Sparky Anderson, the first major league manager to win a World Series in both the American and National Leagues died today of complications from dementia, according to a statement released Thursday from his family.
Anderson was 76.
According to The Associated Press, Anderson led the National League’s Cincinnati Reds to the crown in 1975 and 1976 before guiding the American League’s Detroit Tigers to the title in 1984.
He died two days after being placed in hospice care at his home in Thousand Oaks, California, MLB said on its website (www.mlb.com)
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said Anderson was “a gentleman, a great baseball man and a superb ambassador for the game.
“I am truly saddened by the loss of Sparky Anderson,” Selig added in a statement. “I have lost, and all of baseball has lost, a dear friend.
“Sparky was a loyal friend and, whenever I would be dealing with difficult situations as Commissioner, he would lift my spirits, telling me to keep my head up and that I was doing the right thing.”
Anderson left baseball following the 1995 season and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the summer of 2000. His 2,194 regular-season victories rank sixth on the all-time list.
Anderson, who managed in the majors for 26 years, played for one season, batting .218 with no home runs 34 runs batted in for the last-place Philadelphia Phillies in 1959.