Tuesday, June 10, 2014

R.I.P. Bob Welch

This is a shocker. From a Dodgers press release:

Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A's pitching great Bob Welch died of a heart attack Monday night at his home. He was 57.

Welch, who pitched 17 years in the Major Leagues, is survived by three children—Dylan, Riley and Kelly.

"The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Welch," said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. "He was one of the greatest competitors to wear the Dodger uniform. Dodger fans will always remember his confrontation with Yankee great Reggie Jackson in Game 2 of the 1978 World Series, when the 21-year-old rookie struck out Jackson to end the game."

Welch was a first-round draft choice of the Dodgers in 1977 from Eastern Michigan University and was promoted to the big league team in 1978, spending 10 seasons in Los Angeles. In 1988, he joined the Oakland A's with whom he spent his last seven years in the Majors. Overall, Welch compiled a 211-146 record with 1,969 strikeouts and a 3.47 ERA in 3,092 innings.

The right-hander was a part of three World Series champions (1981 Dodgers and 1989 A's as a player, and 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks as their pitching coach). In addition to the '81 Dodgers championship, he was a key contributor to four division-winning (1978, 1981, 1983 and 1985) and two pennant-winning Dodger teams. He was named to the All-Star team twice (1980 and 1990) and earned the American League Cy Young Award in 1990.

Welch was the last pitcher to win at least 25 games in a single season, winning a career-high 27 in 1990 for the A's.

Following his retirement in 1994, Welch turned his attention to coaching and community work. He most recently served as a spring training instructor with Oakland this season.

Funeral services are pending.

For video of Welch's famous strikeout of Jackson, check out this link:

Electrifying stuff.

photo by Steve Dykes/AP


Cliff Beefpile said...

That was shocking to read. Hits close to home. My dad was 57 when he died of his heart attack, and seeing the ages of his kids...this just really sucks. R.I.P.

Orel said...

That's awful, Cliffy. Sorry for your loss.

Fred's Brim said...

He started the first game I ever went to.

karen said...

Sorry for your loss, CliffyB.

I will never forget Bobby's great battle with Reggie Jackson. He wrote an autobiography years ago about his career and personal demons. He was a good man. I know he will be missed. RIP Bobby.

Steve Sax said...

RIP Bob Welch.

I remember that Reggie Jackson AB so well; it was one of my earliest baseball memories.

Thanks for the link, Orel