Saturday, January 4, 2014


Today's redo is a first, as I redesign a manager card, in this case Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson's "rookie" managerial card of sorts from 1970 (#181).
When you look at the original issued card for Sparky, it's just not a flattering photo of him. He looks downright creepy to be honest with you, and sort of angry, and most importantly NOT in a Cincinnati Reds uniform.
Man, he looks pissed!
NOT the Sparky Anderson I remember growing up as manager of the "Big Red Machine" and the powerhouse Detroit Tigers team of 1984!
I understand why Topps didn't have an image of him in Cincinnati garb at the time, as 1970 was going to be his first year at the helm of the Reds, a job he sort of fell into on short notice.
It seems the image used for the 1970 card was one of Anderson in a San Diego Padre uniform, for whom he coached in 1969 before taking over the Red's manager slot vacated by Dave Bristol.
So I found a nice shot of him from his early years as Reds manager and replaced the harsh picture of him originally used. Take a look:

THAT'S more like it!

Sparky was an absolute throwback of a manager!
He was off and running for the Hall of Fame right from the start, as he managed the Reds straight to the World Series his first year there.
And though they would lose to the equally powerful Baltimore Orioles that year, little did he know he was heading a dynasty in the making, as the Reds became the symbol of dominance in the National League during the 1970's, gaining the nickname "Big Red Machine" as they steamrolled through the competition for the next seven years.
Along the way they won four pennants, two World Series ('75 & '76), and featured downright SUPERSTARS in Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, George Foster, Davey Concepcion, and even Tom Seaver at the tail end of their run.
By the time Anderson was done in Cincinnati after a nine year run, he then moved on to the Detroit Tigers, where he'd end up managing for the next 17 years!
By the time he retired in 1995 after 26 years of managing, he won 2194 games to go along with three world championships and five pennants.
And to cap off an already amazing career as field manager at the Major League level, the Veteran's Committee voted Sparky into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
An easy vote if you ask me, as Sparky definitely left his mark on the history of the game as a top notch manager.

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