Dodgers fans were dealt a double blow this month. Shortly after the death of Tommy Lasorda, news came that all-time great pitcher Don Sutton had also passed. I present my top 5 favorite Sutton cards from my collection.
1973 Topps #10
The earliest card of his in my collection, Sutton was at the top of his game in 1973. He made his second All-Star team and finished 5th in Cy Young voting.
1981 Topps #605
Suttoning (verb, origin unknown): To pose for a picture by getting down on one knee and crossing your arms over the knee that's up. Don apparently liked posing this way.
1986 Donruss Highlights #16
Like many baseball greats of the 70's, Sutton was on the back end of his career when I was getting into collecting. Young me remembers him as some grey-haired pitcher on the Angels. He wasn't appearing on All-Star cards or Record Breakers. He wasn't being talked about in the same breath as Steve Carlton, Nolan Ryan, or Tom Seaver. If you never looked at the back of his card and saw those career stats, it would take a card like this to make you do a double take and say "Wait? This guy was that good?"
1987 Ralston Purina #6
The town I grew up in has a Purina plant. There were often times that particular neighborhood smelled like cat food. This has nothing to do with Sutton, but seeing it again reminds me of my childhood and therefore I think I need to complete the run of sets Purina produced in the 80's.
2016 Topps Archives #16
We'll cap things off with this great Archives card. As I said before, I remember Sutton in the tail end of his career. Seeing a fresh faced Don Sutton - before the grey hair, before the perm, before the greatness - still seems weird to me.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Sutton!