Mel Stottlemyre Dead of Cancer at 77

Roger Clemens and Mel Stottlemyre

The death of the great Mel Stottlemyre is a sad day for baseball. He was one of the great pitchers whose career win total was shortened by injury, but he also was one of those great pitchers who was able to teach others how to build their own games in the direction of greatness as a successful coach for the Yankees and Mets. Unfortunately for those of us whose allegiance was to certain other clubs, Stottlemyre was one of the main reasons our own clubs hit the wall on short runs as World Series candidates. Our 1986 Houston Astros’ crushing 16th inning loss to the New York Mets at the Astrodome in the NLCS jumps immediately to mind.

How much was that last-play-of-the-game critical strike out of Astro batter Kevin Bass the work of veteran Mets reliever Jessie Orosco ~ and how much of that baleful silence that befell the home Astrodome crowd the moment it happened the spiritual needle work of Mets pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre?

The modest man with the best answer to that question took any impressions he may have privately held with him to the other side on Sunday. My guess is that he would have given all the credit to pitcher Orosco. That’s the kind of guy he apparently was. ~ And he’s going to be missed.

Rest in Peace, Mel Stottlemyre!

What follows is a nice obituary article on the life and death of Mel Stottlemyre by Ryan Gaydos of Fox News. If you want to read the same material at its base source, a link to that reference follows its presentation here.

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Mel Stottlemyre, former New York Yankees great, dies after long battle with cancer

By Ryan Gaydos | Fox News

Former New York Yankees legend Mel Stottlemyre — who starred on the mound for the Bronx Bombers before presiding over five World Series titles as a pitching coach for the Yankees and Mets — died Sunday, January 13, 2019, in Seattle after a battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 77.

Stottlemyre pitched in 11 seasons with the Yankees and was a five-time All-Star. He also served as pitching coach on the 1986 New York Mets World Series team and the great Joe Torre-led Yankees teams of the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Yankees won the World Series in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 during that run. In the process, Stottlemyre worked with some of the greatest pitchers of the times: Dwight Gooden with the Mets and Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, David Cone, David Wells and Mariano Rivera with the Yankees.

The Hazelton, Mo., native was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the spring of 1999 and underwent experimental treatment for the disease, including stem cell transplant and chemotherapy, according to the New York Daily News.

Stottlemyre made one of his final appearances at Yankee Stadium in June 2015 during the franchise’s annual Old Timers’ Day. The Yankees honored Stottlemyre with a plaque in Monument Park.

“Today in this Stadium, there is no one that’s happier to be on this field than myself,” he said at the time. “This is such a shock to me because the era I played in is an era where, for the most part, the Yankees have tried over the years, I think, somewhat to forget a little bit…If I never get to come to another Old Timers’ Day, I will take these memories and I’ll start another baseball club, coaching up there, whenever they need me.”

Stottlemyre was 164-139 with a 2.97 ERA in 360 career games. As a player, he only appeared in the World Series once – in 1964 against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees lost that series in seven games, beginning a period of mediocrity for the club after decades atop the sports world.

He is survived by his wife Jean and two sons Todd and Mel, Jr. — both of whom were also major league pitchers. His third son Jason died in 1981 of leukemia, according to the New York Daily News.

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/mel-stottlemyre-former-new-york-yankees-great-dies-after-battle-with-cancer

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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One Response to “Mel Stottlemyre Dead of Cancer at 77”

  1. Mark W. Says:

    RIP. He was one of the great pitchers of his time, toiling mostly for a bad team.

    Modern medicine kept him going another 20 years after his initial diagnosis.

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