Sparky Lyle Named Manager Emeritus

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Bridgewater, NJ- Sparky Lyle, the Somerset Patriots manager since the team began play in the Atlantic League in 1998, has stepped down from his position and has become the team’s manager emeritus.

“It’s been a great 15 years. I’d like to thank Steve Kalafer, the Somerset Patriots, and all of our fans. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished together during this time,” Lyle said.

In January of 1997, Lyle was the first employee hired by the team. Despite no prior coaching or managing experience, Patriots chairman Steve Kalafer saw something special in Lyle, who had been out of baseball since 1982 and was working in a client relations role at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City and filming commercials for Miller Lite.

Lyle went on to become the winningest manager in Atlantic League history with 1,024 victories and led the Patriots to five championships (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009) in 15 seasons.

The Patriots finished with 12 consecutive winning seasons from 1999-2010 that in addition to the record five championships, also included eight Division Titles and 12 Half Championships.

“The championships are what you go out there to play for everyday. We had great players come through that knew what it takes to be a winner and made my job much easier and a lot more fun. I owe a lot to them,” Lyle said.

Lyle was named the Atlantic League Manager of the Year three times (1999, 2003, 2009).

In his position as manager emeritus, Lyle will be at all home games to meet and greet special guests down on the field, interact with fans, and be a team ambassador at the ballpark and throughout the community.

“This place has become my second home. I love coming to the ballpark, seeing our fans, and making their time with us special. I’m glad that everything worked out where it won’t feel like I’m leaving at all,” Lyle added.

Lyle will be succeeded by Brett Jodie, who served as his pitching coach since 2006 and took over as Director of Player Personnel as well in 2007.

The announcement was made official at a press conference on November 28th at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, NJ.

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