The 1970’s, A To Z: Sparky Lyle to Rick Manning

Recap: I’m going through all of the notable and somewhat notable players and managers of the 1970’s and I’m basically making like it’s an all-encompassing 1970’s throwback baseball card set. For the “card front”, I’m sharing my favorite 1970’s card of that guy. I’m also including a card back’s worth of information and thoughts about him and his cardboard.


1974 Topps #66
(I recently upgraded to a card without paper loss, but this particular card remains in the ‘appendix’ of my 1974 binder)

Played 1967 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Red Sox, Yankees, Rangers

1970’s Highlights:
Won the 1977 Cy Young Award – the first time an American League reliever won that award – in a season where Lyle went 13-5 (and remember this is as a reliever) with 26 saves and a 2.17 ERA;  Was named the 1972 AL Fireman of the year and got a first place vote in 1972 MVP voting; Was a three-time All-Star; Went 3-0 in postseason games, but only got 1 save out of 13 appearances; Lead the league in saves in 1972 and 1976; Got the save (and, while batting, a bases-loaded walk) by pitching a scoreless 1.1 innings in the Red Sox wild 22-11 win over White Sox, 8/30/70

Career Highlights:
Managed the Somerset Patriots, then of the independent Atlantic League, for the team’s first 15 seasons and won 5 league championships

Fun Stuff:
Famously co-wrote a book, “The Bronx Zoo”, about his 1978 season with the Yankees

Card Stuff:
Was featured in every flagship Topps set of the 1970s


1976 Topps #50

Played 1974 – 1990
1970’s Teams: Red Sox

1970’s Highlights:
His 1975 season was a rookie season for the ages and won him AL Rookie of the Year, AL MVP and Gold Glove awards – the first time that anyone won the ROY and MVP in the same season (Ichiro later duplicated that feat); In that 1975 season he lead the league with 103 runs and .566 slugging %, plus also hit .331 with 21 homers and 105 RBI; This came after a September 1974 call-up where he batted .419 with 5 runs, 10 RBI and 2 homers over 15 games;  In 1979 he lead the league in batting, on-base and slugging (.333 / .423 / .637);  Hit a homer and had five RBI in the 1975 World Series; Was the AL’s starting center fielder in the 1976, 1978 and 1979 All-Star games; His 16 total bases on 6/18/75 set an AL record (3 homers, a triple and a single) and that game made him one of a fairly small number of players with 10 or more RBI in a game

Career Highlights:
Was an All-Star in nine straight seasons; Won four Gold Gloves; Was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007; Was a two-time College All-American; Was named the MVP of the 1982 ALCS even though his Angels lost to the Brewers; Hit a grand slam in the 1983 All-STar game and was named the game’s MVP

Fun Stuff:
At USC, was a teammate of Rich Dauer, Steve Kemp and Roy Smalley; Did a guest appearance on Fantasy Island

Card Stuff:
His 1977 O-Pee-Chee card is missing the All-Star banner;  In the 1982 Topps/K-Mart MVP box set, Lynn’s multi-player 1975 rookie card was turned into a solo “card that never was”

Moving on to the letter M


1977 Kellogg’s #37

Played 1972 – 1986
1970’s Teams: Giants, Phillies

1970’s Highlights:
Was named an outfielder on the 1972 Topps All-Star Rookies team (although his 1973 card did not show the All-Star Rookie Cup logo); Finished with the 3rd-best batting average in 1973 and 1976

Career Highlights:
One of the premier center fielders of the 1970s, Maddox won eight Gold Gloves over his career; Was named the winner of the 1986 Roberto Clemente Award for players who combine good play with strong presence in the community; Won a World Championship with the 1980 Phillies; Was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in 2001

Fun Stuff:
Mets broadcaster and baseball HOFer Ralph Kiner once said “Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.”; Garry appeared with his Phillies teammates in a “1980 World Series edition” of the Family Feud (video below)

Card Stuff:
His 1979 Burger King card is cropped somewhat differently from his 1979 Topps card


