Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NICKNAMES OF THE '70'S #30: "BLACK & DECKER" DON SUTTON

One of my favorite nicknames of ballplayers that starred during the wild-70's is "Black and Decker", for Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton.
So I went ahead and created a 1978 "Nickname of the 70's" card for him, check it out:


As history likes to remind us, cheating of some sort has always been a part of the game, and with Sutton, he was a master at doctoring the baseball, hence the nom-de-plume…
Whatever he did, or did not do, it all led him to Cooperstown, where he can proudly display his 324 wins, 58 shutouts and 3574 strikeouts over 774 games, 756 of which were starts.
Over his 23 years as a Major League pitcher, he was a part of six Pennant winners, and a minor part of a World Championship team during his final year in 1988 with the team he spent most of his career with, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There are those that say Sutton, like a few other players who racked up big numbers, was a product of "tenure over domination", that is, that the numbers he garnered in the bigs was more about the amount of years he played over a bunch of dominating seasons.
I don't find that as a problem actually.
Being that there are just as few guys who played a long time while staying very productive as those legends who dominated for a somewhat brief time during their careers, I like to see the Don Suttons, Phil Niekros, Eddie Murrays and Tony Perez' get their due.
Almost a quarter-century of productivity on a Major League mound, leading to numbers like Sutton put up are definitely worth a plaque in Cooperstown, no?
Anyway, I chose a 1978 template since he was coming off of starting the 1977 All-Star game for the National League, while smack in the middle of his solid career. Seemed like a good template to use here.
Hope you all agree…

3 comments:

  1. To be fair, you have to be really, really good to stick around for 20+ years in the major leagues. I always liked Sutton -- very personable, friendly guy if you ever get the chance to meet him.

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  2. That's an excellent action shot of Sutton, considering how all of his Topps cards from 1970-79 show him posing for the camera.

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  3. Agreed. Greatness is subjective. How many guys are short changed because they didn't put up the numbers for an extended time. Yet when guys like Sutton have long productive careers, their numbers are devalued because they just happened to play for a long time.

    Nice card too BTW.

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