Donald Edward Gullett (born January 6, 1951) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees from 1970 to 1978. He also served as pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds from 1993 to 2005.
|Born: January 6, 1951|
|April 10, 1970, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 9, 1978, for the New York Yankees|
|Earned run average||3.11|
|Career highlights and awards|
Gullett attended McKell High School in South Shore, Kentucky, where he was an outstanding three-sports athlete in baseball, football, and basketball. As a high school pitcher, he once tossed a perfect game—including striking out 20 of the 21 hitters he faced. Gullett excelled as a high school football player as well once scoring 72 points in a single game. He ran for 11 touchdowns and kicked 6 extra points. He was named all state in three sports his senior year (baseball, football, basketball). Gullett's legacy is remembered in a monument on the courthouse lawn in Greenup County, Kentucky that declares that "This is Don Gullett Country."
The Reds selected Gullett in the first round of the 1969 Major League Baseball draft. He pitched for the Sioux Falls Packers of the Northern League that season. In 1970, Gullett was so impressive in spring training, despite his inexperience, he made the big league roster of a team that would go on to win the NL Pennant. Pitching in relief of starter Ray Washburn, Gullett debuted on April 10, 1970, on the road against the San Francisco Giants. Gullett had an outstanding rookie season, appearing in 44 games (42 in relief) posting a 5-2 record and a 2.43 ERA. In the 1970 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles, Gullett pitched 6 2⁄3 innings and allowed just one earned run (1.35 ERA) as he and veteran Clay Carroll helped keep an injury-riddled pitching staff competitive in the series.
Gullett played for the Reds through the 1976 season. In November of that year, as a free agent, he signed with the New York Yankees. He enjoyed a 14–4 season with the Yankees in 1977, but shoulder problems in 1978 signalled the end of his career.
During a nine-year career, Gullett accumulated 109 wins and posted a 3.11 earned run average (ERA) and tallied 921 strikeouts. Playing for only nine seasons, Gullett was a member of six World Series teams (1970, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78), including four consecutive World Champions ('75 and '76 Reds, and '77 and '78 Yankees).
At the plate, Gullett posted a career batting average of .194. In a 1975 National League Championship Series game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Gullett pitched a complete game and hit a single and home run, collecting 3 RBI.
Gullett was also sometimes used as a pinch runner by the Reds.
- Kaiser, Robert (1 October 1989). "Don Gullet`s Spectacular Career Only a Memory". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Reading Eagle (June 6, 1969) "California Outfielder Picked First in Draft" Accessed 2010, May 1.
- The Deseret News (April 17, 1970) "Gullet Relieves, Wins Baseball Debut" Accessed 2010 May 1.
- Beaver Country Times (November 18, 1976) "Gullet Yankees' Latest Millionaire" Accessed 2010, May 1.
- Tri City Herald (December 2, 1977) "$ugar Ray on top" Accessed 2010 May 1.
- "Don Gullett Statistics and History | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- Schenectady Gazette (March 14, 1979) "Gullet 'Satisfied' With His Progress" Accessed 2010 May 1.
- Palm Beach Post (October 25, 1980) "Yankees Waive Gullett" Accessed 2010 May 1.