Mel Stottlemyre, a five-time All-Star pitcher who made an even bigger impact on the game as a coach, reportedly has died at age 77.
The New York Daily News reported Stottlemyre passed away Sunday night, nearly 20 years after he was initially diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
Stottlemyre made his major league debut with the Yankees in 1964 and was named an All-Star the following season as he went 20-9 and led the American League in complete games (18) and innings (291) at age 23. That established him as the workhorse of New York’s staff, and he held that role for nearly a decade, making at least 35 starts and topping 250 innings every year through 1973.
Those Yankees teams were hardly a juggernaut — Stottlemyre twice led the AL in losses and his only postseason appearance came in his rookie year — but he eventually found far greater success as a coach.
From going toe-to-toe with Bob Gibson as a rookie in the ’64 World Series to guiding #Yankees pitchers through a dynasty, Mel Stottlemyre had an incredible career in pinstripes. He will be missed dearly. pic.twitter.com/OMXqHeSyd2
After working as a minor league instructor for the Mariners, Stottlemyre signed on as the Mets’ pitching coach ahead of the 1984 season, when a 19-year-old rookie named Dwight Gooden was placed in his care. Gooden won the Cy Young award the following season and led the Mets to a World Series championship in 1986.
Stottlemyre spent two years with the Astros before joining Joe Torre’s Yankees staff in 1996 and winning four more World Series titles in his 10 seasons with the team. He spent one more year as an MLB pitching coach, 2008 with the Mariners, before retiring.
He was more than a great pitcher and fantastic pitching coach. He was a father figure and touched so many in a positive way. We lost a great man. RIP Mel Stottlemyre
His sons Todd and Mel Jr. also pitched in the majors, and Mel Jr. has further carried on the legacy by serving as pitching coach for the Diamondbacks, Mariners and Marlins.
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