Thursday, December 5, 2013

1978 Topps Baseball #35 - Sparky Lyle

  • Sparky Lyle experienced a big drop-off from his Cy Young Award season of 1977. The Yankees signed Goose Gossage after the 1977 season, which relegated Lyle to a setup and occasional closer role. Lyle asked to be traded in January 1978. He realized that he wouldn't get enough work in a crowded Yankee bullpen. Sparky was blasted by owner George Steinbrenner for reporting late to spring training.
  • Lyle was traded to the Texas Rangers after the season. Graig Nettles famously said, "He went from Cy Young to sayonara." after the Yankees acquired Gossage, and it turned out to be true.
  • 1978 Stats:
    • Regular Season: 9-3, 9 saves, 3.47 ERA in 59 games
    • AL Championship Series: 0-0, 13.50 ERA in 1 game
    • World Series: did not pitch
  • 1978 Highlights: 
    • April 16 - Entered the game with 2 out in the 7th inning and shut out the Chicago White Sox the rest of the way to earn his first save. The Yankees beat the White Sox 3-0.
    • June 27 - Pitched three shutout innings and earned the win in New York's 6-4, 14 inning victory over the Boston Red Sox.
    • Sept 14 - Came on in relief of Gossage in the 8th inning and shut out the Detroit Tigers the rest of the way. New York won the game 4-2.