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Sparky Anderson in hospice care: recalling his legend

Bad enough that baseball season has ended, but now we learn that Sparky Anderson, one of the game's legendary managers, has been placed in hospice care at his Thousand Oaks, Cal. home for complications resulting from dementia.

For someone like me, who grew up in the era of The Big Red Machine (and remembers all too well what followed Carlton Fisk's Game 6 homer in the '75 Series), Anderson was a constant presence in baseball dugouts. In this photo, he's pictured with the Baltimore Orioles' Brooks Robinson, after the O's won the 1970 World Series. The former manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers won 2,194 games, the third-highest total in major league history, behind only Connie Mack and John McGraw. Anderson, 76, was the first manager to win World Series titles in both leagues, the AP notes.

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His autobiography, "They Call Me Sparky," shows off his homey, straight-shooting style. "I ain't no martyr," he says, according to an amazon.com review. "I ain't no hero. And I don't want no bowl of chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, and cherries just for doing the right thing." For more on Sparky's legacy, check out "The Machine," and "Wire to Wire."


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