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Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson dies aged 76

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson, the first man to manage a World Series champion in each league, died Thursday at the age of 76, Major League Baseball said.

He died two days after being placed in hospice care at his home in Thousand Oaks, California, MLB said on its website (www.mlb.com)

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said Anderson was "a gentleman, a great baseball man and a superb ambassador for the game.

"I am truly saddened by the loss of Sparky Anderson," Selig added in a statement. "I have lost, and all of baseball has lost, a dear friend.

Anderson left baseball following the 1995 season and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the summer of 2000. His 2,194 regular-season victories rank sixth on the all-time list.

Anderson, who managed in the majors for 26 years, played for one season, batting .218 with no home runs 34 runs batted in for the last-place Philadelphia Phillies in 1959.

(Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Louisville; Editing by Ken Ferris)