This is not the kind of news you like reporting. The family of Sparky Anderson released a statement today that Sparky has been placed in hospice care. Anderson has been suffering from complications resulting from dementia.
George Lee "Sparky" Anderson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. He managed the Big Red Machine, becoming World Series Champions in 1975 and 1976, and managed the Detroit Tigers for 17 seasons where he holds the team's record for most seasons and wins. Anderson also played second base for one season,in 1959, with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Anderson was always a humble man, living in a modest home in Thousand Oaks, California. He was also uneasy with taking credit for his teams' success. During his Hall of Fame induction ceremony speech he said; "The players are the ones who earn their way into Hall of Fame," and finished with; "Managers like me, we just ride in on their backs."
For someone who made his living using his mind, it is particually upsetting that Anderson and his family have been dealing with dementia. A family spokesperson Dan Ewald said “It’s the type of ailment that takes a toll over time,”
Also in the released statement; "The Anderson family — wife, Carol; sons Lee and Albert; and daughter Shirley Englebrecht – “wishes to express appreciation to all friends and fans for the support and kindness they have shown throughout Sparky’s career and retirement.”"
Our hearts go out to Sparky and the entire Anderson Family.