DETROIT (WWJ) – The number of Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson was retired in a ceremony Sunday before the Tigers game against the Diamondbacks.
Fans at the ballpark say it’s a well deserved honor for Anderson who died last November.
WWJ’s Beth Fisher talked with fans who remembered Anderson at Comerica Park:
- “I remember when Gibby and Trammell and the good ol’ guys played with him, and when they won the series, it was wonderful,” said Dianne Francis of Clinton Township.
- Valerie Fahner of Warren was glad to see the retirement ceremony. “I think it’s great, I think it’s about time, they should have done it a long time ago … it will be great for his kids and his grandkids, I loved just the way he was; kind of coach he was.” said Fahner.
- It’s bittersweet for some fans like Morris Sherik, who says he deserved this. “You know, he worked a long time, and I think — I really think — they should have done it before while he could have participated, but obviously it didn’t happen, so…it’s okay.”
- John Raymond was glad to see it. “Well he’s one of the best managers that I ever knew. And in his day, he was very, very … the Tigers won.
- Art Covel of Roseville has a favorite Sparky memory. “When they won the World Series. He was just so excited; he was more excited than the players.”
- Duane Dehate of Algonac has a favorite Sparky memory: “When they had that bench-clearing brawl — Sparky’s on the bottom trying to — on the bottom of everybody — trying to break ’em all up … always remember that about him, I just remember seeing his gray head poke out above everybody — he was on the bottom trying to break ’em all out — that was pretty neat. “
Anderson managed at the Major League level for 26 seasons including 17 with the Tigers. He managed the team when they won the World Series in 1984.