Wednesday, April 6, 2016

1976 All-Star Game +40: Sparky Anderson 1978 Topps #401

With the Phillies in Cincinnati for Opening Day it gives a chance to look at the leader of the NL All-Star Squad and manager of a Reds squad that placed seven players on the 76 squad.

1978 Topps #401 Sparky Anderson

George Lee "Sparky" Anderson earned the privilege of managing the 1976 All-Star Squad by leading the Reds to capturing the prior years pennant en route to a World Championship. It was the first of three World Series Wins for the Hall of Fame manager who managed in five of them, Four with the Reds and one with the Tigers.

The Five League Pennants meant that Anderson got to helm a like number of All-Star teams. His record was 3-2 in the contests with all 3 of the victories coming for the NL.

The 1976 Reds and their 7 all-stars would go onto win 102 games and the final World Series of their 1970s era dynasty.

Anderson was likely an Hall of Fame manager based on his Reds resume alone, if there was any question an additional World Championship with the 84 Tigers rebuffed most doubts.

1978 Topps Managers
I am a fan of these cards, it is a nice variation on an solid and underated base design. The dual pictures which couples a current photo with a shot of the manager from their playing days is a concept that I would like to see Topps reprise in a flagship set - it doesn't have to happen every year, but we shouldn't have to wait 40 years for it to return. 

Source and Links
1976 All-Star Game Index
Sparky Anderson HoF Index
Baseball Almanac

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions