Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sparky Lyle 'extra innings in New Jersey'-NY Times

"At 19, Mr. Lyle signed with the Baltimore Orioles, and spent the 1964 season playing for their affiliate teams in Bluefield, W.Va. — where the manager was Jim Frey, who would go on to lead the Kansas City Royals to the 1980 American League pennant and who is now vice chairman of the Somerset Patriots — and the Fox Cities in Wisconsin.

I told him, ‘You know, I can throw every day,’ ” Mr. Lyle said. “He said, ‘You can?’ I said, ‘Yeah, my arm doesn’t get sore.’ So that’s how that got started.”

He told me it was the best pitch in baseball because it was the only pitch he couldn’t hit even when he knew it was coming,” Mr. Lyle recalled. “He said, ‘I’ll tell you how it spins. You got to work out the rest of it yourself.’

  • I was in Double A, and I would lie in bed at night with the ball in my hand, thinking: ‘How do I make it spin like that?’ I was living in a converted garage, and one night about three o’clock in the morning I went out and started throwing this ball against the side of the garage, and it started going” ...
“The next day I went to the ballpark, and my catcher, Bob Montgomery, was warming me up, and I said, ‘Slider,’ and he says, “You don’t have a slider.’ from NY Times by Bruce Weber, 5/28, "Sparky Lyle Extra Innings in NJ" via nyyfans.com


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