The Yankees Universe lost a longtime pitcher and coach yesterday. According to the New York Daily News, Mel Stottlemyre died at age 77. He passed away following a long fight with bone marrow cancer.
Stottlemyre pitched for the Yankees from 1964 - 1974. He served as the staff ace for many of those years, posting a career 2.97 ERA (3.36 FIP). Stottlemyre earned five All-Star berths over the course of his tenure. The right-hander stood out as bright spot during some the franchise’s leaner seasons.
After hanging up his cleats, Stottlemyre became one of the most well-respected pitching coaches in baseball. He coached on five different World Series teams, including the 1986 Mets and the dynasty era Yankees.
Stottlemyre was first diagnosed with cancer in 2000. After a period in remission, the illness resurfaced in 2011. In 2015, the Yankees invited Stottlemyre to the Old-Timers’ Day and presented him with a plaque in Monument Park. There, he spoke graciously of the organization and addressed his health.
“If I never get to come to another Old-Timers’ Game,” Stottlemyre explained, “I will take these memories that I have today, and I will start another baseball club, coaching up there whenever they need me.”
Our thoughts are with the Stottlemyre family today, as well as his many fans across baseball.