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. Yan Gomes exits game with concussion-like symptoms

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:57 PM EDT

    02e1eef82480ad08381dc3cd40aa3625 AP

    Gomes was hit in the mask in the bottom of the fifth inning by a ball that deflected off the arm of Kurt Suzuki on a hit-by-pitch.

  2. Phil Hughes rolls to 14th win, sports third best K/BB ratio ever

    Aug 21, 2014, 6:14 PM EDT

    Phil Hughes Phil Hughes

    But not the best among major league starters this season.

  3. Angels acquire Gordon Beckham from White Sox

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:42 PM EDT

    Gordon Beckham Gordon Beckham

    Beckham had a very promising rookie season as a 22-year-old in 2009, but the former first-round draft pick has hit just .240 with a .658 OPS in 636 games since then while never topping a .700 OPS in a season.

  4. Reds demote 10-loss reliever J.J. Hoover to Triple-A

    Aug 21, 2014, 5:20 PM EDT

    J.J. Hoover Reds AP

    He heads to Triple-A tied for the Reds franchise record in relief losses with 10, which is especially remarkable considering he won his first decision of the season before dropping 10 straight.

  5. Garrett Richards out 6-9 months with torn patellar tendon

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:55 PM EDT

    Garrett Richards Angels AP

    Richards’ leg buckled underneath him as he went to cover first base on a potential double-play ball last night and he was down for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off the field in obvious pain.

  6. Red Sox activate Allen Craig from the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    allen craig getty Getty Images

    He hit a combined .312 with an .863 OPS in 328 games for the Cardinals from 2011 to 2013, but Craig’s production has plummeted to a .237 batting average and .639 OPS in 98 total games this season.

  7. David Price threw a one-hitter against the Rays. And lost.

    Aug 21, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 3.56.49 PM Getty Images

    One unearned run was all he allowed against his old mates. Tough way to lose.

  8. Brandon McCarthy tosses a four-hit shutout as the Yankees top the Astros

    Aug 21, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Brandon McCarthy AP

    Work fast. Throw strikes. If anyone has come up with a better way to win games, I haven’t heard of it yet.

  9. Chris Rock catches a foul ball at Yankee Stadium, gives it to a kid

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Video camera

    That’s kind of the whole story, but there’s nothing else going on right now.

  10. Masahiro Tanaka to throw against live hitters Saturday

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

    Masahiro Tanaka AP

    Masahiro Tanaka’s attempt to avoid Tommy John elbow surgery with the rest-and-rehab approach has gone well enough that the Yankees right-hander will face live hitters for the first time Saturday.

  11. Cano, Puig, Pujols to participate in an All-Star series in Japan in November

    Aug 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT

    Japan Flag

    It’s better than no baseball in November, right?

  12. Rangers pull back Neal Cotts off waivers, won’t trade him

    Aug 21, 2014, 1:43 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Getty Images

    Texas not trading impending free agent reliever Neal Cotts before the July 31 deadline was surprising and now they’re going to hang onto the left-hander for the rest of the season.

  13. HBT Daily: Can’t stop the Nats

    Aug 21, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    HBT Daily Logo

    A nine game winning streak and a bunch of walkoff wins. Do they have a weakness right now?

  14. When will Ryan Zimmerman return to Nationals? “Sometime in September”

    Aug 21, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

    Ryan Zimmerman AP AP

    There’s only a week or so remaining in the minor-league season, so if Zimmerman wants to go on a rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list he’s running out of time.

  15. The Cubs defend their grounds crew

    Aug 21, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    Wrigley Tarp Getty Images

    The Cubs have their grounds crew’s back.

  16. Yankees plan to shift David Phelps from the rotation to the bullpen

    Aug 21, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

    New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

    Phelps started 17 games with a 4.28 ERA before being shut down with elbow problems three weeks ago.

  17. Cubs place struggling Edwin Jackson on the disabled list

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

    After signing a four-year, $52 million contract with the Cubs last offseason Edwin Jackson struggled last season and has now been a mess this year, giving him a combined 14-32 record and 5.47 ERA in 57 starts for Chicago.

  18. Miguel Cabrera aggravated an ankle injury last night

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

    miguel cabrera getty Getty Images

    He’ll rub some dirt on it and play through, but the Tigers really don’t need this.

  19. Nationals’ nine-game winning streak is “absolutely epic”

    Aug 21, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

    Bryce Harper AP

    The events taking place each evening on South Capitol Street are beginning to defy explanation.

Featured video

Who's to blame for Cubs tarp fiasco?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3343)
  2. M. Cuddyer (3014)
  3. K. Bryant (2474)
  4. A. Garcia (2402)
  5. W. Myers (2256)
  1. J. Werth (2225)
  2. A. McCutchen (2169)
  3. Y. Molina (2146)
  4. M. Fiers (1932)
  5. T. Frazier (1931)