Wednesday, September 2, 2015


As a young Yankee fan in 1979, I was confused and heartbroken when my older cousin Tony told me that one of my favorite Yanks, Sparky Lyle, was traded to the Texas Rangers.
What made it more confusing was tearing open Topps packs a couple months later to see Lyle STILL donning the pinstripes.
So here is an "updated" 1979 traded card for the former all-star reliever, showing him on his proper team:

Really the best usable image I could find of him in Texas garb believe it or not.
Traded in November of 1978 to Texas, it would be the trade that got the Yankees Dave Righetti, though he wasn't the main cog in the massive 10-player transaction that also included Juan Beniquez, Mike Heath and Domino Ramos, among others.
What a great career Lyle put up: 899 lifetime appearances, ALL in relief, a Cy Young Award in 1977 when he went 13-5 with a 2.17 ERA and 26 saves over 72 games, two top-10 MVP finishes in 1972 and 1977, three all-star nods, and two championships as part of the famous "Bronx Zoo" Yankee teams of the late-70's.
A character among characters, funny enough he is currently involved with the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League not 10 minutes from my home. And he's still the life of the party!


  1. I didn't realize he was an MVP candidate in '72. Does it seem strange to anyone else that he was #3 in MVP votes but only #7 in Cy Young votes?

  2. I go to about 4 or 5 Somerset Patriots games per year. It is always fun to see Sparky. He was the manager for a few years, now he just shows up once in a while.

    Surprise, Surprise...I have bought a few of the Patriots' Baseball Card Team sets.

    Yankee Tidbit: Shane Spencer is now one of the coaches of the Somerset Patriots.



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