This Day In Dodgers History: Don Sutton Passes Don Drysdale For Most Wins

This day in Los Angeles Dodgers history saw Don Sutton pass Don Drysdale for most wins in franchise history. Sutton moved into first place by going eight innings to earn a win as the Dodgers defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 6-4, at Riverfront Stadium on May 20, 1979.

Sutton to that point in the season improved to 5-3 with a 2.85 ERA over nine starts. He had gone at least seven innings in eight of those outings, and had five or more strikeouts in five of them.

Sutton went on to finish the 1979 season with a 12-15 record, 3.82 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 33 games (32 starts). He spent one more year with L.A. before singing with the Houston Astros as a free agent in December 1980.

The famed right-hander also pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and then-California Angels, before returning to the Dodgers for a final season in 1988.

Sutton made his MLB debut with the Dodgers as a 21-year-old in 1966 and ended up spending 16 of 23 Major League seasons with the team. He picked up three victories in 1988 and finished atop the Dodgers all-time wins list with 233.

Drysdale is in second place with 209, followed by Dazzy Vance at 190.

Don Sutton’s stats with Dodgers

Sutton is the Dodgers’ all-time franchise leader in wins (233), innings pitched (3,816.1) and shutouts (52), and is tied with Drysdale for the second-most Opening Day starts (seven). Sutton additionally held the Dodgers strikeouts record until being passed by Clayton Kershaw during the 2022 season.

Sutton was a four-time All-Star who pitched in three World Series (1974, 1977 and 1978). He passed away in January 2021 at the age of 75, and was survived by his wife, Mary, son Daron, and daughters Staci and Jacquie.

“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,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said at the time.

“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.”

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