TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Sparky Anderson won two World Series with the Cincinnati Reds and another one with the Detroit Tigers.
Today, the only manager to win rings in both leagues seemed sure to add another title: Hall of Famer.
Third on baseball's career win list, the popular manager was expected to get the call from the Veterans Committee at 2 p.m. EST, telling him he'd been elected.
If picked, Anderson would get inside the doors of the Hall for the first time. He twice visited Cooperstown when his teams played there, but never toured the shrine. ''I always made myself a promise that I would never go inside the Hall of Fame unless I made it,'' he said recently. Ted Williams, Stan Musial and the rest of the 14-man Vets panel can choose one person in each of four categories -- former major leaguers; a combination of managers, umpires, executives and Negro Leaguers; 19th century players and personnel; and Negro Leaguers.
''I feel like there's a chance, a better chance than last year,'' Mazeroski said prior to spring training. ''It's just a feeling.''
Turkey Stearnes, an outfielder who played nearly two decades, looked like the top candidate among the Negro Leaguers. Outfielder Jimmy Ryan and second baseman Bid McPhee led the 19th century list.
It takes 75 percent for election, same as with the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Tony Perez and Carlton Fisk were elected in January.
The Vets panel usually has 15 members. Buck O'Neil, however, is not able to attend this year's meeting because of a minor health problem that prevents him from traveling.
If Anderson is picked, it will make for a Red-letter day in Cooperstown on July 23. Perez, a former Cincinnati first baseman, and Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman are being inducted that afternoon.
''I'm so happy for both of them,'' Anderson said from his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif. ''I hope for it, but we'll have to wait and see.''
There was talk the Vets were going to pick former manager Dick Williams over Anderson as the 16th manager in the Hall. But Williams pleaded no contest after being arrested on an indecent exposure charge in January, and that seems to have derailed his chances for now.
Anderson, who turned 66 last week, is in his first year of eligibility. With a record of 2,194-1,834, he trails only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,784) for lifetime victories.
Anderson managed Cincinnati from 1970-78, winning two World Series titles with the Big Red Machine. He guided Detroit from 1979-95 and won another Series ring. Along the way, he won two other pennants and a pair of division championships.
He is the only manager ever to top two franchises in career wins. That could present a problem if he's elected -- he's still not sure which cap he'd put on his Hall plaque.
Ted Williams, an influential voice in the meeting room, was said to be pushing for Harder, 223-186 lifetime for the Cleveland Indians.
''Mel Harder was a great pitcher,'' Williams said. ''He had a great curveball, great control. He was so tough to hit against.''
Harder is now 90, and some members would like to see him on the Hall platform this summer.
''Judging by some of these other guys that got in, I think I've got a good chance,'' Harder said.
Mazeroski, regarded by many as the best fielding second baseman ever, hit one of the most famous home runs in history. His bottom-of-the-ninth shot lifted Pittsburgh over the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.
Like Harder, Maz is getting key support. The chairman of the Veterans Committee is Joe Brown, the Pittsburgh general manager during Maz's entire career for the Pirates.
First-time panel member Hank Aaron likes Mazeroski, too.
''I think Bill Mazeroski should be in the Hall of Fame. If they can show me a better second baseman, I don't know who he is,'' Aaron said last year.
Hodges has been backed by an intense letter-writing campaign from fans nationwide.
The late Brooklyn first baseman hit 370 home runs and also managed the 1969 Miracle Mets to the World Series title. Under panel rules, both accomplishments can count in his candidacy.
Tony Oliva also is being considered for the first time. He batted .304 in 15 years with Minnesota and won three batting titles.
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