A beloved player and coach for both the New York Mets and Yankees, Mel Stottlemyre passed away Sunday after a long battle with bone marrow cancer.
With all the good that’s going around in the sporting world, there is bound to be some sad news to come out of it. That news came Monday morning when it was reported that Mel Stottlemyre passed away at 77 years old.
Stottlemyre made his mark on the sport of baseball, especially I the New York City area. Stottlemyre played for the New York Yankees for his entire career of 11 years. During that time, he went to five All-Star games and finished with a .541 winning percentage.
After his playing days, Stottlemyre served as a pitching coach for the New York Mets before returning to the Bronx just in time for the dynasty to emerge. Stottlemyre served as pitching coach for the Yankees from 1996 up until 2005, winning five World Series in the process.
According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Stottlemyre was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the spring of 1999 and while he tried multiple treatments, there was no guarantee that he would be cured.
He was able to make another appearance in front of the Bronx crowd in 2015 when he made a riveting speech at Old-Timers’ Day.
“Today in this Stadium, there is no one that’s happier to be on this field than myself,” Stottlemyre said to the crowd. “This is such a shock to me because the era I played in is an era where, for the most part, the Yankees have tried over the years, I think, somewhat to forget a little bit…If I never get to come to another Old-Timers’ Day, I will take these memories and I’ll start another baseball club, coaching up there, whenever they need me.”
Stottlemyre wasn’t just a great coach, but he was a fabulous person in general. Several former players, current broadcasters and acquaintances took to Twitter to share some stories about the recently deceased.
He was more than a great pitcher and fantastic pitching coach. He was a father figure and touched so many in a positive way. We lost a great man. RIP Mel Stottlemyre
— David Cone (@dcone36) January 14, 2019
Mel Stottlemyre was class personified. What a battle he waged with multiple myeloma. 20 years ago he was given about 5 years. He never stopped fighting. RIP.
— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) January 14, 2019
Saddened to hear of the passing of Mel Stottlemyre. Such a classy and kind man. Epitome of a true Yankee. He’ll be missed
— Phil Hughes (@PJHughes45) January 14, 2019
I met Mel Stottlemyre for the first time before a Subway Series game in 2004, when he was on the Yankees' coaching staff. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A fantastic pitcher, coach and person. RIP, Mel. https://t.co/fdewPFnFBJ
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) January 14, 2019
An incredible player, coach and an even better person, the entire baseball world was devastated to hear of his passing. May Mel Stottlemyre rest in peace and hopefully he’s putting together one hell of a team up there.