Hall of Fame right-hander Don Sutton, who won 324 games and struck out 3,574 batters over 23 seasons in the major leagues from 1966 to 1988, has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer.
His son Daron revealed on Twitter that Sutton died in his sleep on Monday night at his home in c.
Sutton spent the first 15 seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming the franchise’s all-time leader with 233 wins. He also pitched for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s and California Angels before returning to the Dodgers for his final season.
Overshadowed by Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale when he first reached the majors in 1966, Sutton was perhaps best known for his durability and consistency. The four-time All-Star never missed his turn in the rotation over 756 starts – the third-most all-time behind only Cy Young and Nolan Ryan.
“When you gave him the ball, you knew one thing – your pitcher was going to give you everything he had,” Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda once said of Sutton.
Saddened to share that my dad passed away in his sleep last night. He worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever known and he treated those he encountered with great respect…and he took me to work a lot. For all these things, I am very grateful. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/cvlDRRdVXa
— Daron Sutton (@lifeisgreatsut) January 19, 2021
During a five-year span with L.A. from 1972-76, Sutton was one of the best pitchers in the game – averaging 19 wins per season with an ERA of 2.73. He finished among the top five in the National League Cy Young balloting each of those five seasons, but never won the award.
Coming close but never winning was a theme throughout Sutton’s career. He pitched for five NL pennant-winners as a member of the Dodgers. He participated in three World Series, but the Dodgers lost them all – falling to the Oakland A’s in 1974 and the New York Yankees in consecutive seasons in 1977 and 1978.
“I know Don would be the first to tell you he didn’t have the greatest stuff,” recalled fellow Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine. “But that’s a testament to him. It’s a testament to his competitiveness, to his intelligence when it comes to pitching.”
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SOURCE: USA Today, Steve Gardner