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Former LA Dodgers Pitching Great Don Sutton Is Keynote Speaker for Baseball Banquet

Los Angeles Dodgers pitching great and Hall of Famer Don Sutton will be the keynote speaker for the 37th annual ODU Baseball Banquet at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel on Jan. 31.

Known as a model of consistency and durability throughout his 23-year major league career, Sutton won 324 games, 58 of them shutouts, and struck out 3,574 batters while never missing his turn in the pitching rotation for the Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, Athletics and Angels. A four-time All-Star, he was selected the 1977 All-Star game MVP. He reached double figures in wins in 21 of his 23 seasons and struck out more than 100 batters in each of the first 21 campaigns. Sutton pitched in four World Series and posted five career one-hit games.

Sutton is seventh on baseball's all-time strikeout list and went 21-10 in 1976 with the Dodgers. He also won 19 games in 1972 and 1974 and 18 in 1973. As a rookie in 1966, Sutton fanned 209 batters, the most by a National League rookie since the great Grover Cleveland Alexander's 227 in 1911.

Sutton finished his career with the Dodgers in 1988 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Since retiring, Sutton has been a broadcaster with the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves telecasts on TBS. In 2006, he was a color commentator for the Washington Nationals on MASN until 2009 and has since returned to the Atlanta Braves Radio Network.

The ODU banquet has annually featured some of the top names in Major League Baseball. Past speakers have included: Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers, Andre Dawson, Rich Gossage, Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Steve Carlton, Jim Palmer, Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, the late Jim "Catfish" Hunter, the late Harmon Killebrew, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice, Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr., and managerial greats Tommy Lasorda and the late Sparky Anderson. Last year's speaker was Atlanta Braves pitching great John Smoltz.

Individual tickets for the banquet are $65 each with a special rate for groups or teams at $45 each (20-plus tickets) and can be purchased by calling 683-6964. Table sponsorships, which include amenities such as a VIP reception with the headliner, autographed baseballs and more, are available as well.

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