Bob Welch, the most recent big leaguer to win 25 games in a season, died Monday of a heart attack. He was 57.
Welch was 27-6 as a member of the 1990 AL champion Oakland A’s and won the Cy Young Award that year.
In 17 seasons major league season, Welch was 211-146, 3.47 with the A’s and Dodgers, who he came up with as a relief pitcher.
Before becoming a starter later in his career, Welch was probably best known for striking out Reggie Jackson to end Game 2 of the 1978 World Series to give the Dodgers a 2-0 series lead.
“He was one of the greatest competitors to wear the Dodger uniform,” Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement.
The Yankees came back and won the next four games to win their second straight world title and Jackson homered off Welch in the clinching Game 6.
“This is a sad day for the entire A’s organization,” Billy Beane, the A’s vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly. My condolences go out to his family.”
Welch admitted he was an alcoholic early in his career and spent time in rehab. He wrote a book in 1981, along with George Vecsey, titled “Five O’Clock Comes Early: A Ballplayer’s Battle With Alcoholism.”
R.I.P Bob Welch. Amazing person to be around. Great attitude, always wanted to talk baseball, plus he was a winner!
— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) June 10, 2014
RIP Bob Welch. To say he had an infectious personality doesn't do him any justice. Way too soon. Sad, sad day. pic.twitter.com/ISQr1oT9CY
— Jeremy Barfield (@BarfieldRage) June 10, 2014
So sad to hear about the passing of Bob Welch. A great man who always loved to talk baseball. It is a blessing to have known him.
— AJ Griffin (@griffin_64) June 10, 2014