20 November 2014

don sutton's career torchbearer is jose veras

don sutton began his major league career as a dodger in 1966.  his teammates at that time included hall of famers sandy koufax and don drysdale.  when sutton pitched in his last game in 1988, also as a dodger, his teammates included orel hershiser and fernando valenzuela.  here's a card of sutton from 2005 donruss throwback threads
even though it shows him in an angel uniform, it documents his travels, with his two dodger stints featured prominently along with the classic astros' logo.  not shown are his years with the brewers (1982-1984), a's (1985), and angels (1985-1987).

sutton was released by the dodgers following a start in august of 1988 in which he allowed five earned runs in 7 innings of work.  the loss he took that day put his record for the season at 3-6 with a 3.92 era. the last batter he faced was eric davis, who struck out and became sutton's 3,574th strikeout victim.  i believe that sutton's total placed him fourth all-time when he retired.  anyway, eric the red went on to play for a few more seasons (including one-plus with the dodgers), and in 2001, he found himself playing in his final game, as a giant no less.  here's his 2001 topps traded card
davis hit a fly ball against the dodgers' dennis springer on the last day of the 2001 season in what turned out to be his final career at bat.

springer, seen here on a 1998 topps card from his time with the angels
only pitched for a short while longer, making his final big league appearance on may 26, 2002.  in that game, his only appearance in 2002 by the way, springer took the loss in what was a walk-off win by the diamondbacks in extra innings.  the arizona player that hit springer's final major league pitch for a game-winning double was david dellucci

dellucci bounced around a bit after leaving the diamondbacks, and eventually made his way to cleveland which is where he was when his 2009 topps card (this is the gold parallel)
was issued.  during the season, however, dellucci was released by the indians and signed by the blue jays.  he made his last big league appearance as a blue jay in july of 2009.  facing the indians' jose veras, dellucci walked and eventually scored.  he was replaced later in the game by jose bautista, and his career was over.

jose veras. meanwhile, has bounced around some himself after leaving the indians.  after stops in florida, pittsburgh, and milwaukee, he found some success with houston in 2013 and was traded to the tigers to bolster their bullpen for the postseason.  he signed with the cubs prior to the 2014 season (this is his 2014 topps card)
but finished the season back with the astros.  he's currently a free agent, but i imagine someone will sign him and he will continue to carry don sutton's torch in 2015.