Skip to main content

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 61

Thomas "Tully" Sparks was a pitcher with the Phillies in 1897, then again from 1903-1910. Sparks made his Major League debut with the Phillies, allowing 9 earned runs in 8 innings pitched, and didn't start another game with Philadelphia for more than five years. In the meantime, he saw stints with Pittsburgh, the New York Giants, the Boston Americans and Milwaukee.

When Sparks rejoined the Phillies, he posted an unimpressive record of 11-15, which overshadowed his solid 2.72 ERA on the season. 1903 was the first of 7 straight seasons in which Sparks posted an ERA for the Phillies under 3.00. In 1904, Sparks' ERA improved, but his record slipped to a dismal 7-16.

The following season, Sparks posted a winning record, going 14-11 and his 2.12 ERA was best on the team. In 1906, Sparks won 19 games with Philadelphia and threw a career high 6 shutouts, including one against Giants ace Christy Mathewson in late August. Also in 1906, Sparks completed 29 games in 37 starts.

Sparks' best season came in 1907 when he reeled off 10 straight victories, beginning in July, and finished with a 22-9 record and a 2.00 ERA. Sparks' hot streak included wins in 14 of his final 16 starts that season.

Some pitchers are at their best when they face off against the best and Sparks was one of those pitchers. In 4 starts against the eventual 1907 World Champions, that season, Sparks went 3-1. The lone loss was a 1-0 defeat. In those 4 games, Sparks allowed 5 runs in 36 innings (1.25 ERA).

Unfortunately for Sparks, his numbers would slide after that career year. In 1908 he posted a 16-15 record and in 1909 he went 6-11. The following season, Sparks struggled in 3 starts and did not earn a win. He was released by the Phillies in early June and retired from baseball.


-----------------------------------

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Phillies minor leaguer Burch to use health scare as fuel

Tyler Burch, image- MiLB.com I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work and get access to exclusive interviews plus early access to features and news such as this. A missed baseball season wasn't the only challenge facing righty pitcher Tyler Burch this summer.   With persistent symptoms that began prior to spring training it was ultimately discovered, after the 2020 season was shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that the 22-year-old had developed an autoimmune disease.   As symptoms that included dry mouth and frequent trips to the bathroom worsened, Burch's situation left his doctor puzzled.  And even the physician that conducted his team physical examination at the outset of spring training jokingly referenced diabetes, but did not take the possibility seriously.    The physical impacts subsided somewhat during spring training, as being more active and adhering to the team diet helped alleviate what he was experiencing. Once the base