Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Bruce Sutter Finally Enters The Hall of Fame

Bruce Sutter Finally makes it into the Hall of Fame.  I grew up watching Bruce Sutter close games on the North Side of Chicago.  Bruce was the first Great Relief Pitcher in baseball.  He was in my honest opinion the Best relief pitcher of all time.  Sutter didn't come into the game with one out left in the game and receive the save.  He came in with games on the line in the 8th inning and finished the game.  He wasn't like this cookie cutter relief pitchers of today.  The domination he had was unbelieveable.  He put up some great saves numbers in the early days of the Relief pitcher.  Of course as a Cubs fan, I hope he goes in as a Cub.  I guess we are going to have to see.  

Bruce appeared in 300 games as a Chicago Cub, 249 as a St Louis Cardinal, and 112 games with the Atlanta Braves.  So more than likely we are going to see Bruce as Cub in the Hall of Fame.  133 of his 300 Career saves came with the Cubs.  

Sutter revolutionized the Split Finger fast ball.  Jack Brickhouse use to describe the ball as falling of the table as it got to the plate.  I loved watching Joe Morgan, George Foster, Mike Schmidt, Dave Parker, Greg Luzinski and other great sluggers fall down trying to hit this bewildering pitch.  There was several times I watched as Sutter struck out the side.  Most of the time it was in a pressure situation.  Of course it was, it was with the Cubs.  The Cubs didn't finish above 3rd place in all the years he pitched for the Cubs.  

1976  4th     75   87  .463  
1977  4th     81   81  .500  
1978  3rd     79   83  .488  
1979  5th     80   82  .494  
1980  6th     64   98  .395  

Bruce Sutter set the record in 1984 with 45 saves.  From 1979 to 1984 he dominated the National League.  He led the league in saves each year excluding 1983.  He saved 192 games during that spread while the league average was 84 games.  Sutter only allowed 77 homeruns while appearing in 1042.1 innings.  

This honor has been overdue for 14 years.

Welcome to the Hall, Bruce!