Sutton attended J. M. Tate High School in Cantonment/Gonzalez, Florida where he played baseball, basketball, and football. He led his baseball team to the small-school state finals two years in row, winning his junior year, 1962, and losing 2-1 in his senior year, and was named all-county, all-conference, and all-state for both of those seasons. He graduated in 1963, and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed”. He wanted to attend the University of Florida, but then coach Dave Fuller was not interested. Instead he attended Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida for one year, and then after a good summer league, was signed by the Dodgers.
A right-handed pitcher, Sutton played for the Sioux Falls Packers as a minor leaguer, and entered the major league at the age of 21. Don Sutton’s major league debut was on April 14, 1966, the same day that future 300-game winner Greg Maddux was born. In the majors, he played 23 years for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and California Angels. He won a total of 324 games, 58 of them shutouts and five of them one-hitters, and he is seventh on baseball’s all-time strikeout list with 3,574 K’s. He also holds the major league record for number of consecutive losses to one team, having lost 13 straight games to the Chicago Cubs.
Sutton was a 4-time All-Star. He also holds the dubious distinction of being the player with the most at-bats without a home run (1,354). When asked how close he ever came to hitting a home run, Don deadpanned “A triple.”