Bobby Castillo, a former Dodgers and Minnesota Twins pitcher credited with teaching Fernando Valenzuela how to throw a screwball, died Monday in a Los Angeles hospital after a battle with cancer, the team announced. He was 59.
Castillo, also affectionately known as ”Babo,” pitched for the Dodgers from 1977-81, including in the 1981 National League Championship Series and the 1981 World Series, and in 1985, his last season in the majors. The right-hander was with the Twins from 1982 to 1984.
Valenzuela called Castillo a great teammate and friend in a statement released through the Dodgers, adding: ”I’ll always be grateful for his influence on my pitching.”
Castillo made his major league debut for the Dodgers on Sept. 19, 1977, retiring Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for his first big league out.