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Tigers to retire Sparky Anderson’s number

Jan 22, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

Sparky Anderson ap

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski just announced at the club’s annual TigerFest event that Sparky Anderson’s No. 11 will be retired this season.

According to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press, the team will also wear a patch on their uniforms and fly a flag at Comerica Park in honor of Anderson throughout the season.

Anderson passed away in November at the age of 76. He compiled a 1331-1248 record (.516) over 17 seasons as manager of the Tigers, including a World Series title in 1984.

This is a wonderful tribute and I’m glad the Tigers are getting this right, but what the heck took so long to retire his number in the first place?

  1. sparty99 - Jan 22, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    The Tigers (or perhaps more accurately, Tigers’ ownership) refused to retire Sparky’s number because he said he wouldn’t manage replacement players in 1995. Deciding to retire his number after he passed away seems particularly mean-spirited to me.

    Also, it goes against the Tigers’ longstanding policy of only retiring the numbers of people who went into the HOF as Tigers (although they broke it with Willie Horton).

    • D.J. Short - Jan 22, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      Thanks. That certainly helps explain it.

  2. heiniemanush - Jan 22, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    11 was Bill Freehan’s number, as well. It would be nice if the Tigers gave their HOF caliber catcher and state of Michigan icon a tribute, too.

  3. Detroit Michael - Jan 24, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Congratulations for finally doing the right thing here, Tigers.

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