The Los Angeles Dodgers lost a member of their family when former pitcher Bob Welch passed away at the age of 57. The cause of death has yet to be determined as the results of an autopsy are still pending.
Welch pitched 10 seasons for the Dodgers, which included a memorable matchup with Reggie Jackson in the 1978 World Series during Welch’s rookie year. It’s that memory that will forever resonate with former manager Tommy Lasorda, via Manny Randhawa of MLB.com:
That was one of the greatest confrontations I have ever witnessed in all the years I’ve been in baseball,” Lasorda said. “That was the most exciting thing; I’m sitting on the bench, I was up in front, and it was really something to behold … One of the greatest, greatest I’ve ever seen between a pitcher and a batter confrontation, and it will go down in the history of baseball as the greatest.”
While Lasorda has the fond memory of Welch, he also expressed difficulty in coping with the tragic loss:
I just got over [Don] Zimmer’s death and now we got another one real quick,” said former manager Tommy Lasorda. “Bobby Welch was just one of my all-time favorite pitchers. He had a lot of heart … He had tremendous ability, he was a great guy and everybody loved him.”
Welch won 115 games with the Dodgers and won a World Series with the club before playing seven seasons with the Oakland A’s. The right-hander met his former team when the A’s and Dodgers met in the 1988 World Series. The Dodgers would win that year, but Welch get a ring with the A’s the following season.
A 17-year career also got Welch named to two All-Star teams, an AL Cy Young Award, enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2000 and he’s the last Major League pitcher to win at least 25 games in a single season.
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