This day in sports: Don Sutton begins his Hall of Fame career

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John Scheibe
·3 min read
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Don Sutton, 233 wins
Don Sutton started out on the long road to the Hall of Fame on this date in 1966 when he made his major league debut against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium. (Los Angeles Times)

Don Sutton started on the long road to the Hall of Fame on this date in 1966 when he made his major league debut against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium.

The 21-year-old right-hander from Clio, Ala., gave up two runs, one earned and struck out seven before he was lifted in the eighth inning by manager Walter Alston. The Astros won 4-2 on Rusty Staub’s two-run home run off Ron Perranoski.

Sutton would go on to win 324 games, pitch 58 shutouts and five one-hitters in 23 seasons. He is seventh on the all-time strikeout list with 3,574.

The Lakers were scheduled to play Sacramento on Tuesday night at Staples Center. The Lakers had won two games against the Kings with a third postponed April 4 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In baseball, the Angels were to continue an eight-game trip with the first of two against the Miami Marlins. And the Dodgers would have opened a three-game series against St. Louis at Dodger Stadium.

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1960 — The Montreal Canadiens win their fifth consecutive Stanley Cup with a four-game sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs, including a 4-0 victory in the final game. Jean Beliveau scores two goals and Jacques Plante stops 30 shots for the Canadiens.

1962 — Elgin Baylor uses an array of dazzling moves against Tom “Satch” Sanders, one of the best defenders in the league, to score an NBA Finals-record 61 points that leads the Lakers to a 126-121 Game 5 win over the Boston Celtics. Baylor also grabs 22 rebounds. Tom Heinsohn has 30 points for Boston.

1967 — Boston rookie Bill Rohr, a lanky 21-year-old left-handed pitcher, loses a no-hitter in his first major league start when Elston Howard bloops a single with two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning for the New York Yankees’ only hit in a 3-0 home-opener loss to the Red Sox.

1968 — Bob Goalby wins the Masters by one shot when Roberto de Vincenzo of Argentina is penalized for signing an incorrect scorecard. De Vincenzo makes a birdie on No. 17 but playing partner Tommy Aaron puts a 4 on the card, giving him a 66 instead of the 65 he actually shot. Afterward, De Vincenzo woefully utters “What a stupid I am to be wrong here.”

1969 — The first major league baseball game on foreign soil is played in Montreal's Jarry Park when the Expos defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-7. Left-fielder Mack Jones hits a three-run home run and a two-run triple to the delight of 29,184 fans in attendance.

1996 — The octopuses were flying onto the ice when the Detroit Red Wings wrapped up the winningest season in NHL history by beating the Dallas Stars 5-1. The Red Wings finished with 62 victories, topping the 60 by the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens.

1996 — Greg Norman has a six-shot lead evaporate when he stumbles to a shocking 78 in the worst collapse in Masters history, allowing Nick Faldo to win his third green jacket and sixth major championship. Faldo finishes with a workmanlike 67, saying, “I had to double-check the numbers on the leaderboard to realize I had won.”

2016 — Breanna Stewart leads a Connecticut sweep of the first three picks in the WNBA draft, going first overall to the Seattle Storm. Moriah Jefferson is the second pick by San Antonio and Morgan Tuck is selected by Connecticut. It is the first time in draft history that three players from the same school go one, two, three.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press.