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Report: Ex-Tigers manager Sparky Anderson placed in hospice

Hate to start off the morning with bad news, but here it is:

Popular former Tigers manager has been hospitalized in California due to "complications resulting form dimentia," Tom Gage of the Detroit News reported.

"The Anderson family — wife Carol, sons Lee and Albert, and daughter Shirley Englebrecht — wishes to express appreciation to all friends and fans for the support and kindness they have shown throughout Sparky's career and retirement," according to the message (released by Anderson's family).
The 76-year-old is a member of the Hall of Fame.

Sparky -- calling him anything but that would just feel wrong -- managed the Tigers for 13 years, compiling a 1331-1248 record. He led the team from 1979-1995, making Sparky the only manager I knew for most of my childhood following the team. That also makes him the last Tigers manager to win the World Series the last Tigers manager to win a division title.

His jersey number with Detroit -- No. 11 -- has not been used since Sparky last put in on in 1995, but has not been retired. Ian Casselberry wrote last year the team should change that.

Sad news this morning, obviously, so we wish Sparky and his family all the best and send an extra-special thanks for all the good childhood memories.