Dodgers mourn loss of another all-time great

January 20th, 2021

Dodgers legend and Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton died on Tuesday at the age of 75 after a battle with cancer, his son, Daron, announced on Twitter. Sutton is the second former Dodgers great to pass away this month, with the world also mourning the loss of Tommy Lasorda on Jan. 7.

With Sutton and Lasorda passing away, Sandy Koufax is the only living person of the 10 former players and managers whose jersey number has been retired by the Dodgers.

“Today we lost a great ballplayer, a great broadcaster and, most importantly, a great person,” Dodger president 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.

“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.”

The Dodgers have a long history of stellar starting pitchers, but none showed more durability than what Sutton displayed across 23 Major League seasons, 16 of them coming with Los Angeles. Perhaps most impressive is that in 21 of those 23 seasons, Sutton started 30 or more games. The four-time All-Star is the franchise’s all-time leader in games pitched (550), innings pitched (3,816 1/3), strikeouts (2,696) and shutouts (52).

Only two pitchers in MLB history started more games than Sutton’s 756: Cy Young (815) and Nolan Ryan (773). He’s one of just 24 members of the 300-win club.

“I had the privilege of calling his greatest achievements on the mound during his glory days,” said Jaime Jarrín, the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame Spanish broadcaster. “I remember his words when we both got into the Hall of Fame in 1998: 'From today, we’re brothers.'”

Sutton made his big league debut with the Dodgers in 1966 and was named the team’s Rookie of the Year by the Los Angeles-area writers. Sutton was a member of the Dodgers until 1980, and after stints with the Astros, Brewers, A’s and Angels, he returned to Los Angeles in ‘88 to finish out his playing career.

"Don Sutton's brilliance on the field, and his lasting commitment to the game that he so loved, carried through to his time as a member of the Hall of Fame," said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "I know how much he treasured his moments in Cooperstown, just as we treasured our special moments with him. We share our deepest condolences with his wife, Mary, and his family."