Big League Stew - MLB

One day after receiving the sad news that Sparky Anderson was suffering from dementia, we've learned the even sadder news that the managing legend has died at age 76.

A family spokesman told the Associated Press that Anderson had died of complications from dementia, for which his family had placed him in hospice care.

Anderson was, of course, the talented colorful manager of both Cincinnati's Big Red Machine, which won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975-76, and the memorable 1984 Detroit Tigers, which started the season 35-5 en route to the franchise's last World Series title. A man of strong principles, he was respected throughout the game, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Fans in Cincinnati and Detroit are no doubt experiencing heavy bouts of nostalgia right now and I must admit to the same. The 1984 World Series was the first one I remember watching and the man in the dugout with the shock of electric-white hair was just fascinating to my 6-year-old self. He was determined and fierce, but his soft and humorous side gave him enough dimensions to be seen as a larger-than-life character. I think you can see that in the picture I chose to post above.

At any rate, the baseball world is going to come together and pay tribute to Sparky and it couldn't be more deserved. We'll never forget how he defined the term "a true baseball man" and if there's any solace to take from his death, it's that he's in a truly better place right now.

Rest in peace, Mr. Anderson. 

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