08 January 2014

bob welch final tributes

bob welch began his big league career by striking out two of the first three batters he faced.  he ended it by striking out edgar martinez, but then allowing a walk and two singles around three groundouts.  in between, he won 211 games (115 as a dodger) and provided one of the first big baseball memories of my fandom - his game 2 strikeout of reggie jackson in the 1978 world series.

the following year i was able to wrest away his 1979 topps rookie card from a yankee fan neighbor in a lopsided (for me) trade by reminding him that welch has struck reggie out on the biggest stage possible.

welch's career came to an end when the players went on strike in august of 1994.  he had been used primarily as a reliever by the a's that season, and was featured in only a few card sets the following year.  

1995 pacific
1995 fleer ultra
1995 score
and 1995 topps
here are the backs.  topps, of course, gives us the complete career stats and two more photos
pacific gives us one year of stats and a bigger photo
fleer ultra provides two photos, one year of stats and the career stat line
last but not least, score comes through with a photo of welch in the oakland oaks throwback unis and the full career stats.
i was a big fan of welch and wasn't too pleased when he was traded to the a's.  i remember feeling happy for him during the pregame introductions prior to game 1 of the '88 world series - at least he made it back to the fall classic.  i was also happy when he won the cy young award and another ring with the a's.  still, i prefer to think of him as a dodger.

here's a signed 1981 topps card of welch that i picked up somewhere along my collecting way.
then, a couple of years ago, i sent one of his 1979 topps rookie cards through the mail to a private signing
as well as one of my 1978 topps burger king dodgers/update cards that should have been.
i was pretty happy when these came back.  it's too bad that welch didn't get a return trip to the dodgers in 1995 like don sutton in 1988 or orel hershiser in 2000.  it would have been nice to see him in dodger blue one last time.

1 comment:

Marcus said...

I forgot that Welch was a Dodger. He's always been an Athletic for me - his '92 Upper Deck card is an all time favorite of mine.