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Bruce Sutter Biography, Wikipedia, Age, Networth, Cause of Death, Salary

Bruce Sutter Biography, Wikipedia, Age, Networth, Cause of Death, Salary

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Bruce Sutter Biography

Bruce Sutter Biography, Wikipedia, Age, Networth, Cause of Death, Salary

Bruce Sutter Biography

Howard Bruce Sutter was born on January 8, 1953; died October 13, 2022) was an American pitcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 12 seasons, from 1976 to 1988. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was one of the best relievers in baseball. He was known for his split-finger fastball. Sutter was an All-Star six times and won the World Series in 1982. At the time of his retirement, he had the third-most saves in MLB history with 300. Sutter was the best pitcher in the National League (NL) in 1979, and he won the NL Rolaids Relief Man Award four times. He is the only pitcher in NL history to have led the league in saves five times (1979–1982, 1984).

Sutter was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and went to Old Dominion University for a short time. In 1971, the Chicago Cubs signed him as an undrafted free agent. He played for the Cubs for five years, the Cardinals for four, and the Braves for three. During his time with each team, he was the closer. Because he pitched in the eighth and ninth innings of games, he helped start a time when the closer’s job became more specialized. Around the middle of the 1980s, Sutter started having shoulder problems. He had three shoulder surgeries before he retired in 1989.

In 2006, which was Sutter’s 13th year of eligibility, he was added to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Cardinals also honored him by retiring his number 42 in 2006 and putting him in the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014. Sutter also worked for the Philadelphia Phillies as a minor-league consultant.

Early life 

Sutter was born in the Pennsylvania town of Lancaster to Howard and Thelma Sutter. In Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, where he lived, his father ran a Farm Bureau warehouse. Bruce was the fifth of six children.

Sutter played baseball, football, and basketball at Donegal High School in Mount Joy, where he also got his diploma. He was the quarterback and captain of the football team, and he was also the captain of the basketball team, which won the district championship in his senior year. The county championship for baseball was also won by his team.


Early career 

After the Washington Senators picked him in the 21st round of the MLB draft in 1970, Sutter went to Old Dominion University instead. He quit school and moved back to Lancaster to play baseball on a semi-pro level. In September 1971, Ralph DiLullo, a scout for the Chicago Cubs, signed Sutter as a free agent. In 1972, he pitched for the Gulf Coast League Cubs in two games. Sutter had surgery on his arm when he was 19 to fix a pinched nerve. When Sutter went back to pitching a year after surgery, he found that his old pitches were no longer working. Fred Martin, who taught pitchers in the minor leagues, taught him how to throw a split-finger fastball. Sutter was able to use the pitch, which was a change to the forkball, because he had big hands.

Sutter was almost let go by the Cubs, but the new pitch worked for him.

Mike Krukow, a minor league player for the Cubs at the time, said, “I knew he was going to the big leagues as soon as I saw him throw it. After he threw it, everyone else wanted to do the same.” In 1973, he played in 40 Class A baseball games and had a 3–3 win–loss record, a 4.13 earned run average (ERA), and five saves.

Sutter played for both the Class A Key West Conchs and the Class AA Midland Cubs during the 1974 season. Even though he ended the season with a 2–7 record, he had a 1.38 earned run average (ERA) in 65 innings. In 1975, he went back to Midland and ended the season with a 5–7 record, a 2.15 earned run average, and 13 saves. Sutter led the team in ERA and saves as they won the Texas League West Division pennant. He started the 1976 season with the Class AAA Wichita Aeros, but he only pitched for them for seven games before being moved up to the major leagues.

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Chicago Cubs (1976–1980) 

In May of 1976, Sutter joined the Cubs. He pitched in 52 games, and at the end, he had a record of 6 wins, 3 losses, and 10 saves. In 1977, he had an ERA of 1.34, was chosen for the All-Star Game, and came in sixth for the NL Cy Young Award and seventh for the Most Valuable Player Award. On September 8, 1977, Sutter threw nine pitches and got all three Montreal Expos batters out in the ninth inning of a 10–2 win over them. He was the 12th NL pitcher and the 19th pitcher in the history of the major leagues to throw a perfect inning. When Sutter came into the game in the eighth inning, he also struck out the side (but not on nine pitches). This gave him six straight strikeouts, which tied the NL record for a reliever.

