Skip to content

Bob Welch, 1990 Cy Young Award winner, dies at 57

Jun 10, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT

Bob Welch

Some sad news: former Dodgers and Athletics pitcher Bob Welch died today. He was 57-years-old. No cause of death has yet been reported.

Welch debuted for the Dodgers in 1978. He made national fame when he struck out Reggie Jackson with two on and two out in the top of the ninth inning to end Game 2 of the 1978 World Series, giving the Dodgers a two games to zero lead. Welch was just 21 at the time and Jackson was a year removed from his three-homer performance against the Dodgers in the 1977 Series. It was a big deal.

If Welch had done nothing else in his career he’d probably still be remembered for that. But of course he did much. He won 211 games over 17 seasons, starting 462 of his 506 games. He was a reliable and often very good rotation starter for some very good Dodgers teams. He moved upstate to Oakland for the 1988 season and on through the rest of his career, which ended when the 1994-95 strike began.

His best season is one everyone remembers: 1990, when he went 27-6 for the AL Champion Athletics, winning the Cy Young Award. It stands as the most wins since Steve Carlton won 27 in 1972. The last time anyone won more was when Denny McLain won 31 in 1968. No pitcher has won as many as 25 since Welch did it in 1990. Welch ended his career with a record of 211-146 and an ERA of 3.47. He struck out 1,969 batters and walked 1,034 in 3,092 innings. He had 28 shutouts and 61 career complete games.

Welch wrote a book after he retired about his battles with alcoholism during his career and was always frank about how it nearly derailed that career in the 1980s. He was the pitching coach for the Arizona State Sun Devils and then, for one year, coached the pitchers for the Diamondbacks when they won the World Series in 2001. He remained in Arizona in various coaching, scouting and advising capacities over the past several years.

RIP Bob.

Latest Posts
  1. TBS does a “Boom Goes The Dynamite” promo

    Sep 30, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    Boom

    Starring Ron Darlin, Cal Ripken, Gary Sheffield and Pedro Martinez.

  2. The Red Sox would like to talk long-term extension with Yoenis Cespedes

    Sep 30, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT

    Yoenis Cespedes AP

    But Cespedes is not yet sure if he wants to test the market next year.

  3. Jon Daniels says that Ron Washington going was probably for the best

    Sep 30, 2014, 8:54 AM EDT

    DANIELS

    Not the sort of thing you typically hear in these situations. Not that this situation has happened in this exact way very often.

  4. Playoff Reset: The American League Wild Card Game

    Sep 30, 2014, 8:05 AM EDT

    Athletics Royals Getty Images

    Looking ahead to the first action of the 2014 Postseason: The American League Wild Card Game.

  5. Francisco Rodriguez hopes to stay with Brewers

    Sep 29, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

    Francisco Rodriguez Getty Getty Images

    Rodriguez had to settle for a one-year, $3.25 million contract before the beginning of spring training and began the season in a set-up role, but he ended up with a 3.04 ERA with 73/18 K/BB ratio over 68 innings while going 44-for-49 in save chances.

  6. Clay Buchholz to undergo knee surgery Tuesday

    Sep 29, 2014, 10:25 PM EDT

    374f480c3966bc23d14c1a816c436699 AP

    After being limited to 16 starts last season, Buchholz managed to make 28 starts this year, but he saw his ERA jump from 1.74 to 5.34 in the process.

  7. Rusney Castillo to report to Arizona Fall League later this week

    Sep 29, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT

    Rusney Castillo Getty Getty Images

    Castillo landed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with Boston in August and batted .333 (12-for-36) with two home runs, one double, and three stolen bases during his first taste of the majors earlier this month.

  8. Nationals likely to use Tanner Roark in the bullpen for playoffs

    Sep 29, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT

    tanner roark getty Getty Images

    Roark has a 2.57 ERA in 252 innings as a big leaguer.

  9. Mariners designate Corey Hart for assignment, clearing spot for Jesus Montero on 40-man roster

    Sep 29, 2014, 8:14 PM EDT

    mariners logo

    The Mariners gave Hart a one-year, $6 million deal last winter in hopes that he would be able to get his career back on track after multiple knee surgeries cost him the entire 2013 season, but he batted just .203 with six home runs and a .590 OPS over 68 games this season.

  10. Yankees expect Alex Rodriguez to be their third baseman next season

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Reuters Reuters

    Joe Girardi says “we have to see where he’s at.”

  11. Trevor Plouffe undergoes left forearm surgery

    Sep 29, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

    Trevor Plouffe AP AP

    Plouffe is expected to be ready for spring training.

  12. Fired by the Twins, Ron Gardenhire wants to manage again

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Ron Gardenhire AP

    Gardenhire will be paid by the Twins in 2015 as part of a two-year contract signed exactly one year ago tomorrow.

  13. Josh Hamilton tests readiness for postseason with workout

    Sep 29, 2014, 6:21 PM EDT

    022d61eeac9b78b55bf1dbc881a16fd8 Getty Images

    Josh Hamilton has been limited to just one game since September 4 due to right shoulder, chest, and rib cage injuries, but he’s still hopes to be ready for the upcoming division series.

  14. Rangers want to re-sign Colby Lewis

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:47 PM EDT

    colby lewis reuters Reuters

    Lewis has been with the Rangers since 2010.

  15. MLB has its seventh-best attendance total in history

    Sep 29, 2014, 5:05 PM EDT

    old turnstile

    A good attendance season for MLB. Not the best, but still strong.

  16. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke’s job status is unclear

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:46 PM EDT

    Ron Roenicke Brewers AP

    Roenicke has a 335-313 (.517) record in four seasons as the Brewers’ manager.

  17. REPORT: The Astros to name A.J. Hinch their new manager today

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:36 PM EDT

    A.J. Hinch

    The former Diamondbacks manager gets a second chance.

  18. The incredible awfulness that was Allen Craig’s 2014 season

    Sep 29, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT

    Allen Craig Allen Craig

    Craig had a season unlike any other first baseman or corner outfielder in 70 years.

Featured video

Can Nationals run the playoff table?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Jeter (3422)
  2. C. Kershaw (2431)
  3. R. Martin (2220)
  4. A. Rodriguez (2014)
  5. J. Altuve (1916)
  1. M. Trout (1758)
  2. J. Hamilton (1735)
  3. D. Ortiz (1725)
  4. P. Hughes (1708)
  5. T. d'Arnaud (1663)