George "Sparky" Anderson
Sage manager of my beloved Detroit Tigers from 1979 till 1995 (i.e. exactly through the salad days of my baseball-watching career). Master of overstatement (i.e. "Kirk Gibson will be the next Mickey Mantle;" "This is the best club I've ever brought up north from Spring Training."). Warm heart. Lover of billiard-style pipes. Most recent Tiger to have his number (11) retired by the team, an occasion for which I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at today's Tiger game in Detroit.