Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter coming to York Sports Night

Steve Heiser
  • Bruce Sutter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
  • The Lancaster County native finished his career with 300 saves.
  • Sutter was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 1979.

A Hall of Famer with regional roots is the first announced celebrity guest for the 2017 York Area Sports Night program.

Lancaster County native Bruce Sutter, now 63, will attend the 53rd annual show on Thursday, Feb. 9, at Heritage Hills Golf Resort and Conference Center.

Sutter was selected to Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 in his 13th year of eligibility. The six-time All-Star was the fourth relief pitcher inducted. He was a four-time winner of the NL Rolaids Relief Award.

Bruce Sutter

“He’s the greatest relief pitcher that I’ve seen in my 45 years in baseball,” Chicago Cubs manager Herman Franks said about Sutter.

A right-hander, Sutter was arguably the first pitcher to make effective use of the split-finger fastball. The Donegal High School graduate was one of the sport's dominant relievers in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he became the only pitcher to lead the National League in saves five times (1979–1982, 1984). In 1979, Sutter won the NL Cy Young Award as the league's top pitcher, when he finished with 37 saves and a 2.22 ERA with the Cubs.

Sutter was signed by the Cubs as an undrafted free agent in 1971. Between 1976 and 1988, he played for the Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves.

Sutter helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 1982, saving 36 games with a 2.90 ERA.

“He had the best makeup of any closer I’ve ever seen,” Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog said. “He just cut the percentages down for me from 27 outs a game to 21.”

In 12 years in the major leagues, Sutter compiled a 68-71 record with a 2.83 ERA and 300 saves. In 1,042 innings, he gave up 879 hits with 309 walks and 861 strikeouts.

The Sports Night program will feature a public celebrity reception and silent auction from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to meet the celebrities up close, gather autographs and bid on sports memorabilia to benefit the York Area Sports Night scholarship program. Tickets for that event are $80 in advance and $100 at the door, if available.

There will also be an exclusive celebrity dinner with a live auction from 6:15 p.m. until 8 p.m. for celebrities, hosts, sponsors and guests.

Both events will take place at the Terrace Room at Heritage Hills.

In a departure from previous years, there will not be evening celebrity reception following the celebrity dinner.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.