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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Sparky Anderson’s days as a Cardinal

A quick look back at the brief time one of baseball’s greatest managers spent in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Sparky Anderson, St. Petersburg Cardinals, 1966With the untimely passing of Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson, one of two men to have won World Series titles in both leagues, I had planned to write about his period as a minor league manager in the St. Louis Cardinals organization during the 1960’s.

After one prior year of managing, Anderson really cut his managerial teeth starting at the age of 33 under then-Cardinals general manager Bob Howsam and after three years, followed Howsam to the Cincinnati organization. As they say, the rest is history.

Sparky had taken over the Rock Hill Cardinals of the Western Carolinas League in 1965, moved to St. Petersburg of the Florida State League the next season and ended his time in the system with Modesto of the California League in 1967. The three clubs finished with an aggregate .575 winning mark.

Like I said, I had planned to dig into Anderson’s tenure, but in researching it, I found a great article by Mark Tomasik of That piece, with some excellent stories, stands on its own as an excellent resource.

Make sure you check out the full view of the 1966 photo of Sparky at the age of 34. He always seemed to look the same. It is hard to believe he is gone. Rest in peace!

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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