky.