Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton dies at age 75

Don Sutton, the longtime right-handed Los Angeles Dodgers who won over 300 games in his career in the Hall of Fame, died Monday night, his son Daron announced on social media.

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Don Sutton died of cancer at his Rancho Mirage, Calif. Home. He was 75 years old.

“It’s sad to share that my father died in his sleep last night,” wrote Daron Sutton on Twitter. “He worked as hard as anyone I have ever known and he treated those he met with great respect … and he made me work a lot. I am for all of these things very grateful. Rest in peace. “

Sutton’s career began and ended with the Dodgers, with whom he spent 16 of his 23 seasons – from 1966 to 1980 and including one final tour in 1988. He was a four-time All-Star with a career of 324-256 and a 3.26 ERA. His 324 victories rank 14th in Major League history.

“Today we lost a great ball player, a great broadcaster, and most importantly, a great person,” said Stan Kasten, President and CEO of Dodgers, in a statement. “Don made an indelible mark on the Dodger franchise during his 16 seasons in Los Angeles, and many of his records remain to this day. I have had the privilege of working with Don in both Atlanta and Washington and will be our time always appreciate together. “

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He has also worked for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and Los Angeles Angels.

Sutton was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

The long-lived Sutton never missed a spin in rotation in 756 major league starts. Only Cy Young and Nolan Ryan made more starts than Sutton, who never ended up on the injured list. Sutton was a master of the changing speeds and position of the pitch. He had only one season of 20 wins, but had 10 or more wins in every season except 1983 and 1988. Of his victories, 58 were failures, five were hits and 10 were two. Bat. The right-hander is in seventh place on the career strike list with 3,574.

He ranks third all-time in games started and seventh in innings (5,282.1). He worked at least 200 innings in 20 of his first 21 seasons, with only the shortened 1981 season interrupting his streak.

Donald Howard Sutton, born April 2, 1945 in Clio, Alabama, was the son of tenants. The family moved to North Florida, where Sutton was a three-sports star in high school who showed an affinity for baseball as a teenager. He played the sport in junior college before the Dodgers signed him as a free agent in September 1964, months before the first MLB draft.

After Sutton played 23-7 during a season in the minors, he won a place in the Dodgers rotation in 1966. On April 14, 1966, he made his major league debut for the defending champions of the World Series and won his first win four days later.

Sutton was immediately in a rotation with Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen as the fourth starter. Sutton recorded 209 strikes that season, the highest total for a rookie since 1911.

He helped the Dodgers win National League pennants in 1974, 1977 and 1978. In 1980 he left the team as a free agent and signed with Houston.

A 1982 deal sent Sutton to the Brewers where he made Milwaukee the first American League pennant. He worked for his sixth postseason team with the AL West Champion Angels in 1986 and returned to the Dodgers in 1988. He retired before the end of a season they won the World Series.

After his playing career, Sutton spent 28 years as an analyst for the Atlanta Braves, calling up games on both television and radio.

“We are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend Don Sutton,” the Braves said in a statement. “A generation of Braves fans came to know his voice … Don was as feared on the hill as he was loved in the dressing room. As a 300-game winner and four-time All-Star, Don brought an unmatched knowledge of the game and his sharp wit on his calls. Despite his success, Don never lost his generous character or humble personality. “

He joined the Braves in 1989 when they were one of baseball’s worst teams but had built a national following through the TBS Superstation and their trio of broadcasters: Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren and Ernie Johnson Sr.

Sutton was part of the soundtrack for Atlanta’s worst to first season in 1991, the dominant streak of 14 straight titles, and the 1995 World Cup. He called Braves Games on television and radio for 28 out of 30 seasons, interrupted only by joining the Washington Nationals in 2007. He returned to the Braves in 2009 and continued to broadcast games throughout the 2018 season.

“Don Sutton’s brilliance on the field and continued dedication to the game he loved so much continued into his time as a Hall of Fame member,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chair of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Baseball museum. said in a statement. “I know how much he cherished his Cooperstown moments as much as we cherished our special moments with him. We offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Mary, and his family.”

Sutton’s death follows seven Hall of Famers who died in 2020, the most seated members of Cooperstown to die in a calendar year. They were Lou Brock, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Phil Niekro, and Tom Seaver.

Sutton cast himself for Tommy Lasorda, the manager of the Dodgers Hall of Fame, who passed away on January 7th.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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