Friday, August 5, 2011

#220 - Don Sutton

Don Sutton has the old uniform on with the piping which means that this shot may be from an earlier season than '73. Whatever year it is he looks like he's in a spring training compound. Don is another guy smack in the middle of his best seasons.

Sutton was born in Alabama and moved to Florida as a kid. As has been he recent theme he was a big deal athlete in high school. After he finished he played in a summer league and was signed by the Dodgers late in '64. Don wasted no time, winning 23 in a '65 season split between Single and Double A. That got him called all the way up in '66 where right off the bat he had a premium season, winning 12. The next couple years he put up pretty good numbers but an overall losing record for a team that wasn't so hot. From '71 to '76 he really hit a groove, averaging 18 wins a year with an ERA under 3.00. In '72, probably his best year, he began a streak of five All-Star games in six years. He peaked in victories in '76 with 21 when he came in second in MVP voting to Joe Morgan. He stayed in LA through the '80 season when he led the NL in ERA with 2.20. That December he signed with the Astros as s free agent.

After his first stint in LA Sutton was pretty itinerant. He spent the better part of two seasons in Houston before he went to the Brewers for the '82 stretch run during which time he went 4-1. He spent another two season in Milwaukee without much success as the Brewers ran out of gas. In '85 at age 40 he went to Oakland and then went to the Angels for the final month. For them he would have his last god year for the '86 division winners, winning 15. After another full season there and a partial one back with LA in '88 he was done. Don finished with a record of 324-256 with a 3.26 ERA and 58 shutouts. He is high on the career strikeout list with 3,574. In the post-season he was 6-4 with a 3.68 ERA in 15 games.

After playing, Sutton became a broadcaster sandwiching 20-plus years calling Braves games around a couple doing Nationals games in the mid-2000's. He was elected to the Hall in '98.

Don has a great card back. Per the first star bullet I guess that is the Sporting News honor because Topps opted for Woody Fryman and Jim Nash. He gets other props for his excellent '72 and '73.

This one reaches a long way.

1. Sutton and Rick Burleson '86 Angels;
2. Burleson and Doug Griffin '74 to '77 Red Sox.

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