RIP Mel Stottlemyre

Former all-star pitcher, three-time 20-game winner for the Borg, pitching coach for the Borg and Mutts and all-round elder statesman for MLB Mel Stottlemyre died in Seattle at 77 following a lengthy battle with cancer today.

He got into one World Series with the Borg in 1964, winning one game and losing one game (Game 7 to Bob Gibson – no shame in that). Otherwise he spent most of his active career pitching for the Borg during their dark days in 1965-1974.

I can’t say he was one of my playing “heroes,” being Borg, but he was a constant presence during my late adolescence and early adulthood. He just had one of those names you always notice buried in a sportscast on the radio when the Smiths, Johnsons and Terwilligers go unperceived in the white noise.

Obituaries accentuate the positive, of course, but from everything I’ve read about him he was the consummate gentleman. Please feel free to share your thoughts and recollections about this iconic ballplayer.

8 thoughts on “RIP Mel Stottlemyre

  1. I don’t remember ever seeing him pitch, but I was a fledgling Bosox fan back in those pre-Jays days — all I knew about the Borg was that they were the team to be hated. I do remember him as their pitching coach, however.

    I do remember his son, Todd, who pitched for the Jays in the late 80s and early 90s. Mainly I remember his name, though, as he was more well-known for being the son of Mel Stottlemyre than for any of his pitching feats.

    RIP Mel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grew up in central PA (like, damn near dead center of the state), and our twelve channel cable system included three stations out of New York City, for some reason, and none from Pittsburgh or Philly.

    This meant that my formative years included lots of Yankees (WPIX at the time) and Mets (WOR) games, and so I do remember Stottlemyre pitching, but have no real recollection of his doing anything special on the mound.

    I hope his family, friends, and fans find comfort in their memories of him.

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  3. I think of the Borg-like Era as beginning with The Boss. Ackcherly of course they were much worse way before then, but there is a parallel timeline with Star Trek in my head somehow. Call it “cultural icon meme parallelism.”……but post-digression, I was always amazed that Mel Sr. didn’t hang around long enough to get serious HoF consideration. His was an era dominated by Gibby, Marichal and Koufax, and even Sudden Sam McDowell and Loooooooeee Tiant got more attention because the Borg stank something bad toward the end of his run.

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    • The Borg weren’t able to begin their conquest by assimilation until the start of the free agent era. Otherwise they would have had Gibby, Koufax and company and Mel would have been the long reliever.

      I remember him being a very good but non elite smooth sinker baller.

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      • Three time 20-game winner for an at best mediocre and usually awful team. That’s pretty elite for a stretch. His rotator cuff gave out on him and cut his career short.

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        • Okay you’re probably right. I mis remembered. I do remember that George Kell and Ernie Harwell respected him.

          Twinke Town is looking for a site manager and I’m thinking about it. What you think Prof? Have you done that sort of thing before?

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        • Heh – yeah. I thought it was more work than it was worth. Fan sites, especially, attract a disproportionate share of assholes. Be warned.

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  4. I was no student of Yankees past so I looked up the 64 WS year – the second straight losing WS for the Yankees (WHOOHOO ’60s!). I noticed his teammate that year was Al Downing, who a decade later threw the pitch that became Hammerin’ Hank’s 715th Home Run.

    I like baseball for many reasons, but the interconnectedness of so many things is one of those reasons. Thanks, Gator.

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