Bob Boone Remembers Don Sutton’s 300th Win (www.mlb.com)

Former catcher Bob Boone was emotional when talking about his close friend, Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who died Tuesday at the age 75.

Former catcher Bob Boone was emotional when talking about his close friend, Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who died Tuesday at the age 75.

Boone and Sutton were teammates for two-plus seasons with the California Angels from 1985-87. Boone was behind the plate when Sutton notched career win No. 300 against the Rangers on June 18, 1986. It was Sutton’s second try at the magic number, and he had arguably his best game of the season. Sutton pitched a complete game, allowing a run on three hits and striking out three batters during a 5-1 victory.

Boone remembers how elated he was when Sutton struck out Gary Ward to end the game. It reminded Boone of when Phillies closer Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson to win the World Series six years earlier. Boone was also behind the plate when Wilson made that final out.

For calling a great game, Sutton gave Boone an autographed glove.

“For me, the feeling was Don wanted it badly,” Boone said via telephone. “He was so excited about that game. When you call a game with Sutton, he had so many tools. He had great command. He had a great curveball. We knew how big that game was for him. I was really into it like he was. When he got to the end of the game, we wanted to finish the game with a strikeout.”

Sutton was 41 years old when he reached the magic number, and he was still an effective pitcher, according to Boone. Sutton was third on the Angels with 15 wins in 1986 and had a respectable 3.74 ERA.

“I saw a really good pitcher that relied on guile. He had great understanding on how to set up hitters,” Boone said. “He had great command of the curveball. You have a pitcher that has a curveball like him … he would put it there all the time. You could utilize that throughout the game. That was very special.”

Sutton ended up winning 324 games during his career and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. Boone said Sutton was an even better person off the field.

With 324 wins, Sutton was picture of consistency

“He was a caring person. He just cared about people,” Boone said. “We spent a lot of time together on a lot of things. It all came down to the pitching, sequences. He was such a good pitcher for a long time. Winning 300 games is a huge accomplishment. I don’t think we will see another one again.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.



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