Donald Howard Sutton (born April 2, 1945) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a right-handed pitcher. He played for 23 total major league seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and California Angels. He won a total of 324 games, 58 of them shutouts and five of them one-hitters, and he is seventh on baseball's all-time strikeout list with 3,574.
Sutton was born in Clio, Alabama. He attended high school and community college in Florida before entering professional baseball. After a year in the minor leagues, Sutton joined the Dodgers. Beginning in 1966, he was in the team's starting pitching rotation with Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen. Sixteen of Sutton's 23 MLB seasons were spent with the Dodgers. He registered only one 20-win season, but he earned double-digit wins in almost all of his seasons.
Sutton entered broadcasting after his retirement as a player. He has worked in this capacity for several teams, the majority being with the Atlanta Braves. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.
Sutton in 2008
|Born: April 2, 1945|
|April 14, 1966, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 9, 1988, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Earned run average||3.26|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||81.6% (fifth ballot)|
Sutton was born in Clio, Alabama, a small town in Barbour County, and on the same date as future Dodger teammate Reggie Smith. He was born to sharecroppers at the end of World War II, in a tar-paper shack. At the time Sutton was born his father was 18 and his mother was 15. Sutton's father, Howard, gave him the strong work ethic that he had throughout his career. His father tried logging and construction work, and in looking for work, moved the family to Molino, Florida, just north of Pensacola.
Sutton attended J. M. Tate High School where he played baseball, basketball, and football. He led his baseball team to the small-school state finals two years in row, winning his junior year, 1962, and losing 2–1 in his senior year, and was named all-county, all-conference, and all-state for both of those seasons. He graduated in 1963 and was voted "Most Likely to Succeed". He wanted to attend the University of Florida, but coach Dave Fuller was not interested. He attended Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City for one year, and then after a good summer league, was signed by the Dodgers.
After playing for the Sioux Falls Packers in South Dakota, Sutton entered the major leagues at the age of 21. Sutton's major league debut came with the Dodgers on April 14, 1966, the same day that future 300-game winner Greg Maddux was born. On the 1966 Dodgers, Sutton was the fourth starting pitcher in a rotation that included Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen. He struck out 209 batters that season, which was the highest strikeout total for a rookie since 1911.
Sutton was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game four times in the 1970s. The 1974 Dodgers made the postseason after winning 102 games during the regular season. They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the playoffs and Sutton accounted for two of the team's three wins. They lost the 1974 World Series four games to one, with Sutton earning the only win for the team. In 1976, Sutton had his best major league season, finishing the year with a 21-10 win-loss record. He earned a complete game win in the 1977 playoffs, followed by a 1-0 record in two appearances in that year's World Series, which the team lost to the Yankees.
In August 1978, Sutton captured media attention after a physical altercation with teammate Steve Garvey. Sutton had criticized what he thought was excessive media attention paid to Garvey, saying that Reggie Smith was really the team's best player. When Garvey confronted Sutton about the comments before a game against the Mets, the men came to blows and had to be separated by teammates and team officials. The team returned to the postseason that year. Sutton had a 15-11 record during the regular season, but he struggled in the postseason as the Dodgers lost the World Series to New York again. In 17 postseason innings that year, Sutton gave up 14 earned runs.
Los Angeles made Sutton a free agent after the 1980 season. During his time in Los Angeles, he set a team record for career wins. Sutton joined the Houston Astros in 1981. After the baseball strike interrupted the season, Sutton returned with seven wins and one loss. In an October 2 loss to the Dodgers, Sutton left the game with a patellar fracture, ending his season just as the Astros were about to clinch a berth in the NL postseason.
Late in the 1982 season, the Astros sent Sutton to the Milwaukee Brewers for Kevin Bass, Frank DiPino and Mike Madden. Astros player Ray Knight was critical of the trade, saying, "My first reaction to this trade is disbelief. I don't know who are the prospects we are getting, but I would think Don Sutton would bring a big name, a real big name. Here's a guy who is going to win you 15-20 games every year, and he never misses a start... He should really help the Brewers." Sutton earned a win in a 1982 playoff game against the Angels, then started two games in the 1982 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched 10 innings in the series, gave up nine earned runs and was charged with one loss.
In 1985, Sutton was traded to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Ray Burris. He was initially reluctant to report to the team, as he was hoping to play for a team in Southern California so that he could live at home with his family. Sutton ultimately reported to Oakland twelve days late for spring training. He said that he had his family's approval in the decision and he mentioned his win total – he was 20 wins shy of 300 career wins – as a factor in the decision. After starting the season with a 13-8 record, Sutton was traded to the California Angels in September. In return, the Angels would send two minor league players to be named later to Oakland.
|Don Sutton's number 20 was retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998.|
Coming into the 1986 season, Sutton had 295 career victories. He struggled early in the season, but he won his 300th career game in June of that year. He earned that win by pitching a complete game against the Texas Rangers, striking out Gary Ward for the final out of the game. He appeared in two games in the 1986 playoffs against the Red Sox, earning a 1.86 ERA but registering two no-decisions.
Sutton finished his career where he'd started it, signing with the Dodgers again in 1988. After spending 15 consecutive years with Los Angeles from 1966 to 1980, Sutton had pitched for five different teams in his last eight seasons. Before the 1988 season began, Angels pitcher John Candelaria criticized him for tipping off police that Candelaria was drinking the previous year, leading to one of Candelaria's two 1987 drunk driving arrests. Sutton said that he made the report out of concern for Candelaria's safety; Candelaria said that Sutton was practicing "self-preservation" and attempting to have Candelaria removed from the Angels' starting rotation since Sutton was not pitching well.
In August 1988, Sutton spoke with Astros team leadership about a vacant assistant general manager position with the team. Dodgers executive vice president Fred Claire said that Sutton violated league rules by discussing such a position while under contract with a team, but Sutton said that he ran into Astros general manager Bill Wood at a game and simply mentioned his willingness to discuss the position later. The team released him on August 10. Claire said that Sutton's stamina was a major consideration in the move, as the team was looking for pitchers who could last more than five or six innings per start.
Sutton has the record for most at-bats without a home run (1,354). Sutton holds another record: seven times in his career, he pitched nine scoreless innings but got a no-decision. He also holds the major league record for most consecutive losses to one team, having lost 13 straight games to the Chicago Cubs.
The following year he became a full-time commentator for the Braves. In 2002, Sutton was diagnosed with kidney cancer resulting in the removal of his left kidney. Part of a lung was removed the following year. While undergoing cancer treatment, he continued his broadcasting career. He left TBS after the 2006 season, mainly because the network would broadcast fewer games in 2007 and had to cut back on the number of broadcasters.
Sutton was a color commentator for the Washington Nationals on the MASN network until January 27, 2009. Sutton still had two years remaining on his contract with the Nationals, but when an Atlanta Braves radio job opened up, he negotiated his release in order to return to Atlanta where he had many ties. His current broadcast partner is Jim Powell, who joined the Braves Radio Network in 2009.
Sutton is an avid golfer and wine enthusiast and frequently makes references to these hobbies while broadcasting. Sutton has also broadcast golf and served as a pre- and post-game analyst for NBC's coverage of the 1983 and 1987 American League Championship Series. Sutton previously served as a color commentator for NBC's coverage of the 1979 National League Championship Series. His son, Daron, is a former broadcaster for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In 1997, Sutton appeared on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for the fourth time. Sutton had previously expressed his desire to be elected to the Hall of Fame. However, when he fell nine votes short of election that year, he said that the vote was not that important. When he received the results of the vote, his two-month-old daughter Jacqueline was in an Atlanta neonatal intensive care unit after she was born 16 weeks early. His daughter later recovered. On the 1998 ballot, Sutton became the only player selected for induction, receiving votes on 81.6% of ballots. The Dodgers retired his number that year. Sutton was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame in July 2015 for his work as a broadcaster. He became the fourth Braves broadcaster to be honored in this fashion, joining his mentors Ernie Johnson, Skip Caray, and Pete Van Wieren.
