Mel Stottlemyre, Yankees’ Ace During Lean Years, Dies at 77

“When Mel answered the phone, he sounded ecstatic,” Zimmer remembered. “Later on that night, I found out that Mel’s brother had died earlier in the day of a brain tumor. He never said a word about it on the phone because he didn’t want to ruin the night for the rest of us. That’s what kind of a person he is.”

Melvin Leon Stottlemyre was born on Nov. 13, 1941, in Hazleton, Mo., and grew up in Mabton, Wash., the son of a development employee. He was signed by the Yankee group in 1961 out of what was then Yakima Valley Junior College (now Yakima Valley College) in Washington State.

When Stottlemyre joined the Yankees, Ford, the Hall of Fame left-hander, turned his mentor. When Ford harm his shoulder pitching within the 1964 World Series opener, the Yankees rested a lot of their hopes on Stottlemyre. He beat Gibson in Game 2, pitched to a no-decision in Game 5 and was the loser in Game 7.

The Yankees by no means returned to the World Series throughout Stottlemyre’s taking part in profession, however he turned one of many American League’s main pitchers.

He had a 20-9 document in 1965, when he led the A.L. in full video games, with 18, and innings pitched, with 291. The Yankees have been starting to fade by then, ending sixth in what was then a 10-team league. Stottlemyre received 12 video games and misplaced 20 in 1966 after they completed final for the primary time since 1912. But he rebounded to go 21-12 in 1968 and 20-14 in 1969.

In June 1974, whereas pitching towards the California Angels, Stottlemyre tore his rotator cuff. Over the winter, he was suggested by the Yankees to relaxation till at least May 1. When they launched him at the tip of spring coaching, he was shocked. The transfer was made by the group’s basic supervisor, Gabe Paul, however Stottlemyre was satisfied that the Yankees proprietor George Steinbrenner had been behind it, and it left him embittered.

Stottlemyre retired with a document of 164-139 and an earned run common of two.97 earlier than turning to a second profession as a pitching coach. But a household tragedy took him away from baseball for a time and finally coloured his already bittersweet emotions towards Yankees administration.

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