Sparky died yesterday. His passing reminded me of 1975. That was the year his “Big Red Machine”, the Cincinnati Reds played the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. What a series. What a year for the Red Sox. That was the year Fred Lynn and Jim Rice were rookies. I remember lying in bed listening to the Sox games on my transistor radio, as I did most nights. One game, against the Detroit Tigers, who Sparky Anderson would later guide to the World Series, Fred Lynn hit 3 homers and had 10 RBI’s. Unbelievable. He and Rice were called the Gold Dust Twins. They could do no wrong. That was also the year that Tony C. (Conigliaro), the hometown favorite of years prior and a sad story in itself, tried to make a comeback. That was all the talk at the beginning of the season, but it didn’t work out, and the storyline would later focus on those Gold Dust Twins. After the Sox swept the A’s, they met up with Sparky and his Reds. The Series went 7 games, coming down to the last batter in the 9th, Carl Yastrzemski, Yaz, one of the greatest of the greats. He flew out to end the game, 4 to 3, Reds win the World Series. God bless you, Sparky Anderson.
November 5, 2010