Friday, June 24, 2022

1969 Heritage, I mean Topps, Sparky Lyle Rookie Card CONTEST

I bought this card about a month ago from a dime box at The Batter's Box card shop. Off centered, wax residue all across the center of the card and the number 7 written neatly in the upper left-hand corner.

But it is the rookie card of 3 time All-Star and 1977 AL Cy Young Award winner; Sparky Lyle. 


Lyle had a great career as a closer over 16 years, but his best seasons were spent in Yankee pinstripes (1972-78) on the biggest stage as he helped the Yanks win two World Series in 1977 and 1978. It was those two seasons with New York that would be the focus of the book The Bronx Zoo, which Lyle co-authored with Peter Golenbock. I don't think I've actually read this book. I have read his other book, The Year I Owned the Yankees. I remember reading this one as a kid and enjoying it, but that it was different from most of the other books about baseball I was reading at the time because it was fictional, but I wondered how much of it was actually true.


The back of the card lists his name as Sparky Lyle, so early on, his nickname had stuck. His actual name is Albert Walker Lyle. Reynoldsville High School, where Lyle grew up had football and basketball teams but not a baseball team, so while he played varsity football and basketball for his high school, Sparky played American Legion baseball during his high school years. It was on the DuBois American Legion team that Lyle recorded the 31 strikeouts during a 17 inning game which is mentioned as part of the comic on the back of the card. It should be noted that Lyle pitched "just" 14 of the 17 innings when he recorded those 31 strikeouts.

On the back of the card we see minor league statistics as well as his first two years in the big leagues. Weird that he got into 27 games in 1967 for the Red Sox, but didn't have a baseball card until 1969. 

About a week ago I was at a different card shop and saw this copy of the same card in one of the showcases with a $2 price tag. I asked one the employees (I had never seen him before) for help getting the card out of the showcase. I was in front of the showcase and he was behind it, so I pointed and told him, "The Sparky Lyle there in the front on the middle shelf." He responded, "Oh, the Heritage card." I couldn't help it and I laughed and said, "It's a 1969 Topps card." He responded, "Well, it looks like Heritage." This was not a kid. This was a grown man, probably in his mid 30's. Now, I get that the 2018 Heritage had the 1969 Topps design, but I was still just a little surprised. 


This card is far from perfect, but is much better than my 10 cent copy and I'm going to keep this one in my collection.

I will be giving away this card. If you are interested. Sparky's birthday is coming next month; July 22. So the contest will run through his birthday. Comment on this post up to one time per day for an entry up until 7/22/22. Each entry will get you a spot into a drawing for the card. If you do a blog post featuring Sparky include a link in one of the comments and you will get an additional 5 entries. There is no limit to the number of blog posts you can do.


The main prize will be this 1969 Topps Sparky Lyle rookie card that has a bunch of condition issues, but since this contest will be running almost a month, I will periodically add cards to the prize, so that is another good reason to check in daily and leave a comment.

Added as a prize on 6/24/22. 1972 Topps Dock Ellis.


Let's add a few more cards to the prize package. A trio of 1974 Topps Traded cards including Hall of Famer Ron Santo. These are dups for me, so they will be added to the prize.


Can't guarantee that I will add to the prizes every day, but for now, let's keep adding.

Here is a near complete 1979 Topps All-Time Record Holders subset. It is just missing #417 which is for Strikeouts and features Nolan Ryan and Walter Johnson.


Loving all of the interest in this contest. Thank you to everyone that is participating. Let's add to the prize! Here are a couple of Allen & Ginter Babe Ruth cards.


Let's add some Post cereal cards. I am going after all of the modern Post cereal card sets, so if I am still working on a set and I come across some in a dime box I will usually just grab them, so I end up with dups. So let's add these to the prize.


Let's add some more cards to the prize package. These are some duplicates I picked up recently at a card show. Just some cool inserts from the 90's.


Here are some 1998 Donruss Rated Rookies cards, minus the familiar Rated Rookie logo.


It's been a while since I added cards to the prize since I have been on vacation. Turns out I already had this 1984 Donruss Pete Rose I bought at Burbank Sportscards while I was on vacation, so it will be added to the prize.


More dups from my player collection are getting added to the prize.


Let's add another vintage card to the prize. I bought a 1959 Topps Herb Score card at a card show recently and it turns out I already had one.

139 comments:

  1. Always nice to upgrade! I don't know how many times I will comment, but here's one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, I will start trying to post all my comments in one place like everyone else is doing.