Don Sutton Ball Park in Molino was named in his honor.
Sutton appeared as a celebrity panelist on several occasions on Match Game between 1976 and 1981.
The 1974 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that matched the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates against the West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the Series three games to one and lost the 1974 World Series to the Oakland Athletics.1975 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1975 Los Angeles Dodgers finished in second place, 20 games behind the Cincinnati Reds in the Western Division of the National League.1977 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers season saw Tommy Lasorda in his first full season at the helm of the Dodgers, replacing longtime manager Walter Alston as Manager of the team near the end of the previous season. The Dodgers won the National League West by 10 games and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in four games in the NLCS, then lost to the New York Yankees in the World Series. This edition of the Dodgers featured the first quartet of teammates that hit 30 or more home runs: Steve Garvey with 33, Reggie Smith with 32, and Dusty Baker and Ron Cey, who both hit 30. The Dodgers duplicated this feat again 20 years later in 1997.1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 48th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 19, 1977, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York, New York the home of the New York Yankees of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 7–5.
The host Yankees won the World Series; the third time in history that a team hosting the All-Star Game would win the World Series in the same year. As of 2018, the 1977 Yankees were the last team to accomplish this. The previous teams to accomplish this were the 1939 New York Yankees and the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers.
This was Yankee Stadium's third time as host of the All-Star Game, and it would be its last until 2008; the last year of the park's use by the Yankees.1978 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1978 season ended with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their second straight National League pennant and losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series again. Dodger coach Jim Gilliam died at the end of the season and his uniform number, 19, was retired by the team prior to Game 1 of the World Series; the team also wore a black memorial patch with Gilliam's number during the World Series. Unlike the previous Dodger team, no member of the team hit 30 home runs after seeing four members hit that mark the previous season (the team leader was Reggie Smith, with 29).1980 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1980 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season in second place in the Western Division of the National League, one game behind the Houston Astros. Don Sutton set a Dodger record with his 52nd career shutout this season and the Dodgers also hosted the All-Star game for the first time.1981 Houston Astros season
The Houston Astros' 1981 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.1982 Houston Astros season
The Houston Astros' 1982 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.1985 Oakland Athletics season
The Oakland Athletics' 1985 season involved the A's finishing 4th in the American League West with a record of 77 wins and 85 losses. While the Athletics' on-field performance continued to disappoint, the debut of slugger Jose Canseco gave fans a measure of hope.1986 California Angels season
The California Angels' 1986 season was the franchise's 26th season and ended with the Angels losing the American League Championship Series in dramatic fashion.
The regular season ended with the Angels finishing 1st in the American League West with a record of 92-70, earning the franchise's third division title. After jumping to a 3-1 series lead over the Boston Red Sox in the best-of-seven ALCS, the Angels blew a 3-run lead in the 9th inning of Game 5 that included giving up a two-out, two-strike home run to Boston's Dave Henderson (in other words, the Angels were 1 strike away from the World Series). The Angels went on to lose Game 5 in extra innings, and eventually lost the next two games and the series.
