Don Sutton, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander who won over 300 games in his legendary Hall of Fame career, has passed away. His son Daron announced on social media that his father died this Monday night in his home in Rancho Mirage, California from cancer, he was 75-years-old.
“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.”
Sutton’s career famously began and ended with the Dodgers. Of the 23 seasons that he played 16 were with the Dodgers; initially from 1966 to 1980, and then returning for his final tour in 1988. He was a four-time All-Star with a career 324-256 mark and a 3.26 ERA. His 324 wins rank 14th in major league history, according to reports from ESPN.
Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten released a statement as well, remembering the legend as a “great ballplayer, great broadcaster, and, most importantly, a great person.”
“Don left an indelible mark on the Dodger franchise during his 16 seasons in Los Angeles and many of his records continue to stand to this day. I was privileged to have worked with Don in both Atlanta and Washington, and will always cherish our time spent together.”
Sutton also pitched for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and Los Angeles Angels. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame back in 1998. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred called Sutton a “model of durability on the mount,” in a tribute he posted this week.
“Don Sutton was one of our game’s most consistent winning pitchers across his decorated 23-year career. Throughout his career, Don represented our game with great class, and many will remember his excitement during his trips to Cooperstown. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to Don’s family, friends and the many fans he earned throughout a memorable life in our National Pastime,” Manfred continued.
Sutton is right behind other baseball legends Cy Young and Nolan Ryan in terms of the amount of starts he accomplished throughout his career. According to data reports Sutton recorded just one 20-win season, but managed to earn 10 or more wins in every season he played; except for 1983 and 1988.
“Sutton ranks third all-time in games started and seventh in innings pitched (5,282⅓). He worked at least 200 innings in 20 of his first 21 seasons, with only the shortened 1981 season interrupting his streak,” according to ESPN.
Sutton was born in Clio, Alabama in 1945. His family moved to Florida when he was a little older and in high school he became extremely dedicated to playing baseball. In junior college he played before getting signed to the Dodgers as a free agent back in 1964. He made his big league debut on April 14th 1966 when he helped his team defend their World Series championship, and earned his first victory four days later. After his playing career, Sutton still knew he wanted to keep professional baseball in his life, so he became an analyst for the Atlanta Braves for 28 seasons, where he would call games on both radio and television. The Braves recently released a statement remembering all the amazing times they had with Sutton over the years:
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend, Don Sutton. A generation of Braves fans came to know his voice. … Don was as feared on the mound as he was beloved in the booth. A 300-game winner who was a four-time All-Star, Don brought an unmatched knowledge of the game and his sharp wit to his calls. But despite all the success, Don never lost his generous character or humble personality.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.