Summer 2024

Former MLB pitcher Scott Sanderson, who 'walked so humbly in his faith in Christ,' passes away

Former major league pitcher Scott Sanderson, who spent 19 years in the big leagues, died on Thursday. He was 62, and a cause of death was not known.

A third-round draft pick by the Montreal Expos out of Vanderbilt in 1977, Sanders made it to the majors after just 28 minor-league appearances in 1978. He stayed with the Expos for six seasons, then pitched six seasons with the Chicago Cubs (1984-89) followed by stints with the Athletics (1990), Yankees (1991-92), Angels (1993), Giants (1993), White Sox (1994) and Angels again (1995-96).

Sanderson was also a devout Christ-follower who left an impact on many.

“I don’t think we have ever met someone who has competed at such a high level for so many years and walked so humbly in his faith in Christ,” former MLB catcher Eddie Taubensee (1991-2001) told Sports Spectrum. “Scott has definitely impacted my life with so many conversations and the ultimate example of, ‘How to follow me as I follow Christ.’ My heart is heavy, and yet rejoices for Scott.”

The Cubs held a moment of silence in honor of Sanderson before Thursday night’s game.

Sanderson finished his career with a 163-143 record and 3.84 ERA in 472 appearances (407 starts). He helped the Cubs end a 38-year playoff drought with an 8-5 record and 3.14 ERA in 1984, as the Cubs won the National League East. He went 11-9 in 1989, as the Cubs won their second division title in six years. Sanderson’s lone All-Star appearance came with the Yankees in 1991, when he finished 16-10 with a 3.81 ERA.

“Scotty was such a good guy,” said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who coached Sanderson with the Angels coaching staff. “Really thoughtful, kind, oh man, just a wonderful man.”

Sanderson became an agent upon retiring from baseball, and represented players such as Josh Beckett, Josh Hamilton and Todd Helton. He was a longtime Northbrook and Lake Forest, Ill., resident.