One of the greatest professional baseball players to ever come out of Central Washington, Mel Stottlemyre, Sr., reportedly passed away yesterday in Seattle at the age of 77 after a decades-long bout with cancer.

A fine pitcher in his own right with the New York Yankees from the mid-60's to mid-70's, Stottlemyre achieved great success as a pitching coach in the MLB-winning five World Series titles -- most notably with the New York Mets, Yankees and Seattle Mariners. While he was born in Missouri, Stottlemyre starred at Mabton High School and Yakima Valley College before going pro. For many years, he owned a sporting goods store featuring his namesake in downtown Yakima adjacent to The Capitol Theatre.

Stottlemyre ranks in the top 10 in many of the storied Yankees major pitching records while compiling a career record of 164-139 record. He was honored by the club with a plaque in fabled Monument Park in 2015. Last year, he was part of the first class of inductees to the Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame.

His sons, Mel, Jr. and Todd, both also pitched in the big leagues with the former following in his footsteps as an MLB pitching coach.

Stottlemyre is one of only a handful of pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball to hit an inside-the-park grand slam home run.

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