Escambia County Honors Late Baseball Hall Of Famer Don Sutton, Former Molino Resident

May 7, 2021

The Escambia County Commission issued a proclamation Thursday night honoring the late baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and former Molino resident Don Sutton. He passed away in January at age 75.

Members of Sutton’s family and members of the 1962 Tate High School baseball state championship team stood by as District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry read the proclamation and presented it to Don Sutton’s brother, Ron Sutton. (Read the complete proclamation below.)

“When Don talked about coming back here, he was coming home,” an emotional Ron Sutton told the commission. “The thing is his career is a testament to my mom and dad who taught us if you have a good work ethic, and you try hard enough, anything is possible.”

About the family’s move to Molino in 1950, Ron Sutton said, “My daddy always said we came to the land flowing with milk and honey, and I believe that.”

Sutton was born April 2, 1945, in Clio, Alabama. He attended Molino Junior High School for nine years and graduated from Tate High School as the Class of 1963’s “Most Likely to Succeed.” He played basketball, football and led two Aggie baseball teams to two state championship games. In 1962, he pitched 13 innings for the Aggies in their state championship win

During his career as a right-handed pitcher, he won 324 games, including 58 shutouts and earned the seventh place spot on baseball’s all-time strikeout list with 3,574. Sutton played over a decade with the LA Dodgers, and also played for the Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s and California Angels before returning for one last season with the Dodgers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

“My mother used to worry about my imaginary friends ‘cause I would be out in the yard playing ball,” Don Sutton said in his Hall of Fame induction speech in 1998. “She worried because she didn’t know a Mickey, or a Whitey, or a Yogi, or a Moose, or an Elston, but I played with them every day.”

Sutton also had a successful 29-year broadcasting career, working for major networks including TBS and NBC, along with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

The Don Sutton Ballpark in Molino is named in his honor, and a portion of Highway 29 in Molino is known as the Don Sutton Highway. There is also a display devoted to Sutton in the Molino Museum in the Molino Community Complex.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are wearing the number 20 on their uniforms this season to honor Sutton.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

7 Responses to “Escambia County Honors Late Baseball Hall Of Famer Don Sutton, Former Molino Resident”

  1. Arleen Keck on May 7th, 2021 4:28 pm

    Molino school started in first through eighth grade some kids got off the bus there others got on to go to Tate. Tate use to go from first to twelve , then it was seven to twelve, then it was nine to twelve.

  2. William Reynolds on May 7th, 2021 1:41 pm

    >>REALLY, he spent 9 years in junior high?

    That does not mean he failed. We can’t find a history for a Molino Junior High School as mentioned in the county proclamation. We suspect it was actually Molino School (the current library and community center) on Highway 95A, which included both elementary and junior high grades.

  3. A Alex on May 7th, 2021 11:40 am

    REALLY, he spent 9 years in junior high?

  4. Molino on May 7th, 2021 10:50 am

    This sign was changed several years back. The sing was changed and updated marking Molino Ball Park with information such has the web address. This update was due to the condition of the original sign that was in place at the time. Along with the need for sharing a way for players / community to get information regarding park activates via the web site. However there was a sign inside the park entrance still in recognition of Don Sutton. This sign was damaged by storms and disposed of. (MRA) Molino Recreation Association is a not for profit and its board of director runs and organizes youth sports (t-ball, baseball, softball) We love our community and proud of who is and comes from our area. We have many many great players that have started right here in Molino. We will have many more to come. We tip our hat to the great Don Sutton who was known for his durability and I can say these athletes from our area fit that characteristic.

    Lets go Molino!

    #MOLINOSTRONG
    #MOLINOBALLPARK
    #DONSUTTON

  5. Debbie on May 7th, 2021 9:42 am

    Why did they rename Don Sutton Ballpark to Molino Ball park? They have a new sign up on the corner of Crabtree and Hwy 97?. It got changed right after his death? It was a shame.

  6. bill m on May 7th, 2021 7:01 am

    What a great character and sportsman Don was! Some of the pranks he pulled were classic and winning 300 games is a testament to his talent and durability.

  7. JTV on May 7th, 2021 4:47 am

    Because of Don Sutton, I was and still am a LA Dodger fan. Hated more than anything, he wasn’t on the team to get the WS ring in 81.





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