Former Athletics ace Welch dies at age of 57

Updated: June 10, 2014, 4:09 PM ET

ESPN.com news services

Bob Welch, a former Cy Young Award winner who pitched for the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Dodgers, has died of a heart attack. He was 57.

Welch, the last major leaguer to win at least 25 games in a season, died Monday at his home in Seal Beach, California, according to a statement released by the Dodgers.

The American League Cy Young Award winner in 1990, Welch pitched parts of 17 seasons with the A’s and Dodgers, helping his teams reach the postseason a combined eight times.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Welch,” A’s president Michael Crowley said in a statement released by the team. “He was a legendary pitcher who enjoyed many of his best seasons with the Oakland A’s. He will always be a significant part of our franchise’s history, and we mourn his loss. We send our greatest sympathies to his family and friends.”

Welch was a prominent member of the Oakland teams that won three straight AL championships from 1988-90, including the 1989 club that swept the San Francisco Giants in the earthquake-interrupted World Series. He went 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA in 1990, when he easily beat out Roger Clemens for the Cy Young.

“This is a sad day for the entire A’s organization,” A’s vice president and general manager Billy Beane said. “Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly. My condolences go out to his family.”

Welch spent his first 10 seasons with the Dodgers and was a National League All-Star in 1980.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Welch,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in the team’s statement. “He was one of the greatest competitors to wear the Dodger uniform.”

Welch finished 211-146 with 3.47 ERA in his career. He also was the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks when they won the 2001 World Series and has served as a special instructor for the A’s in recent years.

A’s left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying he was “devastated” by Welch’s death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


ESPN.com

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