Begins his fourth season in the White Sox organization as assistant hitting coach to Todd Steverson ... Spent the previous 19 seasons (1997-2015) in the Oakland Athletics organization ... served as the Athletics minor-league hitting coordinator in 2015 and from 2004-11 ... also worked as the hitting coach with Class AAA Sacramento from 2012-14 and Mesa in the Arizona Fall League in 2014 ... During his time in the Athletics organization, worked with major-leaguers Daric Barton, Chris Carter, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt ... After joining Sacramento as hitting coach in 2012, Sparks was replaced as Oakland's minor-league hitting coordinator by current White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson ... Compiled a 359-352 record (.505) in six seasons as a minor-league manager from 1998-03 ... was named Northwest League co-Manager of the Year in 1999 with Class A Southern Oregon ... led Class AA Modesto to a 78-62 record and a berth in the Texas League playoffs in 2002.
Appeared in 1,270 career minor-league games over 12 seasons with nine different organizations, batting .241 (1,010-4,183) with 120 home runs and 630 RBI ... Recorded a career-best 27 home runs and 77 RBI over two stops in 1992 ... was selected by San Diego in the fifth round of the 1984 draft out of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College.
Married Jennifer ... has one daughter: Kodie ... His father, Joe, was the White Sox first base coach in 1979, managed in their minor-league system from 1970-75 and '77-79 and spent five seasons (1966-69, '73) as a player in the Sox minor-league system ... Was a batboy for the Sox during the 1979 season, including Disco Demolition Night on 7/12/79.