Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Don Sutton died January 19, 2021 at his Rancho Mirage, California home as a result of cancer at the age of 75.
The four time All Star was one of just a handful of pitchers to surpass the lofty number of 300 wins. With a career record of 324 wins and 256 loses and an ERA of 3.26 Sutton played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and the California Angels. Fifty-eight of those wins were via the shut out.
Ranking number three in the number of career starts at 756 (5,282 1/3 innings), Sutton never missed a start in the rotation. He follows only Cy Young and Nolan Ryan have made more starts than Sutton.
He was born Donald Howard Sutton on April 2, 1945 in Clio, Alabama to sharecroppers and raised in North Florida’s panhandle. While he showed an aptitude for baseball at a young age, Sutton was a three sport star in high school.
Signed by the Dodgers while still in Junior College in 1963, Sutton made his “Big League” debut in April 1966 and earned his first win in his next start, four days later. He became the fourth starter in a rotation that featured Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen.
He went on to be a part of seven League championship teams; four with the Dodgers and a World Series team. Sutton’s number 20 Dodger uniform number has been retired.
After his long career on the field, Sutton worked as a broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves; joining Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, Ernie Johnson Sr, and Ernie Johnson Jr before retiring at the end of the 2018 season.
Along with his baseball career, first as a player and later as a broadcaster, Sutton tried his hand at acting in an episode of “Fantasy Island” and some game show appearances.
Sutton is survived by his second wife Mary and children – Daron, Staci, and Jacquie.
feature photo credit: By Adam Fagen – Don Sutton, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16312815