      Delete
    2. The Babe was a tub of lard. Just needed something to comment for today!

      Delete
    3. I always kind of liked those Mozaics cards, even though they are strange. Also love the Helton Rated Rookie!

      Delete
  2. No idea how often I'll comment since I'm behind in my reading (and only happened to see the post when I refreshed Blogger), but at least I got one in! Thanks for the contest!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I need that card for my set build so here's my comment!

    ReplyDelete
  4. A Red Sox card I don't own being offered as a prize? Yeah, I'll play...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comment once per day, eh? ;)

      Delete
    2. Three day comment streak!

      Delete
    3. Lyle becomes first AL reliever to ever win the Cy Young award, and how do the Yanks reward him? By signing Goose Gossage to be their closer...

      Delete
    4. After the Yankees were done with Lyle, they traded him to the Rangers in exchange for future Rookie Of The Year winner Dave Righetti.

      Delete
    5. Lyle was a notorious prankster known for sitting naked on other player's birthday cakes.

      Delete
    6. Even after an 8 hour drive from Virginia to New York I still find time to comment!

      Delete
    7. Wow, your prize pack is getting amazingly good!

      Delete
    8. It's a shame Sparky Lyle never played for Sparky Anderson....

      Delete
    9. Woo-hoo! 10 day comment streak!

      Delete
    10. Happy 4th of July! I've decided it's Sparky week on my blog. Here's his first appearance: http://diamond-jesters.blogspot.com/2022/07/happy-independence-day.html

      Delete
    11. Better get my daily comment in before I spend all day driving back home...

      Delete
    12. Sparky Week continues with a special haiku: https://diamond-jesters.blogspot.com/2022/07/repack-haiku-262-sparky-lyle.html

      Delete
    13. In the history of baseball, Sparky's mustache is vastly underrated - ranks right up there with Fingers, Vuchovich, Gossage, and Eck (and those are just relievers!)

      Delete
    14. Gossage and Lyle in the same bullpen in '78. I was going to say Tidrow too but looked him up and he mostly started that year. Still, that's a pitching staff with Gossage, Lyle, Tidrow, Guidry, Figueroa, Catfish Hunter - best mustachioed pitching staff of all time?

      But then of course you have Vuckovich and Fingers on the Brewers too. I thought of Vuckovich as a reliever too but he was actually mostly a starter. Lot of mustaches on that '82 staff - Caldwell, Haas, McClure, Lerch. But most of those were thinner or lighter, less memorable overall than some of the big Yankee 'staches.

      Delete
    15. Sparky Week concludes! (https://diamond-jesters.blogspot.com/2022/07/top-3-sparky-lyle.html)

      Delete
    16. You know what Bo, I think I confused Vuchovich with The Mad Hungarian Al Hrabosky! That Yankees staff might have been the best facial haired pitching staff of all time, which is weird to say given the company's stance on facial hair...

      Delete
    17. Gotta keep this comment streak going!

      Delete
    18. Sitting in a theater about to watch Thor, and wondering if Sparky Lyle likes superhero movies...

      Delete
    19. Happy 7-11 Day! Everyone go get themselves a free Slurpee!

      Delete
    20. Every time I comment, I become more and more convinced that someone who only commented a few times is going to win. Still going to try and comment every day though!

      Delete
    21. Whoop! Whoop! 20 day comment streak!

      Delete
    22. In 1988, his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Sparky received 56 votes (13.1%) . He lost over half of those votes the next two years (25 votes in both 1989 and 1990). 1991 ended up being his last year on the ballot as he fell bellow the 5% threshold with 15 votes.

      Delete
    23. I haven't commented on all those other cards you've added, but the 1959 Topps card makes this quite the "Score"! (I'll see myself out now...)

      Delete
    24. I came up with a new joke: What's Sparky Lyle's favorite frosting? "Butt"-ercream! Ha!

      Delete
    25. In his first All-Star game in 1973, Lyle pitched 1 inning. He gave up 1 hit to Willie Davis, but he also struck out the great Willie Mays!

      Delete
    26. Lyle was selected as an All-Star for the 1976 game, but did not get into the game. Only 3 of the 8 reserve pitchers on the AL squad were used.

      Delete
    27. Lyle pitched 2 innings in his third and final All-Star game (1977). He pitched a clean 1-2-3 9th inning. The inning before however, was not so good: double, HPB, wild pitch to advance the runners, 2-run single, and another single before getting three outs.

