Sunday, July 23, 2000
Sparky's future: Golf, grandkids, no baseball
By John Erardi
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Sparky Anderson plays golf several times a week and enjoys spending time with his grandkids. He watches some baseball on TV, but not a lot.
But I enjoy the game more now than I ever did as a manager, Anderson said. When I was working, I was just worried about the club. I didn't see the whole picture. Some people say baseball is going downhill. But I love watching these guys play today. There's so much talent.
Anderson has no intention of getting back into baseball in any capacity. He's happy; the game doesn't have the tug on him anymore to come back. He didn't like what it had done to him in his middle years in Detroit. It turned him in a self-admitted win-aholic and drained his energy.
One doesn't see him with the omnipresent pipe anymore. Some of the players were kidding him about that Friday evening at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, but it was the friendly needle, the one that shows how delighted they were to still have him around.
He'd had a heart attack a short while back that kept him from attending a Reds Hall Fame induction.
Now he looks good again. The sparkle is back in the eyes, and he has the familiar skip in his step.
He has a big annual celebrity golf tournament in Detroit and played there last week before driving over to Cooperstown with his friend and biographer, Dan Ewald. He was looking fresh and revitalized Friday and Saturday.
Hey, Robin, I'm only hitting it (his golf drives) 180 or 190 (yards) these days, Anderson said to Hall of Famer Robin Yount.
What's wrong with that? Yount said. It's down the middle, isn't it?
Sparky's smile said those drives are indeed down the middle.
A few weeks ago, Anderson looked tired during the Reds' silver anniversary celebration of the team's 1975 World Championship. He was looking old.
But this weekend's festivities agree with him.
How could they not? he asked. You look around at all these great players, these Hall of Famers who have come in for the weekend, and you say, "What on earth did I do to belong here with these guys?' How can you not feel good about being here? I feel super. I've been blessed.
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