After 1986, the Angels went into a lengthy playoff drought, not returning to the postseason until their championship season of 2002 (though they did come close in 1995). They would not win a division title again until 2004.1998 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1998 followed the system in use since 1995.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected Don Sutton.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots:
George Davis, Larry Doby, Lee MacPhail, and Bullet Rogan.300 win club
In Major League Baseball, the 300 win club is the group of pitchers who have won 300 or more games. Twenty-four pitchers have reached this milestone. The New York Gothams/Giants/San Francisco Giants are the only franchise to see three players reach the milestone while on their roster: those players are Mickey Welch, Christy Mathewson, and Randy Johnson. Early in the history of professional baseball, many of the rules favored the pitcher over the batter; the distance pitchers threw to home plate was shorter than today, and pitchers were able to use foreign substances to alter the direction of the ball. The first player to win 300 games was Pud Galvin in 1888. Seven pitchers recorded all or the majority of their career wins in the 19th century: Galvin, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Tim Keefe, John Clarkson, Charley Radbourn, and Mickey Welch. Four more pitchers joined the club in the first quarter of the 20th century: Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Eddie Plank, and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Young is the all-time leader in wins with 511, a mark that is considered unbreakable. If a modern-day pitcher won 20 games per season for 25 seasons, he would still be 11 games short of Young's mark.
Only three pitchers, Lefty Grove, Warren Spahn, and Early Wynn, joined the 300 win club between 1924 and 1982, which may be explained by a number of factors: the abolition of the spitball, World War II military service, such as Bob Feller's, and the growing importance of the home run in the game. As the home run became commonplace, the physical and mental demands on pitchers dramatically increased, which led to the use of a four-man starting rotation. Between 1982 and 1990, the 300 win club gained six members: Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton and Tom Seaver. These pitchers benefited from the increased use of specialized relief pitchers, an expanded strike zone, and new stadiums, including Shea Stadium, Dodger Stadium and the Astrodome, that were pitcher's parks, which suppressed offensive production. Also, the increasing sophistication of training methods and sports medicine, such as Tommy John surgery, allowed players to maintain a high competitive level for a longer time. Randy Johnson, for example, won more games in his 40s than he did in his 20s.Since 1990, only four pitchers have joined the 300 win club: Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Johnson. Changes in the game in the last decade of the 20th century have made attaining 300 career wins difficult, perhaps more so than during the mid 20th century. The four-man starting rotation has given way to a five-man rotation, which gives starting pitchers fewer chances to pick up wins. No pitcher reached 20 wins in a non strike-shortened year for the first time in 2006; this was repeated in 2009 and 2017.Recording 300 career wins has been seen as a guaranteed admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame. All pitchers with 300 wins have been elected to the Hall of Fame except for Clemens, who received only half of the vote total needed for induction in his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013 and lost votes from that total in 2014. Clemens' future election is seen as uncertain because of his alleged links to use of performance-enhancing drugs. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a player must have "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, Many observers expect the club to gain few, if any, members in the foreseeable future. Ten members of the 300 win club are also members of the 3,000 strikeout club.Atlanta Braves Radio Network
The Atlanta Braves Radio Network is a 138-station network (97 A.M., 41 F.M. stations + 1 F.M. translator) heard across 10 states and one territory of the Southeastern United States that airs Major League Baseball games of the Atlanta Braves. The flagship stations are WCNN and WNNX in Atlanta, Georgia. The main announcers are Jim Powell and Don Sutton, who alternate between play-by-play and color commentary on each broadcast. Ben Ingram is the pregame and postgame host and occasionally fills in on play-by-play, while Kevin McAlpin serves as a dugout reporter. Mark Lemke provides pregame/postgame analysis and occasionally fills in for Sutton on game broadcasts. Former known long-time announcers include Pete Van Wieren, Ernie Johnson, Sr. and Skip Caray, all deceased. The engineer and game producer for Braves Network broadcasts is Jonathan Chadwick. Network Producers include Kevin D'Amico, Chris Culwell, Sean Nerny, Brandon Joseph, John Radcliffe, Cameron Carruth and Isiah Stewart.Due to the large geographic span of the Braves' territory, their radio network has the most affiliates of any team in Major League Baseball. The nearest teams to the north of Atlanta are the Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. The nearest teams to the west are the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, while the nearest teams to the south are the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins.Clio, Alabama
