George "Sparky" Anderson came to the Reds in October 1969 with no major-league managerial experience. Many believed that General Manager Bob Howsam made a tremendous mistake by hiring this "unknown" manager. However, Anderson quickly proved the critics wrong and won over the hearts of Reds fans. Sparky went on to become the most-successful and most-beloved manager in Reds history.
During his nine seasons in Cincinnati, Anderson guided the Reds to five division titles, four pennants, and back-to-back World Championships in 1975-1976. The consecutive world titles were a first by a National League team since the 1921-1922 New York Giants.
During his tenure, Sparky piloted the Reds to a franchise managerial-record 863 victories and a .596 winning percentage that also tops the club's all-time list. Sparky Anderson and Buck Ewing are currently the only Reds managers to produce five or more consecutive winning seasons. Anderson holds the record with seven, from 1972 through 1978.
Following the 1978 season, Anderson's run in Cincinnati came to end. Sparky went on to Detroit, where he won the Manager of the Year Award in 1984 and 1987, and another World Series title in 1984. Anderson's third championship made him the first manager to win World Championships in the American and National Leagues.
Sparky retired from baseball following the 1995 season with 2,194 career victories -- the sixth-highest total in Major League Baseball history. Anderson was enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000, and was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame during the same year. The Reds retired his number 10 in 2005, and the Tigers followed in 2011 by retiring his number 11. Sparky Anderson died November 4, 2010, at age 76.
George Lee Anderson
Nickname: Captain Hook
Height: 5' 9"
Born: February 22, 1934, Bridgewater, SD
Death: November 4, 2010, Thousand Oaks, CA
High School: Dorsey (Los Angeles, CA)
How Acquired: Hired as manager on Oct. 9, 1969
Debut: April 6, 1970 vs. Montreal Expos
Final Game: October 1, 1995 vs. Baltimore Orioles
Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the BBWAA in 2000
Inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame 2000
Jersey Number Retired (10) by the Cincinnati Reds in 2005