Other Free Encyclopedias » Famous Sports Stars » Baseball » Sparky Anderson Biography - The Early Years, Chronology, The Big Leagues, Sparky In Detroit, Awards And Accomplishments - SELECTED WRITINGS BY ANDERSON:

Sparky Anderson - The Big Leagues

reds team players minor

Anderson spent the next six years bouncing around the minor leagues learning his craft and passing on his knowledge and enthusiasm. He was hired by the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. He immediately recognized the difference between the minor and major leagues. The stakes were higher and so were the salaries, but Anderson felt the real fun was in the minor leagues and told his team shortly after his arrival. The Reds were far from the minors, however, with Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Pete Rose on the roster. The Reds were a team loaded with young talent and on the verge of domination. Although Anderson was relatively unknown it didn't take long before his enthusiasm and their talent turned the team into "The Big Red Machine."

Anderson's feisty attitude immediately made headlines. Before his first season, he claimed the Reds would win the division by ten games. Later in his career he would become famous for such predictions but in this particular case he was rewarded by his talented young team. The Reds won the division by 13 1/2 games and went to the World Series where they lost to Baltimore in five games. After the team matured—they featured eight rookies in 1970—they became one of the seventies most dominate teams. In his nine seasons in Cincinnati, Anderson's teams would average ninety-six wins a season and win their division in five of his first seven years. They capped their back to back World Series' victories in 1976. Over the next two years "The Big Red" started to dismantle and although Sparky was an extremely popular figure in Cincinnati, he was fired in 1978.

The age of free-agency had arrived in baseball and while baseball was changing, Anderson's old fashioned values weren't. Among the many rumored reasons floated in the wake of his firing was that his style had supposedly fallen out of favor with the new crop of wealthy young players. Anderson had always demanded a certain amount of discipline from his players on and off the field. He insisted his players look like major leaguers, always clean shaven and well dressed. He wanted his teams to look, act and play with the same amount of excellence and passion. Whatever the reasons for his firing, Sparky Anderson would prove them wrong in Detroit.

Sparky Anderson - Sparky In Detroit [next] [back] Sparky Anderson - Chronology

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