ANAHEIM -- Former A’s pitcher Bob Welch, who won 27 games in a Cy Young season with Oakland in 1990, died Monday night at age 57.
Welch passed away in Seal Beach, where he lived, and cause of death was not available according to the A’s.
The news jolted many throughout the major leagues and especially hit home inside the A’s organization.
"This is a sad day for the entire A's organization,” said A’s general manager Billy Beane, a teammate of Welch’s in 1989. “Those of us who knew Bob as a teammate and a friend will miss him greatly. My condolences go out to his family.”
Welch, who went 211-146 in 17 major league seasons, spent his first 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers but joined the A’s in 1988 and became a key figure in one of the greatest runs in franchise history.
Along with Dave Stewart and Mike Moore, he anchored a rotation that helped spur the A’s to three consecutive American League pennants from 1988-90. He went 17-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 1989 and beat Toronto in Game 4 of the ALCS that season, as the A’s went on to sweep the Giants in the World Series.
The next season, Welch dominated with a 27-6 record and 2.95 ERA that won him the Cy Young Award. The 27 victories are still an Oakland single-season record, and no major league pitcher since has broken the 25-win mark.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Welch,” A’s president Michael Crowley said. “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.”
Welch made an impact with the current A’s squad as well. As recently as this spring, he served as a special instructor in Oakland’s camp. His absence will surely be felt greatly when the A’s hold a 25th anniversary reunion to honor the 1989 World Series team on July 19 at the Coliseum.