November 05, 2010

Chicago, 1987

Sparky Anderson joked with the crowd and talked to everybody as the Tigers exited Comiskey Park one summer afternoon. At the old southside ballpark, players had to walk right through the fans to get to the bus. Several players walked out, many signing autographs. I remember seeing Johnny Grubb, Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell, and others up close. Many chatted and signed autographs.

Sparky, though, he was willing to chat away and have fun with the fans. He was personable. As a teenager at the time, I wasn't impressed with Sparky ... didn't really want his autograph – or to talk to him. I wanted to talk with Gibby or Matt Nokes or Frank Tanana.

I encountered Sparky several more times over the years. It was hard not to see him since he managed the Tigers for 17 seasons. The dude was a legend and none of us appreciated it until we had new management on board ...

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