When my dad took me to my first ever game at Yankee Stadium in June of '77, it was Sparky Lyle who got the save that day. His was also my first Yankee Baseball card so he was was my first favorite player.
Flash forward to the summer of '04. I was watching CN8 and Steve Adubato was doing a week on minor league ball. He was interviewing Sparky, who manages the Somerset Patriots in the independent Atlantic League, and they were talking about the Patriots and about signing for the fans. After the show I looked up the Patriots online and even thought of traveling up to North Jersey, but then I realized that they play the Camden Riversharks which are just up the road. Got tickets for the Partiots' next visit.
I waited at the game with a few other folks for sparky to come over. He went in and took care of dugout business and then finally came over to sign for us. When he got to me,I told him all about how he save my first MLB game and he got a real kick out of it. I was gushing like a kid as he signed a ball on the sweet spot and my copy of The Bronx Zoo.
What a Great Trip!!!!