      Delete
    28. I've got another Sparky post scheduled to go, but not until late tonight!

      Delete
    29. I went a did a thing: https://diamond-jesters.blogspot.com/2022/07/even-if-i-lose-ive-already-won.html

      Delete
    30. Happy birthday Sparky Lyle! - https://diamond-jesters.blogspot.com/2022/07/happy-birthday-sparky-lyle.html

      Delete
    31. Thanks again for the contest Daniel - it's going to weird not coming to this post to comment anymore!

      Delete
  5. Lyle was as dominant closer for the Yankees when I was growing up and learning about the game.
    The Tigers version was John Hiller, another dominating lefty who came back from from a heart attack.

    Good Job. 👍

    ReplyDelete
  6. I don't think I've ever seen his RC. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Throwing my name in the hat too. I also read The Bronx Zoo as a kid when getting big into baseball.. fun book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For my second comment, I wanted to mention that now I'm not sure if the book I read was actually The Year I Owned the Yankees. Maybe the cover would jog my memory in a future comment.

      Delete
    2. Yep, I was wrong in my first comment.. the book I read was The Year I Owned the Yankees. I should get around to reading The Bronx Zoo sometime.

      Delete
    3. Ok, here's another comment for another day.

      Delete
    4. I think I need to move on with my life after this comment, lol, but thanks for the contest, Daniel, and best of luck to everyone!

      Delete
    5. Just wanted to wish Sparky a happy birthday. While I didn't get around to mentioning him in a post, I did include a card of his in my prize pool page, if that counts for anything. :)

      Delete
  8. Never knew Lyle was with the Red Sox. I was at a card show yesterday and came across his 1978 Topps card. His pose reminded me of a childhood toy: Barrel of Monkeys.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Missed a day, as I figured I would. Thanks for the reminder on the other post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'll throw a comment Dock's way. No-hitter, World Series ring, 138 wins.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maris casually hanging out with some of the best players ever.

      Delete
    2. My baseball Mt. Rushmore: Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt.
      (Might change it tomorrow.)

      Delete
    3. C - Bench
      1B - Gehrig
      2B - Hornsby
      3B - Schmidt
      SS - Wagner
      LF - Williams
      CF - Mays
      RF - Ruth

      Delete
    4. Cy Young
      Walter Johnson
      Steve Carlton
      Greg Maddux
      Randy Johnson

      Delete
    5. Happy Independence Day.

      Hoyt Wilhelm
      Rollie Fingers
      Bruce Sutter
      Dennis Eckersley
      Mariano Rivera
      Trevor Hoffman

      Delete
    6. Yogi Berra
      Jackie Robinson
      Wade Boggs
      Ozzie Smith
      Mickey Mantle
      Hank Aaron

      Delete
    7. Good picks. I'd pick Brett over Boggs, and DiMaggio over Mantle on my bench.

      Delete
    8. I thought I'd go with Brett but Boggs turned out to be better than I thought when I looked him up. Mantle over DiMaggio due to longevity, but also because he played some first base. Not carrying a true 1B on my bench.

      Delete
    9. I see a Todd Helton has been added to the haul.

      I was in attendance for the last game of the season when he was chasing a BA title and the Padres intentionally walked him. He ended up finishing second in one of the closest BA races of the modern era.

      This was also the last Padres game at Qualcomm Stadium. They moved to Petco Park the following season.

      Delete
    10. Fair enough on Brett and Mantle. Looks like your contest will be a fun one too!

      Delete
    11. We turn to players I've seen play live.

      SP - Carlton
      C - Piazza
      1B - McGwire
      2B - Utley
      3B - Schmidt
      SS - Larkin
      LF - R. Henderson
      CF - Yount
      RF - Gwynn
      RP - Hoffman

      My memory for this stuff is horrible, so I might have missed some guys from random road teams. But Jeter was injured when I saw the Yankees and they didn't use Rivera. Gwynn > Ichiro.

      Delete
    12. Baseball players I got autographs from in person:

      Tug McGraw
      Tony Armas
      Rickey Henderson
      Mike Norris
      Dusty Baker
      Pat Combs
      Chris Pritchett

      Delete
    13. Time to get trivial.

      C - Steve Yeager
      1B - Ron Blomberg
      2B - Alan Wiggins
      3B - Danny Ainge
      SS - Mario Mendoza
      OF - Lee Maye, Glenn Burke, Gates Brown

      Delete
    14. Is the trivia something shared among all of them, or just that they are each the answer to a common trivia question?

