Friday, June 13, 2014

In Memoriam: Bob Welch

1991 Topps

Former big league pitcher Bob Welch passed away this week at the age of 57 of an apparent heart attack.  Welch became a household name as a 21 year old rookie in 1978 World Series when he struck out Reggie Jackson in the 9th inning of game 2.
Welch pitched for the Dodgers through the 1987 season and was a part of four divisional winners and made an All Star team in 1980.   He then went on to pitch for the Oakland A's from 1988 until 1995.   Welch pitched on four more divisional winners.  He won one World Series with Oakland in 1989 just has he did with Los Angeles in 1981.
Welch's crowning season was in 1990.  He won the Cy Young with a 27-6 record and an ERA of 2.95.  To this date, Welch is the last pitcher to win 25 games in one season.
He finished his career with a 211-146 record with an ERA of 3.47 and 1,969 strikeouts.  Post retirement, Welch was the pitching coach for 2001 World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks and later a minor league pitching instructor for Oakland.  Welch also wrote a book, "Five O'Clock Comes Early: A Cy Young Winner Recounts His Greatest Victory".  In it he chronicled his battle with alcoholism.

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