Mel Stottlemyre
Stottlemyre in a 1970 baseball card
Born: (1941-11-13)November 13, 1941
Hazleton, Missouri, U.S.
Died: January 13, 2019(2019-01-13) (aged 77)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 12, 1964, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
August 16, 1974, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Win–loss record164–139
Earned run average2.97
As player

As coach

Career highlights and awards

Melvin Leon Stottlemyre Sr. (November 13, 1941 – January 13, 2019) was an American professional baseball pitcher and pitching coach. He played for 11 seasons in Major League Baseball, all for the New York Yankees, and coached for 23 seasons, for the Yankees, New York Mets, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners. He was a five-time MLB All-Star as a player and a five-time World Series champion as a coach.

Baseball career

As a player (1964–1974)

Stottlemyre pitched in American Legion Baseball and attended Mabton High School in Mabton, Washington, and Yakima Valley Community College. A scout for the New York Yankees discovered Stottlemyre pitching for Yakima's baseball team, and signed him to a contract with no signing bonus on June 10, 1961. The Yankees assigned him to the Harlan Smokies of the Rookie-level Appalachian League. After appearing in eight games, the Yankees promoted him to the Auburn Yankees of the Class D New York–Penn League, and he appeared in seven games for Auburn.[1]

Stottlemyre pitched to a 17–9 win–loss record and a 2.50 earned run average (ERA) with the Greensboro Yankees of the Class B Carolina League in 1962, and was promoted to the Richmond Virginians of the Class AAA International League in 1963. He alternated between starting and relieving for Richmond, before Ralph Houk, the Yankees' general manager, insisted that Stottlemyre be used exclusively as a starting pitcher. He recorded a 1.42 ERA in the 1964 season, the best in the International League.[2]

Called up midseason in 1964, Stottlemyre went 9–3 to help the Yankees to their fifth consecutive pennant while being on the cover of The Sporting News. In the 1964 World Series, Stottlemyre faced Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals three times in the seven-game Series. Stottlemyre bested Gibson in Game 2 to even the series, and got a no-decision in Game 5, but lost the decisive Game 7 as the Cardinals won the Series.[3]

Stottlemyre was named to the American League's (AL) roster for the 1965 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game, though he did not appear in the game.[4] He won 20 games in the 1965 season,[5] and led the AL with 18 complete games, 291 innings pitched, and 1,188 batters faced.[6] He appeared in the 1966 MLB All-Star Game.[7] He led the league with 20 losses.[8] Stottlemyre won 20 games in the 1968 and 1969 seasons.[5] He also started the 1969 MLB All-Star Game.[9]

Stottlemyre threw 40 shutouts in his 11-season career, the same number as Hall of Fame lefty Sandy Koufax, which ties for 44th best all-time. Eighteen of those shutouts came in a three-season span from 1971–73.[10] The Yankees released Stottlemyre before the 1975 season.[11] Stottlemyre retired with 164 career wins and a 2.97 ERA.[5]

Known as a solid-hitting pitcher, on July 20, 1965, Stottlemyre hit a rare inside-the-park grand slam. On September 26, 1964, he recorded five base hits in five at bats.[12]

Coaching years (1984–2008)

Stottlemyre as the Mets' pitching coach in 1992

In 1977, Stottlemyre re-emerged in baseball as a roving instructor for the Seattle Mariners. He spent five seasons in that position,[13] and was hired by the New York Mets as their pitching coach in November 1983.[5] In that role, he oversaw Dwight Gooden's National League Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award seasons in 1984 and 1985.[14] Stottlemyre served in the role for ten years (including the 1986 World Series championship team) and then followed that by serving a two-year stint as the Houston Astros pitching coach.[1]

New York Yankees (1996–2005)

In 1996, Stottlemyre joined the Yankees coaching staff along with the incoming manager Joe Torre. Under Torre, Stottlemyre lowered the team ERA from 4.65 in 1996 to 3.84 in 1997. Under Stottlemyre, the Yankee team averaged an ERA of 4.23 from 1996 to 2005.[15] The pitching staff was regarded as a major factor in the team's dynasty years, when they won four World Series Championships in five years.[1]

After 10 seasons, Stottlemyre resigned his coaching position on October 12, 2005, following the Yankees' defeat in the 2005 American League Division Series by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He cited personal disagreements with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner among his reasons for leaving and cited Steinbrenner's comment that, after the division series was over, he had congratulated Angels manager Mike Scioscia. Stottlemyre's response was: "My first thought was, 'What about Joe?' Joe did a hell of a job, too. To congratulate the other manager and not congratulate your own, after what he's done this year, I laughed."[16] The Yankees replaced Stottlemyre with former Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry.[17]

Seattle Mariners (2008)

Stottlemyre was named pitching coach of the Seattle Mariners under manager John McLaren at the beginning of the 2008 season,[18] and was retained by interim manager Jim Riggleman after McLaren's firing. He was dismissed after the season ended.[19] Following the season, he retired from baseball.[20]


