Former Cubs pitcher and Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter has died at the age of 69.
Sutter spent five of his 12 big-league seasons with the Cubs, signing as an amateur free agent before debuting in 1976. He played for the Cubs from 1976-80, making four consecutive All-Star teams while winning the 1979 NL Cy Young Award.
Sutter led MLB in saves in 1979 and the National League in 1980.
The Cubs traded him to the Cardinals entering the 1981 season, and he pitched for St. Louis through 1984 — winning a World Series in 1982 — before spending his final three seasons with the Braves.
Sutter, who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006, is one of 31 pitchers to record 300 career saves, 133 of which came with the Cubs.
He was third all-time in saves when he retired, trailing only Rollie Fingers and Goose Gossage. He finished with exactly 300 saves in his career and a 2.83 ERA in 661 appearances.
Sutter's cause of death was not immediately clear.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement after news of Sutter's death.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Bruce Sutter, whose career was an incredible baseball success story," Manfred's statement reads. "Bruce ascended from being a non-drafted free agent to the heights of Baseball by pioneering the split-fingered fastball.
"That pitch not only led him to the Major Leagues, but also made him a Cy Young Award winner with the Cubs and a World Series Champion with the 1982 Cardinals. Bruce was the first pitcher to reach the Hall of Fame without starting a game, and he was one of the key figures who foreshadowed how the use of relievers would evolve.
“Bruce will be remembered as one of the best pitchers in the histories of two of our most historic franchises. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my condolences to Bruce’s family, his friends and his fans in Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta and throughout our game.”