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Updated: June 10, 2014
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Former MLB-pitcher Bob Welch passed away; NL Pitching Coach in '06

(© Major League Baseball)
SEAL CITY, California (USA) - Former Major League-pitcher Bob Welch passed away on Monday-evening (June 9) at the age of 57. It was announced that the cause of death a heart attack was.

Bob Welch was a so-called power pitcher, who pitched in 17 seasons in the Major League for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics.

In 2006, Welch was the Pitching Coach of the Netherlands National Baseball Team during the first edition of the World Baseball Classic. The coaching staff was then headed by Manager Robert Eenhoorn and also included Hensley Meulens, who is the current Hitting Coach of the San Francisco Giants. Brian Farley, Jack Hubbard, Ben Thijssen and Steve Matthew completed the coaching staff during that event.

During the WBC, the Dutch Team played three games and was eliminated in the First Round. But the squad ended the series with a 10-0 win vs. Panama in which Shairon Martis pitched a No-Hitter.

The righthanded pitcher made his debut in the Major League on June 20, 1978, when he pitched two innings in relief. But soon, Welch became a pitching ace for the Dodgers, which in those years had a legendary infield existing of 1B Steve Garvey, 2B Davey Lopes, 3B Ron Cey and SS Bill Russell and outfielders like Dusty Baker, Lee Lacy, Reggie Smith and Rick Monday, while Steve Yeager and Johnny Oates were the catchers. Included in the pitching staff were wellknown pitchers as Tommy John, Burt Hooton, Don Sutton, Rick Rhoden, Charlie Hough and Rick Sutcliffe.

Bob Welch pitched for the Dodgers from 1978 through 1987. Hereafter, he pitched for Oakland in 1988-1994. In 17 Major League-seasons, Welch pitched in 506 games, 462 as a starter. He threw 3092 innings in which he struckout 1969 batters and walked 1034. In his career, Welch was 211-146 and he also earned eight saves. He finished with a 3.47 ERA.

Welch pitched in four World Series, two with the Dodgers, two with the A's. He won the Series with the Dodgers in 1981 against the New York Yankees.

In 1990, Welch was 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA for the A's and won the Cy Young Award. He is the last pitcher to win at least win 25 games in one season.

Welch will always be known for striking out Reggie Jackson of the Yankees as a 21-year old rookie to end Game 2 of the 1978 World Series. The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the Series, but herafter the Yankees won the next four games to capture the title.

In 2001, Welch was the Pitching Coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks, which then defeated the Yankees in the World Series.

Welch has been one of the coaches of the baseball-team of Arizona State University and was a special instructor for the A's in recent years.

(June 10)

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