Sportress of Blogitude

Sad: Former Detroit Tigers Skipper Sparky Anderson Placed In Hospice Care

Hall of Famer George Lee “Sparky” Anderson, the legendary Detroit Tigers icon who managed the team for 17 seasons, leading them to a World Series title in 1984 and before that served as the Cincinnati Reds skipper from 1970-1978, leading that team to the two World Series victories (1975 & 1976) as leader of “The Big Red Machine,” has sadly been placed in hospice care in Thousands Oaks, California due to complications relating to dementia.

Anderson’s family’s statement (via mlive):

Hall of Fame Manager Sparky Anderson has been placed in the care of hospice for complications resulting from dementia at his home in Thousands Oaks, California.

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.

The family is particularly grateful for the respect for privacy the national and local media has demonstrated during this trying period.

It is certainly sad to see one of the great ambassadors of baseball suffering through dementia, one of the most heartbreaking conditions a family, friends and loved ones can witness. On a personal note, I will always remember Anderson fondly, especially the great battles between his Tigers and the Minnesota Twins over the years, in particular the 1987 American League Championship Series between the two teams, which the Twins won 4 games to 1. Even though his team was handily beat, Anderson always exhibited class, dignity and a profound respect for the great game which was such a big part of his life.

Take care, Sparky. While he will always be remembered for the tremendous things he accomplished during his life, it is nevertheless hard to see him robbed of the vigor and wit which became an integral part of his enduring legend. But as wrong and unfair as it seems to those who admired the great man, that’s just the way it goes. Even to the best of us.

Former Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson placed into hospice [mlive]