Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Night Baseball: Don Sutton 1968 Topps #103

Once again this week the Dodgers are featured on Sunday Night Baseball. If you count the the Australia globe trek it makes this the 3rd time the Dodgers have been the focus of the MLBs young 2014 season. Tonight we take a look at Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton

1968 Topps #103 Don Sutton 

Every time I debut a Hall of Famer here I think why haven't we gotten around to this guy before.

Don Sutton's career spanned 23 years, 16 of which were spent with the Dodgers. He amassed a total fo  324 wins. Among players born since 1940 there are a grand total of 5 pitchers with 324+ Ws: Maddux, Clemens, Carlton, Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton. Despite this it took five election cycles for the BBWAA to put Sutton in the Hall of Fame. With the exception of Clemens the other four were all first ballot qualifiers with Lefty getting in at the lowest pct 95.6% - well above the requisite 75%.

The big differentiating factor for Sutton are:
1) Unlike the other four, He never won a World Series, or Cy Young Award. It should be noted that while Sutton didn't win a WS ring, he participated in four World Series including 3 with the Dodger    2) Sutton was often accused of scuffing the ball - but never suspended.

With the Brew Crew coming into Philadelphia this week, I just wanted to note that one of the four clubs Sutton played for post-Dodgers was Milwaukee. He was part of the 1982 squad that won the American League pennant and took the Cardinals to 7 games in that years World Series.

Dodgers #20
Sutton left LA via free agency in 1980, after which several players wore #20, until 1997. The Dodgers officially retired Sutton's #20 on August 14 1998. 

Don Sutton has spent most of his post playing career in the Broadcast booth for the Atlanta Braves. This season he is the color commentary half of the radio team which is led by Jim Powell.

1968 Topps
For me this set ranks right at the bottom among vintage Topps offerings.  The dotted brown borders remind me of an old musty suitcase. That being said, I am fond of the Don Sutton card. So much so that he made the Paul Lynde square on my 68T HoF Page

Phun Phact
Topps first two Don Sutton solo cards both mention Sandy Koufax on the flip side. One in the text (1967) and one in the -toon (1968)

Don Sutton HoF Index
Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves
Baseball Card Database

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions