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Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton has died at 75

Los Angeles, California – Don Sutton, the Hall of Fame pitcher whose uniform number was the last one retired by the Dodgers, has died. He was 75.

Sandy Koufax (85, l.) speaks to fellow Dodger and Hall of Famer Don Sutton (†75, r.) during a 2013 Old-Timers game (archive image).
Sandy Koufax (85, l.) speaks to fellow Dodger and Hall of Famer Don Sutton (†75, r.) during a 2013 Old-Timers game (archive image).  © imago images / ZUMA Wire

Sutton’s death was announced by his son, Daron. On Twitter, Daron said that his father had "passed away in his sleep" on Monday night.

"He worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever known," his son wrote, "and he treated those he encountered with great respect . . . and he took me to work a lot. For all these things, I am very grateful. Rest In Peace."

The Dodgers have retired 10 uniform numbers, most recently Sutton’s No. 20 in 1998. With the deaths of Sutton and Tommy Lasorda this month, Sandy Koufax is the only living honoree among the men whose numbers the team has retired.

Sutton, a four-time All-Star, built his reputation on durability. He won 324 games, tied with Nolan Ryan for 14th on the all-time list. Yet, in an era when star pitchers were measured by their 20-win seasons, Sutton won 20 games once in 23 seasons.

He made the Dodgers as a rookie in 1966 and pitched at least 200 innings in 20 of his first 21 seasons, with the strike-shortened 1981 season as the only exception. On the all-time lists, he ranks third in games started — trailing only Cy Young and Ryan — and seventh in innings pitched, seventh in strikeouts, and 10th in shutouts.

Sutton pitched for the Dodgers through 1980, including World Series appearances in 1974, 1977 and 1978. He then pitched for Houston, Milwaukee, and Oakland before joining the Angels, with whom he won his 300th game in 1986.

Sutton had never won a World Series championship when he rejoined the Dodgers for a farewell season in 1988. He did not pitch well, in part because of a sprained elbow, and the team released him in August. Two months later, the Dodgers won the World Series.

Cover photo: imago images / ZUMA Wire

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