With just nine days remaining until opening day, we’ll continue our countdown of the ten greatest Dodgers of all Time. Continuing the theme of dominant Dodger pitching is Dodger great Don Sutton, who checks in at number nine.
Don Sutton proved to be one of the most reliable and durable pitchers in Dodger history. His remarkable career spanned several decades, playing with many of the greatest Dodgers ever. In 1966, as a 21-year-old rookie, he saw himself in a prominent role next to the likes of Koufax, Drysdale, Davis, and Wills.
He played with the great Dodger teams from the 70’s, and alongside Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, Davey Lopes, and many more. His final season saw him finish his run right where it started, in LA, playing alongside Orel Hershiser, Kirk Gibson, and Fernando. That season concluded an illustrious 23 career, a career that boasts 324 wins and almost 5, 300 innings pitched. He finished with a career 3.26 ERA.
There were a few pit-stops along the way. Seven of his seasons were spent with other teams, namely the Astros, Brewers, A’s, and Angels. While he found some success with those teams, his best years were undoubtedly in Dodger blue. The best of the best figures to be his dominant 1972 season, in which he sported a 2.08 ERA in 272.2 innings. His league-leading WHIP was just 0.913 and he was first in shutouts with nine.
He played in the World Series four times but unfortunately wasn’t able to be on the field when the
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Dodgers won the last game of the season. He started his run in ’66, just after the legendary title run led by Koufax and Drysdale. He went to Houston in 1981, the year Fernandomania took over the baseball world and brought home another ring for Los Angeles.
He also pitched in for the historic 1988 Dodgers. Even at age 43, Sutton still proved useful, throwing 87.1 innings to the tune of a 3.92 ERA. However, he was released in August of that year, just before Kirk Gibson gave the Dodger Franchise their most exciting moment.
23 seasons in the show didn’t seem to be enough for the hardworking Sutton. In 1989, he embarked on his broadcasting career, and it ended up spanning several decades. He was a broadcaster through various mediums for the Dodgers, Nationals, and Braves.
World Series aside, Sutton gathered enough accolades over a ridiculously long career to secure a spot in the Hall of Fame. He was a four-time All-Star with an All-Star game MVP Award and has the ERA title of the 1980 season. Don has the record for most consecutive at-bats without yielding a homer (1,354) and also had his number retired by the Dodgers in 1998. It’s tough to make this list as a starting pitcher considering how many great starters have taken the mound for Los Angeles over the years. However, his place on this list and in Dodger history is forever secured.