Former Dodgers and Oakland A's pitcher Bob Welch, who famously struck out Reggie Jackson as a 21-year-old rookie in Game 2 of the 1978 World Series, died at age 57, the A's announced Tuesday. The cause of death was not released.
"The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Welch," Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten said. "He was one of the greatest competitors to wear the Dodger uniform."
Welch was a first-round draft choice of the Dodgers in 1977 from Eastern Michigan and was promoted to the big-league team in 1978, spending 10 seasons in Los Angeles. After the 1987 season, he was traded to Oakland along with Matt Young for Alfredo Griffin and Jay Howell in a three-team trade with the Mets in which the Dodgers also acquired Jesse Orosco. The trade worked out well for all three teams, as they all made the playoffs, with the Dodgers and A's meeting in the World Series.
Welch was a key member of the Dodgers' 1981 World Series title team and was a part of the division-winning teams of 1978, 1983 and 1985. He was an anchor on the Oakland A's teams that made three World Series (1988-90), winning one (1989). He won the 1990 Cy Young Award with Oakland after finishing the season 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA. He remains the last major-league pitcher to win at least 25 games.
"We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Welch," A's President Michael Crowley said in a statement. "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."
In his career, Welch was 211-146 with a 3.47 ERA and 1,969 strikeouts in 3,092 innings.