Sunday, May 24, 2009

1981 Fleer Star Stickers #91 Sparky Lyle

In the late '70s and early '80s, two prominent relief pitchers were sporting amazing handle-bar mustaches. One was Rollie Fingers, and the other was Sparky Lyle, who pitched for the Phillies from 1980 until 1982.

Of course, Sparky gained his fame as the Yankees' closer and situational lefty reliever throughout the '70s. He won the Cy Young Award in 1977, compiling a record of 13-5 (all in relief!), an ERA of 2.17 and saving 26 games. He pitched in the Postseason for the Yankees in 1976, 1977 and 1978.

In September 1980, looking for bullpen help for the final few weeks of the season, the Phils acquired Sparky from the Texas Rangers. He'd pitch parts of 3 seasons with the Phils, going 12-9 with a 4.37 ERA in 92 games. In August 1982, Sparky was sold to the Chicago White Sox, where he would pitch 11 games before calling it a career. Sparky Lyle has been the manager of the Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League since 1998.

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