In his 26 years as a major league manager - managing almost non-stop from 1970 through 1995 - Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson managed many memorable games and led some of the game's greatest players to the promised land. With five World Series appearances (including three Championships) and two more first-place finishes, Tigers and Reds fans through the Sparky years never had much to complain about.
In all that time - over 4,000 regular season games - Sparky was involved in only four games that lasted into the 18th inning or longer. In 1972, the Reds outlasted the Dodgers in 19 innings when pinch-hitter Joe Hague singled in pinch-runner Ted Uhlaender to walk-off with the 2-1 victory. In 1982, the Tigers beat the Indians in an 18-inning marathon 4-3, after Alan Trammell scored on a wild pitch from Ed Glynn. The Tigers then lost a 19-inning game to the Indians in 1984 and an 18-inning game to the Yankees in 1988. Four out of four-thousand - that doesn't sound like that an unreasonable of a ratio.
Which makes what happened in 1966 all the more interesting. In his third year as a minor-league manager - he would go on to manage five total years in the minors, ending with a record of 395-295 - Sparky found himself in the single-A Florida State League managing the St. Petersburg Cardinals in their first year as a Cardinals affiliate.
On June 14, the Cards hooked up with the Miami Marlins to play what was at the time the longest game ever played in organized baseball, a 29-inning, seven-hour affair that had Sparky sitting "in secluded silence" upon its finale.
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