When Don Sutton pitched for the California Angels it was an exciting time for the team. The Angels acquired Sutton from Oakland for a push in the 1985 AL West title race. Sutton went 2-2 with a 3.69 ERA in five starts. The Angels fell short that season, but in the next year, the Halos put it all together with a mix of youth and veterans to win the 1986 AL West Title.
During that season I was able to watch Sutton pitch twice and both games were very memorable.
On June 18, 1986, Sutton took the Anaheim Stadium mound for his second attempt of notching his 300th victory. I was sitting with my grandfather on the terrace level down the first-base line along with 37,042 fans. The entire stadium hung onto every pitch, hoping that we were going to witness history that evening.
I will never forget being in attendance for Don Sutton’s 300th career win with the Angels.
The Angels started off quickly with three runs in the first inning on an RBI-double by Brian Downing followed by a two-run single by Rob Wilfong. This is all Sutton needed on this night as he was in total control. The veteran right-hander from Pensacola, Florida gave up only three hits on the night and one run.
In the ninth inning, my grandfather and I stood with the other 37,042 fans as we watched Sutton get two quick outs, bringing the Rangers Gary Ward to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch Ward tried to check his swing on a nasty Sutton sinker to no avail as the home plate umpire rung Ward up, setting off a celebration as the Angels mobbed Sutton and he pumped his fist in excitement. Don Sutton was the 19th and newest member of the MLB 300-win club.