By Kahlil Najar
OAKLAND – Former Oakland Athletic and Cy Young Award winner Bob Welch passed away today at the young age of 57. The cause of death was unavailable. In a press release from the the Athletics, A’s President Michael Crowley said, “We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Welch. 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.”
General Manager Billy Beane expressed his sentiments on this sad occasion, “This is a sad day for the entire A’s organization. Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly. My condolences go out to his family.”
Current A’s closer Sean Doolittle posted on Twitter, “Devastated to learn of Bob Welch’s passing. The A’s organization lost not only one of its best pitchers, but one of its best people.”
In 17 seasons in the majors, Welch earned a 211-146 record and 3.47 ERA. Bay Area fans might remember him being a key member of the A’s from 1988-90 when he and Dave Stewart were the aces of the staff and lead them to the World Series in 1989 when they swept the San Francisco Giants. In 1990 when Welch won the Cy Young he compiled an unbelievable record of 27-6 with an era of 2.95. In 24 years, no one has come close to winning at least 25 games.
After his playing days, Welch was the pitching coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks when they won the 2001 World Series and he shared time with current A’s coach Bob Melvin. His son Riley was selected by the A’s in the 34th round of the 2008 MLB First-Year Players Draft.