19 May 2014

a reds memorial patch for sparky

sparky anderson got his start as a minor leaguer in the brooklyn dodger system.   however, the dodgers traded him to philadelphia where he played his only major league games as a phillie in 1959.  five years later, sparky began his managerial career when he took the reins of the toronto maple leafs, a aaa team that was part of the senators' and braves' systems.

in 1970, sparky got the call to lead the cincinnati reds, and he promptly led them to the world series, although they fell to the orioles.  three more times in the 1970's sparky's big red machine won the national league pennant, and they claimed the title of world champions twice, in 1975 and 1976.

after sparky passed away in november of 2010, the reds decided to wear a memorial patch in his honor.  for the all-star game, the black patch with white 'sparky' text was worn on the chest, as evidenced by jay bruce's combo card from 2012 topps heritage
and his 2011 topps update diamond anniversary parallel
however, for the rest of the season, the patch was worn on the right sleeve, as seen on drew stubbs' 2012 topps chrome card
despite sparky's success, the reds fired him following the 1978 season.  still, it made sense that they honor the man who brought the big red machine to the finish line.  twice.

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