Kirk Gibson played for Sparky Anderson on the 1984 Detroit Tigers team that won the World Series and frequently cited Anderson this season after taking over as Arizona Diamondback interim manager as a baseball mentor.
Gibson issued this statement today:
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Sparky," Gibson said. "He was a great friend, an inspiring teacher, an excellent mentor and an amazing person. Sparky was one of the most influential people in my career. I'm a better person today because of him and for that I'll always be grateful. His memory will not be forgotten and will continue to serve as an inspiration for me in my career. My hope is that Alan Trammell and I, and all of those he touched along the way, will carry on his legacy. Just a great person who has taught so many so much. I will make sure to keep his good words of wisdom flowing."