Bob Welch's passing, for any Dodgers fan of age, calls to mind a classic World Series matchup — one with all the trappings.
Dodgers vs. Yankees.
Two outs, top of the ninth. Tying run at second, go-ahead run at first.
At the plate: Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson, in his prime and already an eight-time All-Star at age 32.
On the mound: Dodgers' rookie Welch. Age: 21. Major-league experience: four months. It had been a little more than a year since the Dodgers had drafted him out of Eastern Michigan University.
The at-bat went like this:
—Fastball down the middle; and Jackson swings so hard that he staggers out of the batter's box and nearly falls down. Strike one.
—Fastball up and in; and Jackson twists so hard to avoid the ball buzzing under his chin, he DOES fall down. Ball one.
—Fastball up and in; fouled back. One ball, two strikes.
—Fastball in; fouled back. Still one ball, two strikes.
—Fastball up; fouled back. Still one ball, two strikes.
—Fastball up; taken. Two balls, two strikes.
—Fastball middle; fouled back. Still two balls, two strikes.
—Fastball up and away; taken. Three balls, two strikes.
—Fastball middle; Jackson swings over it. Strike three. Game over.
Welch got the save, going the final two-thirds of an inning in a 4-3 victory.
See any trend in the way the rookie attacked superstar Jackson?
Yes, all fastballs. Unfortunately, there were no radar readings.