In 1978, Sutter’s ERA went up to 3.19, but he saved 27 games. In May of 1979, the Cubs bought Dick Tidrow, a relief pitcher. Before Sutter came in to get the save, Tidrow would come in and pitch for a couple of innings. Sutter gave a lot of his success to Tidrow. [10] Sutter saved 37 games for the team, which tied Clay Carroll and Rollie Fingers for the NL record. He also won the NL Cy Young Award. This was also the first of five seasons (four of which came right after each other) in which he led the league in saves. Sutter also won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year and The Sporting News Fireman of the Year awards. In 1960 games, Sutter had a 5–8 win–loss record and a 2.64 earned run average (ERA). He also led the league with 28 saves. In the three seasons before that, he had more than 100 strikeouts. That year, he only had 76, and he never had more than 77 in any of his other seasons.


St. Louis Cardinals (1981–1984) 

In December 1980, the St. Louis Cardinals got Sutter in exchange for Leon Durham, Ken Reitz, and a player to be named later. In 1981, he played in his fifth straight All-Star Game. He had 25 saves, a 2.62 ERA, and was fifth in the voting for the NL Cy Young Award.

In 1982, Sutter had 36 saves and came in third in the voting for the Cy Young Award.

In the NLCS, Sutter got the save in the win that gave the team the championship.

The Cardinals won the 1982 World Series, and Sutter is credited with two saves, one of which came in Game 7 when Gorman Thomas was struck out to end the game and the Series.

In 1983, Sutter had a record of 9–10 wins and 10 losses. His earned run average was 4.23, and the number of saves he had dropped to 21.

In April of that year, Sutter made a rare unassisted pickoff play. Bill Madlock of the Pittsburgh Pirates was taking a long lead off first base when Keith Hernandez, the first baseman for the Cardinals, distracted him. Madlock was out, so Sutter ran off the mound to tag him.

In 1981, 1982, and 1984, Sutter won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award and The Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award again. In 1984, he tied Dan Quisenberry’s record for most saves in a season with 45. Dave Righetti (46) broke his MLB record in 1986, and Lee Smith (47) broke his NL record in 1991. During Sutter’s record-setting season, he pitched more innings than he ever had before. It was one of the five times Sutter pitched more than 100 innings in a season.

Atlanta Braves (1985–1988) 

Sutter signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent in December 1984. The New York Times said that Sutter’s six-year contract paid him $4.8 million and put $4.8 million in an account with 13 percent interest for future payments. The newspaper thought that after the first six seasons of the contract, the account would pay Sutter $1.3 million each year for the next 30 years. Sutter said that the scenery in Atlanta and the fact that he liked Ted Turner and Dale Murphy made him want to join the Braves.

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Before the start of the Cardinals’ 1985 season, manager Whitey Herzog talked about how the team would do without Sutter. Herzog said, “Bruce is the best there has ever been.” “Losing him is like losing Dan Quisenberry in Kansas City… I said to Bruce, “Look, you’ve taken care of your kids, your grandkids, and even your great-grandkids. Now, if I lose my job in July, will you take care of Mary Lou and me?’”

When Sutter moved to Atlanta, only two Braves pitchers had ever earned 25 or more saves in a season. In 1984, the Braves as a team had 49 saves, which was just four more than Sutter’s own total. In 1985, Sutter’s ERA went up to 4.48, and he only had 23 saves. By the end of the season, his right shoulder hurt because a nerve was getting pinched. After the season, he had surgery on his shoulder. He got better in time to play in spring training in mid-March 1986.

Near the end of March 1986, Sutter talked about how well he was doing, saying, “I’m throwing the ball as hard as I ever have, but it’s not getting there as fast. I have no idea what will happen. I’ll just keep throwing and see what happens. So far, nothing has gone wrong. Today I felt great, no problems.” In the first 16 games of the season, Sutter had an ERA of 4.34 and a record of 2-0. He was put on the disabled list in May because he was having trouble with his arm. On July 31, Sutter’s manager Chuck Tanner said that it was likely that Sutter would not pitch again that season.

