Remembering Don Sutton with the Oakland A’s

1985: Don Sutton #20 of the Oakland Athletics winds up a pitch during a 1985 season game. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
1985: Don Sutton #20 of the Oakland Athletics winds up a pitch during a 1985 season game. (Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The baseball world had to deal with more tragedy on Tuesday. Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton passed away during his sleep. He was 75 years old.

When one thinks of Sutton, two images come to mind. The first was during his playing career, when he was a long time fixture for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The second is his second career, when he spent years in the Braves broadcasting booth. He excelled in both roles, a Hall of Famer on the diamond and behind the mic.

Don Sutton with the Oakland A’s

Sutton bounced around a bit towards the end of his career. He played for four different teams over a seven year stretch before ending his career with one final season with the Dodgers. The Oakland A’s were one of those teams, as he spent part of the 1985 season in the green and gold.

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The A’s acquired Sutton from the Brewers for Ray Burris and a pair of minor leaguers during the offseason in the hopes that he would solidify their rotation. He did his part, posting a 13-8 record with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.261 WHiP over his 194.1 innings, striking out 91 batters with 51 walks. Considering that he was 40 years old at the time, those were solid numbers.

However, the A’s were stumbling towards a 77-85 record that year. Sutton was dealt to the Angels on September 10 for another pair of minor leaguers. He would stay with the Angels through 1987 before returning to the Dodgers to close out his career.

Overall, Sutton had a solid career. A four time All Star, he posted a 324-256 record with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.142 WHiP, striking out 3574 batters with 1343 walks. His record is actually misleading as Sutton fired 201 quality starts without earning a win – he was 0-98 with a 2.40 ERA in those outings. Sutton eventually got his due in 1998, being elected to the Hall of Fame in his fifth year on the ballot.

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Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Don Sutton, who passed away at 75 years old.

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