photo courtesy of the NY Yankees
“Beyond his tremendous accomplishments as a player and coach, Mel Stottlemyre was beloved for his class, dignity and fighting spirit. His contributions to different eras in our history guided us through difficult times and brought us some of our greatest all-time success. As a result, Mel’s popularity transcended generations, all of whom thought of him as their own. His plaque in Monument Park will forever serve to celebrate the significance of his legacy.”
“His passing is a tremendous loss to the Yankees and all those in the baseball community, and we extend our deepest condolences to Mel’s wife, Jean, and the entire Stottlemyre family.” – Hal Steinbrenner
Ridgewood NJ, Mel Stottlemyre a former Ridgewood resident and Yankee ace has died at 77 . Councilwomen Bernie Walsh remembers her neighbor used to babysit for the Stottlemyre’s . When I was perhaps 9 or 10 maybe even younger , I remember him chatting several times with my grandfather and my grandfather would often say he was a “class act”.
Stottlemyre was called up by the Yankees in midseason in 1964, Stottlemyre went 9–3 to help the Yankees to their fifth consecutive pennant while being on the cover of The Sporting News. In the 1964 World Series, Stottlemyre faced Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals three times in the seven-game Series. Stottlemyre bested Gibson in Game 2 to even the series, and got a no-decision in Game 5, but lost the decisive Game 7 as the Cardinals won the Series.
“Here’s a 21-year-old kid nobody knew coming out of nowhere with this great arm and super control who has all the confidence — not a big head, mind you, but a quiet self-assurance — of a Whitey Ford,” his teammate Tom Tresh was quoted as saying in the oral history “Bombers” (2002), by Richard Lally
Stottlemyre spent his entire pitching career as a New York Yankee 1964-1974 , in what the NYTimes called the “lean years”. He was named to the American League’s (AL) roster for the 1965 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game, though he did not appear in the game. He won 20 games in the 1965 season, and led the AL with 18 complete games, 291 innings pitched, and 1,188 batters faced. He appeared in the 1966 MLB All-Star Game. He led the league with 20 losses.Stottlemyre won 20 games in the 1968 and 1969 seasons.
Stottlemyre threw 40 shutouts in his 11-season career, the same number as Hall of Fame lefty Sandy Koufax, which ties for 44th best all-time. Eighteen of those shutouts came in a three-season span from 1971-73.The Yankees released Stottlemyre before the 1975 season. Stottlemyre retired with 164 career wins and a 2.97 ERA.
Known as a solid-hitting pitcher, on July 20, 1965, Stottlemyre once hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam. On September 26, 1964, he recorded five base hits in five at bats.