Sparky Lyle was one of the top relievers for over a decade with the Red Sox and Yankees. He led the league in saves in 1972 & 1976 and was a three time AL All-Star. In 1977, Lyle became the first reliever ever to win the Cy Young Award. Relying mostly on a hard slider and fastball in 1968, he became the ace of the Red Sox bullpen with his 6-1 record, 11 saves with a 2.74 ERA. Sparky Lyle saved 17 games in 1969, third in the league, 20 saves in 1970, and 16 in 1971, but was traded to the New York Yankees. He immediately responded by collecting a league leading 35 saves and a 1.90 ERA and in 1973 he recorded his career best ERA 1.66 with 27 saves.
Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young in 1977 by winning 13 games and saving 26 others, and then added a win in the World Series as the Yankees beat the Dodgers in 6 games. He was traded to Texas in 1979 but by then his wicked slider and fastball lost their snap and he saved only 15 games in his final three years. Sparkly Lyle never started one game in his long career. His career stats: 1391 innings, 99-76, 2.88 ERA, 238 saves. He pitched in 3 LCS, 11.2 innings, 2.31 ERA, 2 WS 1-0, 1.23 ERA baseballhistorian.com