Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, who won 324 games during a 23-year major league career, died Monday night. He was 75.
Sutton’s son, Daron, tweeted the news about his father’s death on Tuesday.
“He worked as hard as anyone I’ve ever known and he treated those he encountered with great respect,” Daron Sutton tweeted. “And he took me to work a lot. For all these things, I am very grateful.”
Don Sutton was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.
“My mother used to worry about my imaginary friends ‘cause I would be out in the yard playing ball,” Sutton said during his induction speech in Cooperstown, New York. “She worried because she didn’t know a Mickey, or a Whitey, or a Yogi, or a Moose, or an Elston, but I played with them every day.”
Although he won more than 300 games, he only reached the 20-victory plateau once, when he won 21 games in 1976 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sutton did win 19 games twice, in 1972 and 1976. However, Sutton was a model of consistency, winning at least 11 games and striking out 100 batters in 21 seasons.
He ranked third in games started, trailing only Cy Young and Nolan Ryan. Sutton also was seventh all-time in innings pitched, seventh in strikeouts and 10th in shutouts.
Sutton began his career as a member of the Dodgers’ rotation with fellow Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, helping Los Angeles win the National League pennant. He pitched for five pennant winners in Los Angeles during his 16 seasons with the Dodgers.
He also pitched in the 1982 World Series for the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Dodgers have retired 10 uniform numbers, most recently Sutton’s No. 20 in 1998, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sutton also pitched for the Houston Astros, California Angels and Oakland Athletics before finishing his career in 1988 with the Dodgers.
After retiring, Sutton spent time as a broadcaster for the Atlanta Braves and was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2017.
Born April 2, 1945, in Clio, Alabama, Sutton starred for Gonzalez Tate High School in Pensacola, Florida. In college, he pitched for Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida; Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi; the University of Southern California, and Whittier College in Whittier, California.
Sutton credited his work ethic to watching his father, who worked as a sharecropper in Florida.
“Other kids my age were playing for fun,” Sutton told Sports Illustrated in 1982. “I was playing to get to the big leagues.”