Clio is a city in Barbour County, Alabama, United States. The population was 1,399 at the 2010 census, down from 2,206 in 2000, at which time it was a town. It is the birthplace of former Alabama governor George C. Wallace, as well as Baseball Hall of Famer and current Atlanta Braves broadcaster Don Sutton.Daron Sutton
Daron Sutton (born October 21, 1969) is the former television play-by-play voice of Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona State Sun Devils men's basketball. Sutton is also the son of former pitching great and Hall of Famer Don Sutton. Prior to moving to Arizona, he served for five years as the television voice of the Milwaukee Brewers, and prior to coming to Milwaukee in 2002, he was one of the radio voices of the then-Anaheim Angels, working alongside current Detroit Tigers television play-by-play broadcaster Mario Impemba. Sutton replaced play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian (who left to become the TV voice of the San Diego Padres).List of Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day starting pitchers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Los Angeles. They play in the National League West division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Dodgers have used 22 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 61 seasons in Los Angeles. The 22 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 27 wins, 26 losses and 8 no decisions.The Dodgers started playing in Los Angeles in 1958, after moving from Brooklyn. The first Opening Day game for the Dodgers in Los Angeles was played in San Francisco against the San Francisco Giants on April 15, 1958. California native Don Drysdale was the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitcher that day, in a game the Dodgers lost 8–0. Dodgers starting pitchers won both of their Opening Day starts in their first home ballpark in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.Kershaw's eight Opening Day starts for the Dodgers from 2011 to 2018 are the most ever by a Dodgers starter, one more than Don Drysdale and Don Sutton. Fernando Valenzuela, Ramón Martínez and Orel Hershiser have had at least four Opening Day starts, with six, five and four respectively. Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who won three Cy Young Awards during the 1960s, only made one Opening Day start for the Dodgers, in 1964. Drysdale and Kershaw are also tied for the Los Angeles Dodgers record for most wins as an Opening Day starter, with five wins. Drysdale also had two loses while Kershaw has one loss.Koufax (1964), Chan Ho Park (2001), Brad Penny (2008) and Hiroki Kuroda (2009) are the only Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day starting pitchers to have won all their Opening Day decisions, Martinez and Derek Lowe share the Los Angeles Dodgers record for most Opening Day losses, with three. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series championship in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981 and 1988. Drysdale (1959, 1963 and 1965), and Fernando Valenzuela (1981 and 1988) were the Dodgers' Opening Day starting pitchers those years. The Dodgers' starting pitcher won the Opening Day game in 1963, 1965 and 1981, but lost in 1959 and 1988.List of Los Angeles Dodgers seasons
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the second most successful franchise in the National League and the third-most successful and second-most wealthy in Major League Baseball after the New York Yankees. The franchise was formerly based in Brooklyn and known originally as the "Grays" or "Trolley Dodgers" after the trams which supporters had to avoid to enter games. Later it became known successively as the "Bridegrooms", "Superbas", "Dodgers" and "Robins"; the present "Dodgers" was firmly established in 1932.
The franchise has won the World Series six times and lost a further 13, and like the Yankees and Cardinals have never lost 100 games in a season since World War I, with their worst record since then being in 1992 with 63 wins and their best records ever being in 1953 with 105 wins and both 1942 and 2017 with 104. Their most successful period, between 1947 and 1966 with ten World Series appearances and only two seasons with 71 or more losses (one of them the year they moved to Los Angeles after a dispute over stadium funding), was famous for the Dodgers becoming the first Major League Baseball team to incorporate African American players, led by Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.List of Los Angeles Dodgers team records
This is a list of team records for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.List of Major League Baseball career games started leaders
In baseball statistics, a pitcher is credited with a game started (denoted by GS) if he is the first pitcher to pitch for his team in a game.
Cy Young holds the Major League Baseball games started record with 815; Nolan Ryan is second with 773. Young is the only pitcher in MLB history to start more than 800 career games. Nolan Ryan (773), Don Sutton (756), Greg Maddux (740), Phil Niekro (716), Steve Carlton (709), Roger Clemens (707), and Tommy John (700) are the only other pitches to have started 700 or more games their career.