Hall Of Fame Pitcher Bruce Sutter Dead At 69

By Jason Hall

October 14, 2022

St. Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates
Photo: Getty Images

Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bruce Sutter has died at the age of 69.

Sutter, who spent his career with the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves, was a World Series champion, National League Cy Young Award winner, four-time NL Rolaids Relief Man, six-time All-Star and five-time NL saves leader, as well as the fourth MLB relief pitcher to be inducted at Cooperstown during his 2006 enshrinement.

“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Bruce Sutter, whose career was an incredible baseball success story," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement via MLB.com. "Bruce ascended from being a nondrafted free agent to the heights of Baseball by pioneering the split-fingered fastball. That pitch 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 he was one of the key figures who foreshadowed how the use of relievers would evolve.

Sutter began his MLB career with the Cubs in 1976 and made his first four All-Star game appearances with the franchise from 1977 to 1980, as well as his first NL Rolaids Relief Man Award and only Cy Young Award in 1979.

The right-hander was traded to the rival Cardinals in 1981 and was instrumental in the team's 1982 World Series championship.

Sutter made two more All-Star game appearances and won three more NL Rolaids Relief Man Awards, having led the National League in saves during four consecutive seasons between 1979 and 1982 and again in 1984.

Sutter spent his final two seasons with the Braves, signing as a free agent ahead of the 1985 MLB season.

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