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Mel Stottlemyre – 1973 Topps #520

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ImageMelvin Leon Stottlemyre, Sr. (born November 13, 1941 in Hazleton, Missouri) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher and pitching coach. He played 11 years in the Major Leagues, all of them with the New York Yankees. After his playing career, Stottlemyre worked as pitching coach with the New York Mets, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners. Called up 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 World Series, Stottlemyre faced Bob Gibson three times in a 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. A sinker-ball specialist, Stottlemyre would pitch 10 more seasons with the Yankees, winning 164 games, including three 20-win seasons; but although the 1964 Series marked the Yankees’ 29th pennant in 44 seasons, Imagethe ensuing decade would be the franchise’s lowest period since the 1910s, with the Yankees not reaching the postseason at all. Stottlemyre was released by the Yankees after the 1974 season with a rotator-cuff injury, and he retired from playing. Known as a solidly-hitting pitcher, Stottlemyre once hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam.
His sons Todd and Mel Jr. both followed their father by becoming major league pitchers. His other son, Jason, died while in a coma at the young age of 11. Stottlemyre was diagnosed with multiple myeloma but is in remission; he is an avid supporter of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. He wrote an autobiography entitled Pride and Pinstripes, published in 2007.

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