OAKLAND, Calif. - Bob Welch, a former Cy Young Award winner and the last Major League pitcher to win at least 25 games in a season, has passed away at the age of 57, the Oakland Athletics announced today.
Welch, a two-time All-Star who posted a 27-6 record as the Cy Young Award winner on the Athletics' 1990 American League championship team, passed away in Seal Beach, Calif. last night. Cause of death was unavailable.
"We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Welch," said A's President Michael Crowley. "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."
"This is a sad day for the entire A's organization," said Billy Beane, the A's vice president and general manager. "Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly. My condolences go out to his family."
In 17 seasons in the majors, Welch compiled a 211-146 record (.591) and 3.47 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1978-87) and Athletics (1988-94). He was a prominent member of Oakland teams that won three straight American League pennants in 1988-90, including the 1989 club that swept the San Francisco Giants in a World Series that was interrupted by an earthquake. It has been 24 years since he became the last pitcher to win at least 25 games in a season.
Welch 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, working on the minor league level as well as visiting Major League camp during spring training. His son Riley was selected by the A's in the 34th round of the 2008 MLB First-Year Players Draft.
He is survived by his sons Dylan (25) and Riley (23), daughter Kelly (18) and former wife Mary Ellen. Memorial services are pending.