Bruce Sutter dies – MLB commercial rumors

The Cardinals have announced that Hall of Fame pitcher and World Series champion Bruce Sutter passed over. He was 69 years old.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement regarding Sutter’s death: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Bruce Sutter, whose career has been an incredible success story in baseball. Bruce went from being an unrecruited free agent to the pinnacle of baseball to pioneering fastball with split fingers. That field not only led him to the Major Leagues, but also made him a Cy Young Award winner with the Cubs and a World Series champion with the 1982 Cardinals. Bruce was the first pitcher to reach the Hall of Fame without. starting a game, and was one of the key figures who foreshadowed how the use of relievers would evolve. Bruce will be remembered as one of the best launchers in the history of two of our most historic franchises. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I offer my condolences to Bruce’s family, his friends and his fans in Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta and during our game. “

Sutter was initially enlisted by the Washington Senators in 1970, but decided to attend Old Dominion University instead. The following year, as mentioned by Manfred, Sutter signed with the Cubs as an undrafted free agent. He underwent minor surgery but found that his shots were less effective after returning to action. He started working on a splitter to improve his repertoire, a step he would define as his career.

He made his MLB debut with the Cubs in 1976. He was an effective relief, throwing 83 innings and 1/3 of 52 appearances, logging an ERA of 2.70 and scoring 10 saves. He took it one step further the following year, throwing 107 innings and 1/3 in 62 games with an ERA of 1.34 and 31 saved. That year he was part of the All-Star team, the first of six teams he would eventually make in his career.

Sutter continued in this fashion for the following seasons, amassing saves while throwing multi-inning outings. In 1979, he was awarded the Cy Young award for his efforts, a rare feat for a rescue launcher. He saved 37 games that year by recording an ERA of 2.22 in 101 and 1/3 innings.

He was traded by the Cubs to the Cardinals prior to the 1981 campaign and would spend four seasons in St. Louis, continuing largely with the same level of excellence he had established in Chicago. 1982 was certainly a season to remember for both Sutter and the Cards. The club went 92-70 during the regular season, winning NL East in the wake of a season of 36 saves from Sutter. They beat the Braves 3-0 in the NLCS, with Sutter taking the Game 2 win and Game 3 save. They then faced the Brewers in the World Series and ultimately emerged victorious in seven games, with Sutter having won in Game 2 and then save Game 3 and Game 7. (Video of Sutter recording the final release via MLB.com YouTube page.)

Sutter achieved free will and signed with Atlanta prior to the 1985 season, although his effectiveness began to decline as he reached his 30s. He recorded an ERA above 4.00 in his first two years in Atlanta, skipped the 1987 season entirely due to shoulder surgery, before returning in 1988 to record an ERA of 4.76 in what it would be his last season.

He ended his MLB career with exactly 300 saved, which was the third most in history at the time, behind only Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage. He also collected 68 wins by posting an ERA of 2.83 in a career that included 1042 innings and 1/3. He formed six All-Star teams, won a Cy Young award and a World Series title. After lingering in the Hall of Fame ballot for over a decade, Sutter was finally elected in 2006, his 13th year in the ballot.

MLBTR sends our condolences to his family, friends, loved ones and former teammates who mourn him today.

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