The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Sparky Anderson, “a great human being and a man of faith”

posted by jmcgee

57346099.jpgThe baseball world is mourning the passing of legendary manager Sparky Anderson, who died today at age 76.

But as much as his heart belonged to baseball, it also belonged to his Catholic faith, which he embraced as an adult:

“He was a remarkable person,” said Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit, archbishop emeritus. He was “a great human being and a man of faith. The baseball world and our community have lost a great ambassador.”

Shortly after he arrived in Detroit in 1990, Maida was invited by the baseball team to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tiger Stadium.

The archdiocese, which oversees 1.3 million Catholics, said in a statement released today:

“The story is told that Sparky Anderson became interested in Catholicism when playing on a farm team for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He started going to Sunday Mass in Texas with some of his teammates. Later, when Sparky played for the Philadelphia Phillies, he befriended a priest in Pennsylvania who worked with him to become a baptized Catholic.”

The Rev. Don Worthy, a retired priest of the Detroit archdiocese, said that Anderson “led by the power of good example.”

Maida and Worthy noted that Anderson helped children, in particular “through his pediatric charity know as CATCH (Caring Athletes Team for Children’s and Henry Ford Hospital).”

“His world was more than baseball,” Cardinal Maida said. “I pray that he is now at peace with the Lord.”

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
Sue Hardebeck

posted November 5, 2010 at 6:27 am


Thank you for posting this. As a long time fan of Sparky, I always knew he was a good man and had a kind heart.. but I did not know that he was converted to Catholicism. This touches me in a special way and just reaffirms my hopes and beliefs.



report abuse
 

Mrpkguy

posted November 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm


When asked to participate in our Knights of Columbus Charity Golf Tournament as a draw, George as his friends called him, immediately replied in the affirmative. At Sunday mass he would walk down the aisle shaking people’s hands…..he truly was a class act!



report abuse
 

Claude

posted November 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm


In Detroit, Sparky attended St. Thomas Aquinas. I recall that not only did he attend 8 am Mass before heading to Tiger Stadium, but he also came to Church with several of his Coaching Staff, i.e., Dick Trajewski, Alex Grammis and others. It was always very cool to see them in Church then later that day on TV! RIP Sparky



report abuse
 

JP

posted November 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm


As a resident of Cincinnati, this is especially sad for me. Sparky was THE example of what a man and a manager should be; fair, firm when needed, kind, compassionate, and on and on…..The Big Red machine WAS Sparky. We will miss you! You will be remembered with a Mass.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.