Yankees Legend Mel Stottlemyre Dies at Age 75

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2019

Former New York Yankees player Mel Stottlemyre speaks during opening ceremonies for the Old-Timers' Day baseball game Saturday, June 20, 2015, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Former New York Yankees pitching great Mel Stottlemyre died Sunday from "complications of multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer for which he had been treated for many years," according to Richard Goldstein of the New York Times.

Stottlemyre died in a Seattle hospital. He was 77.

Stottlemyre was a five-time All-Star, finishing his career 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 1,257 strikeouts in 11 seasons (1964-74), all with the Yankees. He pitched 152 complete games and notched 40 shutouts.

He made just three postseason appearances (all in 1964), however, as his career started the season before an 11-year playoff drought for the Bronx Bombers.

After his playing career, Stottlemyre remained in the game as a pitching coach, working for the New York Mets (1984-93), Houston Astros (1994-95), Yankees (1996-05) and Seattle Mariners (2008). He won four World Series titles with the Yankees and the 1986 title with the Mets.

Former Yankees manager Joe Torre released a statement (h/t Don Burke of the New York Post):

"I am sorry to hear of Mel's passing. Mel was a role model to us all and the toughest man I have ever met. Sometimes a manager hires a friend to be their coach, but with Mel, as with [Don Zimmer], he was my coach who became a dear friend and someone who became very special to me. I send my deepest sympathies to his wife Jean, boys Mel Jr & Todd as well as the entire Stottlemyre family."

Retired relief pitcher Mike Stanton, who played under Stottlemyre for six-plus seasons with the Yankees, called Stottlemyre a "wonderful man."

"When I think about the time I had with Mel, there's nothing but pleasant thoughts," he said, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. "He had a great sense of humor. Even when he wasn't feeling well, he always had a positive word. He was always very upbeat and looking to help. He's going to be sorely missed. This one hurts."

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