Bruce Sutter, Hall of Fame pitcher and World Series champion, dead at 69

On Thursday, Bruce Sutter, a Hall of Fame closer who formerly owned the National League career saves record and helped the Cardinals win the 1982 World Series, passed away. He was 69.

Bruce Sutter's career was described as "an extraordinary baseball success story," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "I am very saddened by the news of his passing."

"By inventing the split-fingered fastball, Bruce rose from a non-drafted free agent to the pinnacles of baseball.

In addition to getting him into the Major Leagues, the pitch helped the Cubs win the Cy Young Award and the 1982 Cardinals win the World Series.

One of the main individuals who anticipated how the use of relievers would develop was Bruce, the first pitcher to be elected to the Hall of Fame without ever having made a start in a game.

"Bruce will go down in history as one of the greatest pitchers for two of our most illustrious franchises.

I send my sympathies to Bruce's family, his friends, and all of his fans in Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, as well as around our sport on behalf of Major League Baseball.

Sutter was signed by the Cubs in1971, but an elbow injury cut short his 1972 campaign. His fastball was significantly less effective when he came back the following year, so he had to find another technique to strike out hitters.

The splitter, which altered Sutter's career and MLB history, was something he first learned about in this manner.