November 3rd, 2010 at 11:06 AM ^

though i'm neither a tiger nor reds fan, i think we can all agree that baseball benefited from his time as a manager.  sad to see this is the end.


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:08 AM ^

My best memories from baseball are from that magical '84 season! It will be so hard on Tigers fans, like me, to lose him and Ernie in the same year :-(


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

Sparky looked at our group (30 or so 10yr old boys) and said,

"Boys, remember this. If you can learn how to use one of these..(picks up a bat) will make a lot of money" He then drops the bat and walks away.

Sparky will go down as one of the greats.


November 3rd, 2010 at 11:14 AM ^

Waiting after a game at Tiger Stadium. My parents and I used to wait by the players parking lot. They would drive out and stop, sign autographs..take pictures. I've got a great pic of Sparky signing a baseball, with me standing there in awe next to his car.



Flying Dutchman

November 3rd, 2010 at 11:25 AM ^

I was on a plane with him from Syracuse to Chicago about 4 years ago.  Not that it means anything.   Guy looked good and fit at the time.

I agree with the "only in his mid-70's" part.  I figured he was more like mid-80's.

Either way, an icon of my youth, and I imagine the same for many of you.   Pray for peace for Sparky and his family.


November 3rd, 2010 at 12:01 PM ^

Really sad to hear, especially since he is not that old (76). He did not sound too great in his last interview with Don Shane during his annual golf outing.


It's a bad year for Tiger's fans, first losing Ernie and soon to be Sparky.


November 3rd, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

Typical of  Sparky praising everyone else, he made a big deal out of Leyland and Gardenhire's managing ability when he spoke before a Tigers-Twins game in 2009. It was the anniversary of the Tiger's 84 team and there was a ceremony and reunion on the field.  

Leyland popped off the top step of the dugout, and doffed his cap to him.  Just a great moment. Two old lions of the game.


November 3rd, 2010 at 12:10 PM ^

I had the fortunes to fly to LA a few weeks ago when Sparky was on the same flight.  I felt compelled to talk with my boyhood hero so I waited until he got off the flight.  Sparky spent the next 30 minutes talking about my hometown in Michigan (GR) and made me feel like I was a pro baseball player... I felt like I wanted to run through a wall for Sparky after talking with him; he got me so pumped about sports and life in general.  You always hear of the rare celebrity encounters where they blow off their "fans" but Sparky epitomizes what a Legend he is.  He will truly be missed...


November 3rd, 2010 at 12:15 PM ^

To me this guy was Tigers baseball in the 80s and early 90s every bit as much as Trammell, Whitaker, Gibby, and Morris.    That job he did with the 87 team was one of the best ever. He won 100 games with a team way on the backside of peak and Trammell hitting clean up. I think they jumped ouf the gate losing like 20 of their first 30 games.

One of the nicest people you'd ever meet in person too.

If you can find video of it, dig up the visit he made for game 2 of the 2006 world series at Comerica Park. He held court with the media like the old days styling in a tweed sport coat and  lime green turtleneck that I'll bet he wore when he managed the Reds.  Stole the show.

He gave a great short speech in the driving rain at the 1984 team reunion in September 2009 at Comerica Park.  Gave me chills.

Guy is total class and an icon. 



November 3rd, 2010 at 2:19 PM ^

My memory of Sparky is of him going out to the pitcher's mound, always being careful to not step on the foul line to avoid bad luck, not looking up at the pitcher, and then sticking out his hand for the ball before the pitcher could say anything to talk him out of it.