“Mine is an unusual angle, and you may hint it again to the truth that it wasn’t an emotional expertise for me, it was a job,” mentioned Sutton, who was born in Clio, Ala., and moved as a baby to the Florida panhandle. “I grew up in an environment within the rural South the place if we didn’t work, if we weren’t all there, if we didn’t put all our efforts into it and if we didn’t take delight in it, we didn’t eat. It was straightforward to take that way of living into baseball.
“It made baseball straightforward, as a result of I noticed my dad working 10, 12 hours a day throughout all types of circumstances simply to get by. So I might actually put that very same effort into a straightforward job, which main league baseball was. It was a straightforward job, made simpler as a result of my dad taught me find out how to work. It wasn’t like for the primary time in my life I needed to do some work. I simply transferred that to baseball.
“So it wasn’t like I believed if we received the world’s championship I used to be going to change into an knowledgeable on vehicles and area journey and this type of stuff. All I used to be going to do was be an athlete whose workforce had a bit bit greater document.”
I remembered Sutton primarily for his work within the 1980s, when he wore a kaleidoscope of colours: the orange of the Astros, the newborn blue of the Brewers, the inexperienced and gold of the A’s, the navy and pink of the Angels. That was maybe extra emblematic of Sutton than all these years in Dodger blue.
He was 20 years outdated in spring coaching 1966, when Koufax and Don Drysdale staged a holdout, an early tremor within the period simply earlier than free company. Years later, Sutton would famously say, “I’m probably the most loyal participant cash can purchase,” an trustworthy, reasonable motto for gamers ever since.
“The names and the faces and the uniforms might have been totally different,” Sutton advised me. “However I might have taken the identical method if I had been enjoying in Leningrad or outer Somalia. I didn’t care. I used to be a significant league pitcher; I used to be not a Dodger, I used to be a person enjoying for the Dodgers. It will be like when you went to anyone and mentioned: ‘Are you a U.S. Metal? Are you a Common Motors?’ No, I’m not, I’m an individual. And that was my method to it. It wasn’t at all times the preferred one, however it labored for me.”