June 18, 2014
Whole Number 142
THOMAS FRANK SPARKS,
BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYER
The only person named SPARKS to play baseball in a major league was Thomas Frank Sparks, according to THE BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA, 4th edition, published in 1979 by Macmillan Publishing Company. His twelve-year baseball career began in 1897 as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League and ended in 1910. His best seasons were in 1906 and 1907 when he had records of 19W -16L and 21W -8L, respectively. His twelve-year ERA (Earned Run Average) was a very good 2.79. He also played for Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, the Boston Red Sox, and the New York Giants.
Thomas Frank ["Tully"] Sparks was born December 12, 1874, at Etna, Georgia, a son of Thomas Linton and Sarah ["Sally"] (Wimberly) Sparks, and a grandson of Thomas Hunter and Ann (Linton) Sparks of Paulding County, Georgia. Tully Sparks married Sallie Comer; according to a relative, they had no children. Tully died on July 15, 1937, at Anniston, Alabama, where he was the owner of a fire insurance agency.
(Editor's Note: For further details of the ancestry of Thomas Frank Sparks, see the March 1958 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 21. We are indebted to Everett L. Sparks, Edwardsville, Illinois, for sending the baseball record of Tully Sparks.)