Baseball runs in the Sparger family
For Emil and Toots Sparger, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Eating popcorn and an 8th Street Ballpark hotdog watching their two children, their grandson and three of their great-grandchildren on the baseball field at the same time.
For the Spargers, who just celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary, baseball has been part of the their lives for as long as they can remember.
Emil has played baseball for Spencer High School, the Cubs, the United States Navy and the Pirates.
Sons Phip and Kelly grew up playing baseball at the Spencer ballpark, for North Rowan High School and Rowan County Legion.
Kelly went on to play first base for N.C. State University. Their grandson Jason played baseball at North Rowan High School and Lenoir-Rhyne College.
Phip, a Duke Power retiree has spent countless hours maintaining and improving the Spencer ballpark enabling hundreds of children the opportunity to share his love of baseball.
He has been a little league coach for 20 plus years and along with his son Jason is currently coaching two of his grandchildren, Emma and Jackson Sparger.
Kelly, the recently retired principal of East Rowan High School, has taken on his first head coaching job in many years for his grandson Logan Dyer’s fall baseball team with East Rowan Diamond Sports.
Phip and Kelly took advantage of the opportunity for the grandchildren to play together this fall in the Spencer Little League much to the delight of their great-grandparents.
The Spargers believe in the great Babe Ruth’s sentiment that “Baseball was, is and always will be the best game in the world.” And so the love of the game is passed on through the generations.