Hope that 2021 would bring about better times has been washed away for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the organization is now mourning the death of Don Sutton. The Hall of Fame pitcher passed away Monday night at his home after battling cancer.
Sutton was 75 years old and is survived by his wife, Mary, son Daron, and daughters Staci and Jacquie.
“Today we lost a great ballplayer, a great broadcaster and, most importantly a great person,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement. “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. On behalf of the Dodger organization, we send our condolences to the entire Sutton Family, including Don’s wife Mary, his son Daron and his daughters Staci and Jacquie.”
Sutton spent 16 of his 23 career seasons with the Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 — the last Dodgers player to receive the honor — and his No. 20 was retired by the organization during a ceremony on Aug. 14, 1998.
Sutton is the Dodgers’ all-time franchise leader in wins (233), innings pitched (3,816.1) strikeouts (2,696) and shutouts (52), and is tied with Don Drysdale and Clayton Kershaw for most Opening Day starts (seven). He was a four-time All-Star, who pitched in three World Series (1974, 1977 and 1978).
Sutton additionally played for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and Angels. He finished a career 324-256 with a 3.26 ERA, 178 complete games, 58 shutouts and five saves.
“Don Sutton was one of our game’s most consistent winning pitchers across his decorated 23-year career,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
“The longtime Dodger was a four-time All-Star, a top-five finisher in Cy Young Award balloting for five consecutive years, a World Series participant four times in a nine-season span, and a model of durability on the mound. He also helped bring baseball into the homes of millions of fans as a Braves broadcaster.
“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.”
After retiring, Sutton worked as a broadcaster for the Dodgers’ Z Channel and the Atlanta Braves in 1989. He called Braves games on TBS for 18 seasons, then joined the Washington Nationals broadcast team for two years before returning to Atlanta in 2009.
Dodgers celebrate Lasorda
Sutton is unfortunately the second Dodgers icon to be lost this year, and on Monday the team held a Celebration of Life ceremony at Dodger Stadium for Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda.
Eric Karros and Mickey Hatcher spoke, and along with Mike Scioscia and others, served as pallbearers. Justin and Kourtney Turner were among those in attendance.
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