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Hall Of Fame Pitcher, Baseball Announcer Don Sutton Dies At 75

Hall of Fame pitcher and long-time baseball announcer Don Sutton died Monday night in his sleep at the age of 75.

His son Daron Sutton wrote on Twitter of his father, "He worked as hard as anyone I've ever known and he treated those he encountered with great respect."

Sutton's 23-year Major League Baseball career started with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1966. He remained with the franchise until 1980 and would later return in 1988 for his last season.

The right-handed pitcher was a four-time All Star. Known for his durability as a player, he ranked first in Dodger franchise history for wins (233), innings pitched (3,816 1/3) strikeouts (2,696) and shutouts (52), according to the team.

Dodger President Stan Kasten said in a statement, "Don left an indelible mark on the Dodger franchise during his 16 seasons in Los Angeles and many of his records continue to stand to this day."

In Dodgers history, the team has only retired ten jerseys. Sutton's #20 was the last to be honored back in 1998 — the same year he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After his days as a player wrapped up, Sutton turned to the announcer's booth. For 18 years he called game action with the Atlanta Braves on TBS. He later spent two years with the Washington Nationals in 2007-08 and returned to the Braves in 2009. The team inducted Sutton into the Braves Hall of Fame in 2015 for his work in the booth.

He retired from the Braves in 2018. The team said Tuesday a generation of fans "came to know his voice" and he was "as feared on the mound as he was beloved in the booth."

Sutton credited his work ethic during his illustrious career to watching his father, who was a sharecropper in Florida, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"Other kids my age were playing for fun," Sutton told Sports Illustrated in 1982. "I was playing to get to the big leagues."

NPR's Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis contributed to this story.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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