      Delete
    15. Each has a different bit of trivia. I 'm just too lazy to post the explanations.

      Delete
    16. Oldest baseball card in my collection: 1954 Bowman Toby Atwell

      Most valuable, according to TCDB: 1970 Topps Roberto Clemente, 1983 Topps Ryne Sandberg, 1966 Topps Ernie Banks

      Delete
    17. https://viewfrom3rdfloor.blogspot.com/2022/07/sparky-lyle-elliptical-connections.html

      Delete
    18. That's a Sparky blog post.

      Now for my comment: Pete Rose was born in Cincinnati. Is he the best "local product" in the history of MLB? I might have to research this.

      Delete
    19. Got to be Lou Gehrig, I think.

      Delete
    20. MLB ballparks I have been to:

      Candlestick (Giants) - saw several games there
      Oakland Coliseum (A's) - saw a couple games there
      Qualcomm Stadium (Padres) - saw several games there
      Petco Park (Padres) - saw a bunch of games there
      Veterans Stadium (Phillies) - saw a few games there
      Astrodome (Astros) - took a picture of it from the parking lot
      Kauffman Stadium* (Royals) - Probably shouldn't count, but I drove past it on the freeway.

      Delete
    21. Let's play Best and Favorites.

      Yankees - Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig
      Red Sox - Ted Williams, Ted Williams
      Blue Jays - Dave Steib, Danny Ainge
      Orioles - Cal Ripken Jr., Mark Belanger
      Rays - Evan Longoria, Carl Crawford

      Delete
    22. What are the Alan Wiggins and Gates Brown trivia questions? I can't think of them off hand and am too lazy to look it up. Speaking of trivia, here's a stumper - who led the 1982 Cardinals in WAR? Came across it doing a little research for your contest. Sure surprised me.

      Delete
    23. Wiggins - first MLB player to die from AIDS
      Gates - signed while in prison (as was Ron LeFlore)

      Delete
    24. Twins - Rod Carew, Rod Carew
      Indians - Tris Speaker, Kenny Lofton
      White Sox - Frank Thomas, Minnie Minoso
      Tigers - Ty Cobb, Mark Fidrych
      Royals - George Brett, Bo Jackson

      Delete
    25. Astros - Jeff Bagwell, J.R. Richard
      Mariners - Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Jr.
      Rangers - Ivan Rodriguez, Julio Franco
      Angels - Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani
      Athletics - Lefty Grove, Rickey Henderson

      Delete
    26. Another Sparky blog post:

      https://viewfrom3rdfloor.blogspot.com/2022/07/sparky-lyle-dubois-and-girl.html?sc=1657912033378#c5570053976481237346

      Delete
    27. Another Sparky blog post. It went up on Wednesday, but I forgot to link it here.

      https://viewfrom3rdfloor.blogspot.com/2022/07/sparky-lyle-yankee-years.html

      Delete
    28. Continuing my Best and Favorites series:

      Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw, Jackie Robinson
      Padres - Tony Gwynn, Tony Gwynn
      Giants - Barry Bonds, Willie Mays
      Rockies - Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki
      Diamondbacks - Randy Johnson, Steve Finley

      Delete
    29. Didn't know that about Gates. Gates as in prison gates?

      Delete
    30. I opened my window so you can hear me groan.

      Delete
    31. Brewers - Robin Yount, Robin Yount
      Cardinals - Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith
      Pirates - Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente
      Reds - Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan
      Cubs - Ron Santo, Ernie Banks

      Delete
    32. Lol I wasn't actually joking. Looking it up it appears to have been short for Gator. Like Ron Guidry.

      Delete
    33. Finishing the Best and Favorites series with the NL East.

      Phillies - Mike Schmidt, Mike Schmidt
      Mets - Tom Seaver, Tug McGraw
      Braves - Hank Aaron, Hank Aaron
      Nationals - Max Scherzer, Juan Soto
      Marlins - Giancarlo Stanton, Hanley Ramirez

      Delete
    34. My last Sparky Lyle blog post:

      https://viewfrom3rdfloor.blogspot.com/2022/07/sparky-lyle-love-it.html

      Delete
    35. My favorite baseball movies:

      Eight Men Out
      Major League
      A League of Their Own
      The Natural
      Stealing Home

      Delete
    36. Favorite and Least Favorite in each division:

      Rays, Blue Jays
      White Sox, Guardians
      Athletics, Astros

      Padres, Dodgers
      Cubs, Cardinals
      Phillies, Mets

      Delete
    37. Happy to see a team other than the Yankees in the "Least Favorite" column.

      Delete
    38. Baseball players who excelled in other sports:

      Jim Thorpe
      Gene Conley
      Dave DeBusschere
      Steve Hamilton
      Dick Groat
      Danny Ainge
      Deion Sanders
      Brian Jordan
      Bo Jackson

      Delete
    39. Thanks for the contest.

      Let's close it out with the collection status of the players shown above. Playing days cards only.

      Sparky Lyle - Have. As a Yankee.
      Dock Ellis - Have.
      Mike Marshall, Ron Santo, Felipe Alou - All no.
      Lou Brock - Have.
      All the other record holders - No.
      Babe Ruth - No.
      Reggie Jackson - Have.
      Harmon Killebrew - Have.
      Willie McCovey - Have.
      Sammy Sosa - Have.
      Vlad Guerrero - Have.
      Everybody in the next group - Have.
      Bartolo Colon - No.
      Miguel Tejada - No.
      Todd Helton - Have.
      Pete Rose - Have.
      Everybody in the next group - Have.
      Herb Score - No.

      I don't have a single card shown.

      Delete
    40. Happy birthday Sparky! And thanks for the contest Daniel!

      Delete
  11. The Bronx Zoo was the first baseball book I read as a kid. I was too young to understand a lot of it. I already have the Lyle but I need the Ellis so I'll enter the contest. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I do win this contest I'll host my own contest to give away the Lyle.

      Delete
    2. Guess I'd have some '74 tradeds to give away too if I won. Also let me know if you still need anything from that set.

      Delete
    3. Featured a Sparky card on my blog today http://borosny.blogspot.com/2022/06/vintage-backgrounds-1975-topps.html

      Delete
    4. The Babe! I don't have that 2019 card.

      Delete
    5. It's fun reading some of the other comments appearing on here. I'm going to have to start thinking of something interesting to say myself.

      Delete
    6. Hard to believe it's been 20 years since Post put out baseball cards. I hope Fanatics does some food tie-ins.

      Delete
    7. Those are some nice looking inserts. The laser-grid McGwire is my favorite.

      Delete
    8. Another brief Sparky mention on my blog: http://borosny.blogspot.com/2022/07/art-on-back-1976.html

      Delete
    9. I'm mailing out your last two '74 Topps Traded needs today. I love the back of Eddie Watt's card - "Watt's New for Phillies".

      Delete
    10. Stopped commenting for a couple of days - I see you've added a card with the NYC skyline and a vintage Herb Score (one of the best players ever to come out of Long Island). Have to start commenting again!

      Delete
    11. Another Sparky-related post today: http://borosny.blogspot.com/2022/07/art-on-back-1977.html Thanks!

      Delete
  12. Sorry I haven't commented since the first day. My memory isn't so good in my old age.🤣🤣

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for running this giveaway. I misread this original post so I am a little late to the game with a first comment. I like those all time record cards. I have a few in my Hall of Fame collection.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is my first comment. I have all these cards. Maybe there will be something I don't have. Maybe I'll remember to comment again. Maybe my job will let me comment again. Stay tuned!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still looking for something that I don't have. I'm sure something will show up. Hopefully not a Lance Berkman card.

      Delete
    2. Hey, a couple cards were added I don't have. ... Just read the post on the 1980-81 set. My favorite NBA player as a kid was Wes Unseld. I still have his card, one of like 5 NBA cards I own.

      Delete
    3. Hey look, I remembered! ... I like the Vaughn Lumber card. Those '90s inserts are hit-and-miss with me.

      Delete
    4. I am not doing very well commenting here. Hoping somehow the Jim Gilliam Bell Brand card lands here and then I am determined the winner!

      Delete
    5. Hey, I remembered a comment on my birthday! Nice-looking '59 Score. I still need to see if I have that extra '74 Traded Agee for you.

      Delete
    6. Happy belated birthday!

      Delete
    7. I sent Daniel the Agee this week so hopefully he is all set

      Delete
  15. Nice additions to the pile of cards for the giveaway. That Indians card from mid 1990s Zenith is sweet looking. I have never seen that one.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks again for the contest. I am enjoying the post about 90s inserts right now.

    ReplyDelete