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Remembering Sparky Anderson

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[photogallerylink id=40366 align=left]Detroit Tigers fans were recalling favorite moments and discussing ways to honor former manager Sparky Anderson who died Thursday.

Anderson, who was 76, did not want a memorial or service, but fans thought of a number of ways to remember the Hall of Fame manager who led the Tigers to the 1984 world championship.

sparky roses Remembering Sparky Anderson

Roses are seen with an image of Sparky Anderson, left by a fan at the site of old Tiger Stadium. (WWJ Photo)

WWJ’s Tony Ortiz says the ballclub should put Anderson’s name on the wall with the other Tiger greats and erect a statue at Comerica Park in Sparky’s honor.

“He leaves this earth and left the Tigers as the winningest manager in the team’s history with 1,331 victories.  There has to be a way, at Comerica Park, to honor the ledgendary Sparky Anderson. I think that this is an absolute must, and I think it has to be done on opening day, this coming season,” Ortiz said Friday.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be sent to the charity of the donor’s choice or the CATCH organization.

There have been a number of comments regarding Anderson.

“We are saddened by the passing of one of Detroit’s treasures, Sparky Anderson,” Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said in a statement. “Sparky brought much more than success to the Tigers organization and Detroit.  His optimism, wit and tireless charitable work made him an icon in baseball and in our community.”

“I’m not a serious baseball fan but loved Sparky Anderson. He was like a part of the family at my house when I was a kid,” one text to WWJ said.

A number of people commented on the WWJ.com website saying “Sparky and his family are in my thoughts and prayers.”

WWJ’s Mike Campbell spoke with several fans about the best way to remember Sparky. “Sparky was a good guy, I think we should retire his number,” one fan commented.  Other ideas were a memorial at Comerica Park, and extend a special invitation to the Anderson family to throw out the first pitch.

John Hughes, executive director of CATCH, Sparky’s charity for sick children, said that there won’t be one event in particular because “Sparky would not want us to do anything like a special event just for that,” but upcoming events would have”tributes within the events themselves.”

A small memorial, a photo of Anderson and a flower, was set up at the site of the old Tiger Stadium at Michigan Avenue and Trumbull on Detroit’s westside.

Click here to read more about Anderson.

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