Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton who won 324 games in his 23 season career has died at 75. Sad to hear this news. When I was twelve years old my grandfather called me up on Sunday morning- do you want to go to the Pirates game? Well he didn’t really have to ask. I would never say no to a baseball game. He picks me up and then gets my younger cousin Jeff and we head to Pittsburgh.
It was a cold, rainy, damp kind of day. We get there early- my grandfather was always early for everything. So am I. Anyway the gates open and we go in- no one else is around. The Dodgers are taking batting practice and Don Sutton is sitting up about ten rows back behind the third base dugout yelling down at a teammate- needling him about something. My cousin and I can’t believe our luck. We walk down and get his autograph. That would have been more than enough to satisfy us- but Sutton shakes our hands and then goes on to start a conversation with us. Asking if we played baseball, what position we played etc. Needless to say he made two fans for life. I wasn’t a Dodger fan- or a fan of any of the other teams he played for- but I always rooted for him.
That was nice of him doing that…I’m glad to hear that he done that. I heard Garvey would be nice to kids and superficial to everyone else….but don’t mix those two…they didn’t get along.
i liked sutton even more when he punched garvey!
Yea I was never a Garvey fan…I was a Cey guy. Their teammates were chuckling saying….”maybe they will kill each other”…
It’s a shame Sutton missed both World Series with the Dodgers. Traded a year before they won in 80 and released in August of 88.
bad timing there. was part of 4 world series losses too bad he didn’t get on a winner.
He was the only one of those Dodger teams of the late 70s to make the Hall of Fame I believe….at least a player who was there for a while. The only other one that has a chance slight to make it would be Tommy John.
they had a lot of players who you’d call stars- but they were all a little short of HOF but outstanding teams.
Garvey… although I have things against him…he checked off a lot of boxes. His OBP was terrible because would NOT take a walk…how much of his uh…extra activities hurt his chances you think?
I think it hurt him- because of the image he was trying to build. It showed him as a phony. I think that played a little into it. 42.6% was his high water mark- so I’d say it wasn’t the determining factor. Had he been over 70%…..
You have been posting a lot of baseball folks dying. Wow. Following the above convo, I’ve heard of Garvey but, not Sutton. What did Garvey do that prompted the punch?
He promoted this all american boy image.. then in the late 80’s knocked up a couple different women at the same time.. promoting the joke- Steve Garvey is not my Padre. [he finished his career with the Padres.}- a lot of people all along- including Sutton felt Garvey was a phony.
Yeah I remember him RIP!
More and more of our childhood ‘ heroes’ are falling away, alas. He was a good one but I was surprised how high on alltime lists he was in IP, games etc.
He was one of those consistently very good pitchers- never won 20- was rarely the ace of the staff- but he did pitch for some good teams with fine pitchers. You could always count on him to pitch well- win 17 and make his next start.
there is a LOT to be said for that – consistency wins over brief flights of brilliance. Kind of off topic but similar still, I know in the times when I managed stores, I valued the very reliable, good employees more than the ones who were brilliant.. at times, but didn’t always show up or weren’t always “on”.
I was thinking of this the other day- if there was the ultimate baseball draft- in baseball valhalla- and you had the first pick who would you take? In my opinion the greatest player ever was -Babe Ruth– but would he be the guy you pick? He could be a big headache. He missed a lot of games over the years. He was was a force of nature. Maybe I would take another great player- without the drama- I was thinking Henry Aaron- kept himself in shape–played every game- very consistent year in year out– you didn’t have to worry about him just put him in the line up..
I remember when Don came to Atlanta as an announcer in 1990. He fit in right away with Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson, and the amount of baseball knowledge he brought with him made for some interesting listening. He seemed like the nicest guy, too. Now that I think about it, all four of them are gone now…
While certainly not a Braves fan- I enjoyed listening to those guys call a game.
Loved those old school guys. Great story. I met some of those guys in my day. Even the cranky guys made time and warmed up a bit.