Outta Sight! Vintage: Anderson, G. '60
I've been a Reds fan since I first gave a hoot about baseball in early grade school. I've been a Tigers fan since my early teens.
My two rooting interests intersect with an old Phillie.
He's easily my favorite all-time manager.
I'll never forget standing outside Tiger Stadium with my Dad one night, after watching a game, and seeing Sparky in the passenger seat of a car waiting at a red light. He looked over, made eye contact and gave a little wave.
Pretty awesome for a 13-year-old kid.
I've been trying to pick up his cards here and there - mostly manager cards, of course. When I returned to the hobby in early 2011, I hadn't given much thought to picking up his player cards. Playing the game, of course, was not his strong suit.
Sparky was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953 and spent five years in their minors. He was traded to the Phillies in late 1958 and spent 1959 as the starting second basemen - hitting .218 in 152 games, with no home runs and 34 RBIs.
That was it for playing in the big league.
I found this card at a local card shop. I think the appeal is that it's so out of my realm of thinking to picture him as a Phillie or to think of him as "George." I also love that you can see the premature gray/white under the cap.
The '60 set design itself, well, I'm not so sure about. The color shot with the black and white is off-putting. The alternating colors in the name seems a bit juvenile.
Still, this card is begging for a good display spot. Sparky, more than any other baseball figure, is why I'm forever devoted to the Tigers. He's also played a huge role in why I've never wavered from the Reds.
Now I need to go find the '59 George Anderson to complete my Sparky Anderson playing days card collection.
And maybe I should start cheering for the Phillies.