Reaction to Sparky Anderson's death

Reaction to the death of former Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson:

"Sparky was, by far, the best manager I ever played for. He understood people better than anyone I ever met. His players loved him, he loved his players, and he loved the game of baseball. There isn't another person in baseball like Sparky Anderson. He gave his whole life to the game."

-- Former Reds star Pete Rose

"Baseball has lost one of its greatest members. His idea of of baseball had the highest ideals. He believed in the game abd represented the game to the highest degree of class, dignity and character."

-- Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasoda

"Sparky was one of the greatest people I've met in baseball. He was a leader to his
players both on and off the field. He was an incredible person and
I cherish the time I was able to spend with him."

-- Tigers Hall of Famer Al Kaline

"He was always humerous and funny off the field. He was always making jokes, doing things to make people laugh. The last time I saw him was at the Hall of Fame induction this year and everyone was laughing because Sparky was the star of the show,"

-- Former Reds second baseman and ESPN analyst Joe Morgan

"He was a good guy, Baseball will have very few people like Sparky. He was a unique individual. He was a character with a great
passion and love for the game."

-- Former Tigers pitcher Jack Morris

"Sparky was a great man and a great manager. He was the man who put together some great teams and made us go. We will miss him. We love him."

-- Former Reds first baseman Tony Perez

"Those of us who had the privilege to know Sparky personally know how much he loved American's favorite pastime and how proud he was to be associated with baseball. His success as a manager, both with the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds, was about far more than wins and losses, it was about the character of the man. He cared about his players, he loved the fans and he put his heart and soul into the community. He will always be a favorite among Tigers fans and an important and memorable part of this incredible sports town."

-- Tigers owner Mike Ilitch

"Sparky saw what he had and was able to get the most out of them. He was a people person. He knew how to handle people and get them to get along. If you can get even 90 percent of
25 guys on the same page, you're doing a good job. With Sparky, even if everyone didn't get along off the field, by God they were all together when they were on it. He just did an outstanding job and treated everyone with class."

Former Reds infielder Tommy Helms

"I am truly saddened by the loss of Sparky Anderson. I have lost and all of Baseball has lost a dear
friend. Sparky was a gentleman, a great baseball man and a superb ambassador for the game. Sparky won
three World Series Championships with the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers, leading several of the best teams of the last 40 years and holding the most wins as manager for both tradition-rich franchises.

"I recall with great fondness the many hours we would spend together when his Tigers came to
Milwaukee. Sparky was a loyal friend, and whenever I would be dealing with difficult situations as
Commissioner, he would lift my spirits, telling me to keep my head up and that I was doing the right thing."

-- Major League Baseball comissioner Bud Selig

"All of baseball mourns the passing of one of the game's all-time great managers and ambassadors. In one way or another, Sparky touched the life of every Reds fan. Every person who visits our ballpark and Hall of Fame is reminded of his contribution to the success of this proud
franchise. We offers our prayers and support to Sparky's family and friends during this diffi cult time."

Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini

"Sparky was a brilliant manager whose successes between the white lines, in both leagues, are well documented -- 2,194 wins, five pennants, three World
Series and two manager of the year awards. Not only did his jovial disposition, warm demeanor, infectious smile and innate ability to build confidence allow him to get the most out of his players, but it assured him of befriending everyone
he touched. He will be missed in Cooperstown, especially during Hall of Fame Weekend, where he was a favorite
among the fans and his fellow Hall of Famers."

-- National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Jeff Idelson

"On behalf of the William Clay Ford family and the Detroit Lions organization we extend our deepest sympathies to the Anderson family, the Detroit Tigers and the legions of Sparky Anderson fans in Detroit and across the country.

"Detroit has lost one of its most beloved and iconic sports figures. Sparky's Hall of Fame accomplishments on the field rank him as one of baseball's all-time greats. But it is his work off the field and how he touched people in our community that will truly leave a lasting legacy."

-- Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand

The Associated Press contributed to this report