In February 1987, Sutter had his third surgery on his arm, this time on his shoulder. The goal was to remove scar tissue and help his nerves heal. He had to miss the whole 1987 season so he could heal from the surgery. In 1988, he played a little bit with the Braves. In late May, Sutter saved games two nights in a row. Sports writer Jerome Holtzman said that Sutter’s pitching was “classic Sutter.” He finished the year with a record of 1–4, an earned run average of 4.76, and 14 saves in 38 games. He had arthroscopy on his right knee at the end of September.



By March of 1989, Sutter had a badly torn rotator cuff, and he said that it was unlikely that he would ever play baseball again. He said, “There’s a 99.9% chance that I won’t be able to pitch again.” Bobby Cox, the general manager, said that “Bruce won’t be leaving his job. We won’t be letting him go. We’ll put him on the 21-day disabled list, and then probably move him to the 60-day disabled list later.” After letting his arm rest for three to four months, Sutter planned to look at his health again. In November of that year, the Braves let him go.

At the time of his retirement, Sutter had exactly 300 saves, which was the third-highest total in history, behind Rollie Fingers (341) and Goose Gossage (340). (302). His total number of saves was an NL record until Lee Smith beat it in 1993. Sutter set the NL record with his 194th save in 1982, passing Roy Face’s mark. Only Kent Tekulve made more appearances in his first nine seasons, and he saved 133 of the Cubs’ 379 wins between 1976 and 1980.


Hall of Fame 

In 2006, Sutter got his thirteenth vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Matthew Leach, a sportswriter for, said that this ballot was Sutter’s best chance to get into the Hall of Fame, since he would only be eligible for two more ballots. Nearing the end of his time to be inducted, Sutter said he didn’t think much about it. “Being on the ballot is just an honor, but I don’t really think about it that much. I can’t do anything about it. I can’t change it. It’s up to the voters, it’s in the hands of the voters. I can’t do anything about it. I can no longer pitch… I think a lot of guys should be in, but they’re not. To get into the Hall of Fame, you have to be one of a select few. No one should be able to get in easily “, he said. In his 13th year of eligibility, Sutter was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on January 10, 2006. He got 400 out of 520 possible votes (76.9%). He was the fourth relief pitcher to be inducted and the first pitcher who didn’t start a game to be inducted.

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Mike Bauman, who writes a column for, said that there were several reasons why Sutter didn’t get into the Hall of Fame right away. He said that Sutter’s first five good seasons were with the Cubs, a team that didn’t get much attention at the time. He also said that the closer’s job was fairly new in the history of baseball. Lastly, he said that Sutter’s chances were hurt because injuries cut short his career.

In July of that year, Sutter was the only former MLB player who was put into the Hall of Fame. But 17 baseball players from the Negro League joined him. During his speech about joining the team, Sutter said, “I haven’t played baseball in 18 years, and as I get older, I’m becoming more sentimental. You start losing both family members and friends. Some of our teammates have died. As you put together a speech, you start to think about them. I don’t usually have a lot of feelings. My kids said that when I got that phone call telling me he was elected, it was the first time they had ever seen me cry. Now today. I guess a lot of people have seen me crying by now.” At the speech honoring Sutter, Johnny Bench and Ozzie Smith wore beards with designs on them. On Sutter’s plaque for the Hall of Fame, he is shown wearing a Cardinals cap.

Other honors

The St. Louis Cardinals retired Sutter’s number 42, which he wore his whole career, in a ceremony at Busch Stadium on September 17, 2006. Jackie Robinson’s number 42, which was retired by all MLB teams in 1997, is also his retired number.

Sutter was put into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame in November 2010. A few months later, Herzog took Sutter’s place because Sutter’s wife was sick with cancer and had to go to the hospital. In January 2014, the Cardinals announced that Sutter would be among the first group of 22 former players and staff members to be inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum.

Personal life and death

After he retired, Sutter stayed in Atlanta with his wife and three sons. His son Chad was a catcher for Tulane University. The New York Yankees picked him in the 23rd round (711th overall) of the amateur draft in 1999. Chad played in the minor leagues for one season, and then he became a coach for the Tulane baseball team.

On August 23, 2010, the Philadelphia Phillies hired him as a minor league consultant.

He was hired to look at the team’s Class AA and AAA affiliates’ pitching prospects.

On October 13, 2022, Sutter died at a hospice in Cartersville, Georgia. He had just been told he had cancer a few weeks before. He was 69.

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