Bruce Sutter “Hall of Fame Pitcher” Dies At 69

 Bruce Sutter a Hall of Famer who changed the closer position and the split-finger fastball and won the 1982 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals, died on Thursday near his home in Cartersville, Georgia. He was 69 years old.

Bruce Sutter As A Hall Of Famer

Bruce Sutter is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Cardinals have retired his number 14 times. He was last at Busch Stadium on April 7 for the team’s annual Opening Day celebrations. But he couldn’t go to the Cards’ celebration of the 1982 championship team on August 13 because he was still sick with the illness that killed him while he was in hospice care.

Bruce Sutter was the first pitcher to be accepted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame without ever having started a game. In 12 seasons with the Cubs, Cardinals and Braves, he got 300 saves and had a 2.83 ERA, which was very good. In 1979, he saved 37 games for the Cubs and won the National League Cy Young Award.

In 1982, he saved 36 games for the World Series champion Cardinals. In 1984, he saved 45 games and tied the MLB record at the time. On September 9, 1988, he saved his 300th game for the Braves.

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Bruce Sutter’s MLB Career

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement,  “I am deeply saddened by the news of Bruce Sutter’s death. His career was a great baseball success story.” “Bruce went from being an undrafted free agent to one of baseball’s best players by inventing the split-fingered fastball. The pitch got him into the big leagues and helped him win the Cy Young Award with the Cubs and the World Series with the Cardinals in 1982. … Bruce will be remembered as one of the best pitchers in the history of two of our most famous teams. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my condolences to Bruce’s family, friends, and fans in Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, and all over our game.

Most people remember Sutter for the iconic moment on October 20, 1982, when he struck out Brewers slugger Gorman Thomas and caught jumping catcher Darrell Porter in his arms at the mound. In the end, their teammates and fans surrounded them at Busch Stadium as they celebrated the Cardinals winning the World Series for the first time in 15 years. The irony was that Sutter used a tailing fastball to strike out Thomas when it was his split-fingered fastball that helped him become one of the best closers in the game. Sutter and the split-fingered fastball, which he learned from Cubs Minor League coach Fred Martin after having arm surgery in 1973, will always be linked in baseball history.

“I think he was kind of a precursor to what Mariano Rivera did with the cutter,” Hall of Famer and 1982 teammate Jim Kaat told on Friday. “Bruce did it with one pitch and that was the split-fingered fastball.” “The batters knew it was coming, but they still couldn’t hit it. The irony is that he got the last out of the World Series by striking out Gorman Thomas with a high fastball that only went 84 miles per hour.

1982 World Series Goes To The Cardinals.

In a statement released on Friday morning, Bruce’s son Chad Sutter talked about how important the Cardinals organisation and its fans were to Bruce.

“Being a St. Louis Cardinal was a proud moment for him.”

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