The mayor of Mabton, Washington, declared October 12, 1964, to be "Mel Stottlemyre Day".[21] He was inducted into the Washington State American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.[22] At Old-Timers' Day on June 20, 2015, the Yankees dedicated a plaque in Monument Park in Stottlemyre's honor.[23][24]

Personal life

Stottlemyre was raised in the town of Mabton, Washington, located in the south-central part of the state.[25] He resided with his wife, Jean, in Issaquah, Washington.[26] Two of his sons, Todd and Mel Jr., followed their father by becoming major-league pitchers. His other son, Jason, died of leukemia at the age of 11.[27]

Stottlemyre and John Harper coauthored an autobiography titled Pride and Pinstripes, published in 2007.[28]

Stottlemyre was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2000. In remission for several years, he was an avid supporter of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.[29] The cancer reappeared in 2011.[30] Stottlemyre died on January 13, 2019, at the age of 77, of cancer.[31] To honor Stottlemyre, the Yankees wore black armbands on their uniform during the 2019 season.[32]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Wolf, Gregory H. (2016). "Mel Stottlemyre". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Koppett, Leonard (September 22, 1964). "The Right Man". The Telegraph. p. 8. Retrieved June 21, 2015 – via Google News Archive Search.
  3. ^ Missildine, Harry (October 16, 1964). "Yankee Gloves, Arms Fail Mel Stottlemyre". The Spokesman-Review. p. 16. Retrieved June 21, 2015 – via Google News Archive Search.
  4. ^ "July 13, 1965 All-Star Game Play-By-Play and Box Score –". Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Richman, Milton (February 1, 1985). "Mel Stottlemyre overcame tragic loss". Ellensburg Daily Record. p. 10. Retrieved June 21, 2015 – via Google News Archive Search.
  6. ^ "1965 American League Pitching Leaders –". Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "July 12, 1966 All-Star Game Play-By-Play and Box Score –". Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  8. ^ "1966 American League Pitching Leaders –". Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  9. ^ "1969 All-Star Game Box Score, July 23". Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  10. ^ "Career Leaders & Records for Shutouts –". Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  11. ^ "Mel Stottlemyre Released". Kentucky New Era. Associated Press. March 27, 1975. p. 17. Retrieved June 21, 2015 – via Google News Archive Search.
  12. ^ "Mel Stottlemyre Batting Stats –". Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  13. ^ "Stottlemyre knows firsthand the power of a positive attitude". February 21, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  14. ^ Kernan, Kevin (January 22, 2019). "Dwight Gooden remembers 'second father' Mel Stottlemyre". New York Post. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  15. ^ "Mel Stottlemyre- Great Coach, Better Pitcher | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights". Bleacher Report. May 7, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  16. ^ Kepner, Tyler (October 13, 2005). "Yanks' Schism Is Exposed as Stottlemyre Departs". The New York Times. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  17. ^ Kepner, Tyler (November 5, 2005). "Guidry Will Lead, Kerrigan Will Guide". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Stottlemyre new Mariners pitching coach –". Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  19. ^ "Mel Stottlemyre, Lee Elia not returning to Mariners coaching staff". The Seattle Times. November 24, 2008. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Swenning, Jerrel (September 26, 2018). "Making his best pitch". Yakima Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  21. ^ "1964: Mel Stottlemyre Day proclaimed by Mabton mayor". Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  22. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  23. ^ McCarron, Anthony (June 20, 2015). "Yankees surprise Mel Stottlemyre with Monument Park plaque on Old Timers' Day at the Stadium". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  24. ^ Araton, Harvey (June 20, 2015). "Yankees Legends, in Various Shades of Gray". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  25. ^ Stottlemyre, Mel; Harper, John (2007). Pride and Pinstripes. New York: HarperCollins. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-06-117409-4.
  26. ^ Stone, Larry (September 15, 2002). "Around the horn: Japanese reporter gets vote". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  27. ^ Donnellon, Sam (October 20, 1993). ""I know he's watching": Courageous brother who died of leukemia molded spirit of Blue Jays' Stottlemyre". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2014.
  28. ^ "Mel Stottlemyre, Yankees' Ace During Lean Years, Dies at 77 – The New York Times". The New York Times. November 13, 1941. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  29. ^ "Yankees' Stottlemyre Has Cancer Of Marrow". The New York Times. April 10, 2000. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  30. ^ "Harper: Mel Stottlemyre battling cancer again". New York Daily News. June 3, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
  31. ^ Madden, Bill (January 14, 2019). "Mel Stottlemyre, New York baseball legend, dead at 77 – NY Daily News". Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  32. ^ "Yankees are using armband to honor Mel Stottlemyre". March 28, 2019.
Sporting positions Preceded byBill Monbouquette New York Mets pitching coach 1984–1993 Succeeded byGreg Pavlick Preceded byBob Cluck Houston Astros pitching coach 1994–1995 Succeeded byBrent Strom Preceded byNardi Contreras New York Yankees pitching coach 1996–2005 Succeeded byRon Guidry Preceded byRafael Chaves Seattle Mariners pitching coach 2008 Succeeded byRick Adair