1977 Topps #250

Played 1973 – 1987
1970’s Teams: Rangers, Cubs, Giants, Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
During the 1970s he lead the NL in batting twice (1975 and 1976) and batted no worse than .298; After playing 21 games for the Rangers as a September call-up, he was one of two prospects traded to the Cubs for Fergie Jenkins; Was named the 3rd baseman on the 1974 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Finished 3rd in 1974 NL Rookie of the Year voting; Was the co-MVP (along with the Mets’ Jon Matlack) of the 1975 All-Star Game… Madlock hit a 2-run single in the top of the 9th to put the NL ahead to stay; Got a 1st place vote in 1979 MVP voting but still finished in 18th behind co-winners Keith Hernandez and Willie Stargell; Won a World Championship with the Pirates in 1979 after starting that season in San Francisco

Career Highlights:
Was a batting leader four times and has a career average of .305; Was an All-Star three times; Holds the Cubs career record with a .336 batting average; Was in the postseason with the Dodgers in 1985 and Tigers in 1987

Fun Stuff:
Played in 1988 for the Lotte Orions in Japan

Card Stuff:
His O-Pee-Chee card has a different photo that’s been airbrushed to place him on the Giants after a February, 1977 trade; His 1975 Hostess card has a corrected error where he’s listd as a pitcher

1977 O-Pee-Chee #56


1976 Topps #xxx

Played 1975 – 1987
1970’s Teams: Indians

1970’s Highlights:
Was the 2nd overall draft pick in 1972, after the Padres selected IF/C Dave Roberts; Named to Baseball Digest’s – but not Topps – 1975 All-Star Rookie team;  Known as an outstanding defensive center fielder, he won a Gold Glove in 1976

Career Highlights:
Caught the final out of Len Barker’s 1981 perfect game

Fun stuff:
Has been a member of the Indians’ broadcast team since 1990, the longest tenure of any Indians TV broadcaster and as long as Indians’ radio broadcaster Tom Hamilton

Scandalous stuff:
I don’t normally include scandalous info in these writeups, but since this affected the future of two franchises, I decided it was worthwhile.

While recovering from a back injury in 1978, Manning stayed at the house of his best friend, Dennis Eckersley… but Manning became “involved” with Eck’s wife. Because of the resulting tensions between the two players the Indians knew they had to trade one of them and Eckersley was traded to the Red Sox just before the 1978 season

Card Stuff:
Has a rookie card in 1976 Hostess, as well as Topps, O-Pee-Chee and SSPC;  His 1976 SSPC card shows Duane Kuiper and likewise Kuiper’s card shows Manning

Kuiper’s card showing Manning (#522)

Manning’s card showing Kuiper (#529)

Here’s an episode of Family Feud 1980 World Series edition, Phillies vs. Royals… It’s clear from watching this that there were similar episodes before and after. The video quality starts out pretty poor, but it does get better

4 thoughts on “The 1970’s, A To Z: Sparky Lyle to Rick Manning

  1. Thanks to a few card blogs, I’m coming across some sets I need to take a closer look at. The one that caught my eye in this post is the 1982 Topps Kmart set. I knew about the phantom Wills card. Didn’t really Lynn had one too.

    • It’s a fun little set, and it used to be dirt cheap… not sure if that’s still the case. I’m trying to feature more cards like this… My tendency is to think “Oh, everybody knows about that” when the reality is that everybody knew about this years ago, but not necessarily now.

  2. Sparky Lyle played from 1980 into 82 with the Phillies, finished 82 with the White Sox. He had impressive numbers back then, even when a lot pitchers today can’t get there era under 4. Sparky was also a good hitting for a pitcher in his day (not bad for a reliever). Garry Maddox was like a vacuum in centerfield catching every ball. The Phillies got Maddox for Willie Montanez who was bit of a hot dog in his day. I remember Bill Madlock mostly playing for Pirates later with the Cubs. Good article.

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