Former New York Yankees starting pitcher and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre died on Friday after a bout with bone marrow cancer, according to the New York Daily News. He was 77 years old.
Stottlemyre began his career in New York in 1964. He spent 11 seasons on the Yankees’ starting staff with 164 wins and five All-Star appearances. Stottlemyre led the MLB in complete games and innings in 1965. He retired in 1974 with a 2.97 career ERA along with three 20-win seasons.
The former Yankees ace rejoined the organization in 1996 following a decade as the Mets pitching coach from 1983-93. Stottlemyre added to his 1986 World Series with the Mets with four championships as a Yankee.
New York’s pitching staff thrived under Stottlemyre. The Yankees sent nine different pitchers to the All-Star game with Stottlemyre as the team’s pitching coach, including seven appearances from closer Mariano Rivera from 1996-05. Stottlemyre was replaced by Ron Guidry following the 2005 season.
Stottlemyre was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999. He fought the disease for nearly two decades. Stottlemyre made an appearance at Yankees Old Timers’ Day in June 2015.
“Today in this Stadium, there is no one that’s happier to be on this field than myself,” Stottlemyre said. “I have been battling a dreaded disease for quite some time. I’ve had so much help from my family and I can’t say enough about you people (fans), how supportive you’ve been for me over the years.”