Baseball Hall of Fame star and pioneer of split-finger fastball, dies aged 69

Bruce Sutter Cardinals - Credit wikipedia Johnmaxmena2

The baseball Hall of Fame star and pioneer of the split-finger fastball, Bruce Sutter, has died at the age of 69.

His death was announced by Major League Baseball on Friday, October 14 however, no further details were provided.

Sutter was a “struggling minor league pitcher with an injured arm” according to the Baseball Hall of Fame when Cubs minor league pitching coach Fred Martin taught him the split-finger fastball.

The split-finger-fastball is quick and dips as it reaches the home plate, making it difficult for batsmen to judge. Pioneered in the spring of 1973, the split-finger-fastball involves using the thumb to push the ball out from between wide-spread fingers.

That spring proved to be a career change for Sutter who ended up enjoying a 12-year career in which led the National League five times.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said it is an “incredible baseball success story.

“Bruce ascended from being a non-drafted free agent to the heights of Baseball by pioneering the split-fingered fastball. That pitch not only led him to the Major Leagues, but also made him a Cy Young Award winner with the Cubs and a World Series Champion with the 1982 Cardinals.

“Bruce was the first pitcher to reach the Hall of Fame without starting a game, and he was one of the key figures who foreshadowed how the use of relievers would evolve.”

When Sutter was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he said: “When I played, I never needed the spotlight, nor did I want it.

“I simply wanted to play baseball and be respected by my teammates and the opposing players.

“So today my name (Howard Bruce Sutter) goes on this plaque. This day is not about me. It’s about the many people who have helped me along the way.”

Many tributes have been paid to Sutter the Baseball Hall of Fame star who was a pioneer of the game. Fans said he changed it forever and he will be remembered forever.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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