Right-hander Bob Welch, who struck out Reggie Jackson as a 21-year-old rookie in the 1978 World Series, won an astounding 27 games in his Cy Young season of 1990 and pitched 17 seasons in the majors, has died. He was 57 years old.
No cause has been reported with certainty as of Tuesday afternoon, but there has been an unconfirmed report of a heart attack. Welch was an alcoholic who chronicled his disease with co-writer George Vescey in "Five O'clock Comes Early: A Young Man's Battle With Alcoholism." It was written in 1981.
Welch got into coaching after he retired in 1994 and, in recent seasons, he had been coaching with the A's, working with young pitchers particularly during spring training. A's beat reporter Susan Slusser, who writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, describes Welch as being "instrumental" in the success of many of the team's pitchers.
— David Brown
Bob Welch in March 2014
Welch during spring training in March. (Getty)
Steve Garvey #6 and pitcher Bob Welch #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after winning the National League Championship Series against the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium on October 19 1981 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks' pitching coach Bob Welch (left) chats with New York Yankees' bench coach Don Zimmer at practice before start of Game 1 of the World Series at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Bob Welch in 1990
Bob Welch in 1990. (Getty)