Since hitters see Lyle's sliders only during a few, widely separated at bats in the course of a whole season, they find them doubly difficult to hit. Indeed, they rarely see Lyle himself. During the first few innings of games, he hides out in a bullpen alcove, aware that Houk will not call on him until later. When the signal comes, Lyle loosens up to his own special music, the steady beat of the catcher's glove popping and the approving hum of a coterie of bleacher fans, who hasten to the railing whenever he begins to work. When the game has become tense enough, he will ride forth in style, bounce out of the car and strut to the rubber, his carriage emphasizing the drama of the moment. It is inevitably a special time requiring a specialized man.