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GAC
07-30-2006, 09:10 AM
Has anyone else read this?

The Sutter family is in my prayers

Wife's health Sutter's primary focus

Despite Hall nod, inductee notes family comes first
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com


COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- It has taken 18 years from the day Bruce Sutter had to call it quits as a professional baseball player because of a shattered right shoulder to this Sunday when he will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The journey has been bittersweet to say the least. By the time members of the Baseball Writers Association of America elected him on the 13th try, Sutter had much more pertinent issues to deal with, namely, the health of his wife of 35 years, Jamye.

"My wife and I went through the Minor Leagues and the Major Leagues together and now the Hall of Fame," Sutter said during a press conference on Saturday. "We've been together for a long time. She knows I got hurt. That's what put me out of baseball. She knew that I wasn't happy because I didn't get to leave the game the way I wanted.

"She's going through some tough times now. There's light at the end of the tunnel. The prognosis looks good. It's just that she's got some hurdles ahead of her. And she doesn't want me talking too much about it. That's just the kind of person she is. But this has been and is going to be very emotional."

It's already been a different kind of weekend for Sutter, whose trademark split-finger fastball danced around National League hitters for most of 13 seasons. He came up with the Chicago Cubs, recorded the last out of the victorious 1982 World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals, and had his career disintegrate after he signed a big free-agent contract with the Atlanta Braves.

There were 300 saves along the way. And usually a much-desired Hall of Fame election is celebrated horsing around with the other living legends, 40 of whom are in attendance this weekend. There's some imbibing and the traditional song that the inductee is expected to prepare and perform on Friday night. There's Saturday morning on the links.

But Sutter said he has participated in none of it. Instead he sat on the hotel porch overlooking Otsego Lake on Saturday and tooled with his speech while the golfers teed off. And on Friday night, he retired early.

"A lot of you know my wife's having some problems," he said. "So she was tired and we kind of called it an early evening."

Sutter preferred not to discuss the specifics about his wife's illness, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this past Sunday that Jamye will have surgery on Aug. 15 to remove a cancerous kidney. She was originally scheduled to have the surgery on April 19, but blood clots were discovered in her lungs during a pre-operative CAT scan and she has been taking a blood thinner ever since.

Jamye was cleared again to have surgery in June, but that date "was a little close [to the induction], if I had gone ahead and had surgery," she told Rick Hummel, the longtime baseball writer for the Post-Dispatch who was the Cardinals beat writer during the years Sutter played in St. Louis (1981-84).

The news marred an otherwise joyful time in the Sutter's Kennesaw, Ga., household.

"Somebody will say, 'Oh, I feel so bad for you. All these wonderful things are happening to you and then you have this bad news," she said. "But, really, it was the most wonderful luck. I went in to have a kidney stone removed. If I had not done that, they would have never seen the cancer and I would have gone on my merry way while this thing was growing.

"And then, if I hadn't had the CAT scan that found the blood clots, I could have died on the operating table. So, all the way around, I've just been really blessed. It's an excellent year. I've apparently had these blood clots for a long time. But, for whatever reason, it's not my time.

"Bruce just got elected to the Hall of Fame. We're building this wonderful new house and we're having [another] grandbaby in October and our [youngest son] is getting married in November. A lot of good things are happening."

Not the least of which was this trip north. Sutter is from Lancaster, in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, and the plan all along was to stop for a spell there on the voyage here. Sutter, now 56, has a ton of old friends and relatives whom he wanted to visit. A whopping 85 of them are in town and will be at the ceremony.

"More than I could ever hope to see this weekend," he said.

He has had a chance to gather with his fellow Hall of Famers, who, as usual, welcomed him with open arms into that select club of 260, including players, managers and executives. There has been some of the usual kidding and jiving.

"They started on me a little bit yesterday," Sutter said. "We had a meeting and they asked me how long my speech was going to be. I told them it was going to be an hour-and-a-half. And one of them said: 'That was longer than you played.'"

The line received big laughs from the gathered media, but the tone of the weekend for Sutter had months ago been set. It's about life, love and those closest to you, particularly on the day of a such a majestic event.

wally post
07-30-2006, 12:18 PM
I am so thrilled Bruce Sutter is entering the HOF! He deserves it BIG TIME!!

Let's hope his family's health improves. He would've been a great Red!

Cyclone792
07-30-2006, 01:15 PM
I wasn't in favor of Sutter's election, but he got elected, and it's his day. It's sad that he wasn't able to take full advantage of all the activities with some of the other living HOFers, but it's very understandable considering what he's going through. All the best to Sutter and his family.

It will be interesting to see how MLB presents the Negro League inductees considering there's so many of them. I've felt for awhile now that Biz Mackey, Mule Suttles and Cristóbal Torriente were among the best Negro Leaguers not enshrined, but they've finally gotten the credit they've deserved.

BTW, it looks like the Induction Ceremony will be televised live at 1:30pm ET on ESPN Classic. Much of the ceremony will be going on during the Reds game, but if you're able to pry yourself away from the game for a few minutes, the ceremony is always a pleasure to watch. I'm hoping Musial is once again able to give us his harmonica rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

dman
07-30-2006, 02:09 PM
With Sutter getting inducted and paving the way for more closers, does anybody think that Dan Quisenberry will one day be inducted?

cumberlandreds
07-31-2006, 07:49 AM
My best goes out to Sutter and his family. I hope all turns out well in the end and they enjoy this time of being HOFer'. I think he deserved the HOF. Sutter was devastating reliever for a number of years. No one could touch that split fingered fastball he threw. He should open the door for at least a couple of other closers who I think deserve recognition in the HOF;Goose Gossage and Lee Smith.

dabvu2498
07-31-2006, 10:11 AM
It will be interesting to see how MLB presents the Negro League inductees considering there's so many of them. I've felt for awhile now that Biz Mackey, Mule Suttles and Cristóbal Torriente were among the best Negro Leaguers not enshrined, but they've finally gotten the credit they've deserved.

BTW, it looks like the Induction Ceremony will be televised live at 1:30pm ET on ESPN Classic. Much of the ceremony will be going on during the Reds game, but if you're able to pry yourself away from the game for a few minutes, the ceremony is always a pleasure to watch. I'm hoping Musial is once again able to give us his harmonica rendition of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
I was upset that ESPN ran commercials and interviews over the plaque-readings of some of the Negro League inductees. They deserved better.

Of course, I should have come to expect that from ESPN.