Mike Scioscia reflects on former teammate Bob Welch
JUN 11, 2014 1:00a ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Scioscia and Bob Welch spent a lot of time together while they were in the Dodgers organization. The relationship continued through the years.
Scioscia was especially saddened to hear of Welch's passing on Tuesday.
"Welch is a special guy and we lost a really good friend," Scioscia said. "I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of people here too that knew him. He's a special person. So, we have a heavy heart."
Welch died Monday at his Seal Beach home at the age of 57. The cause of death is pending an autopsy.
Scioscia and Welch were teammates in the minors before Scioscia was called up by the Dodgers in 1980. By that time, Welch was 23 years old and enjoying the most successful season of his young career.
In 1980, Welch made the first of two career All-Star appearances. He finished the season 14-9, tossing 213.2 innings in 32 starts.
Scioscia and Welch won a World Series together in 1981 and were teammates for eight seasons in the majors before Welch was traded to Oakland following the 1987 season.
"He was really easy to catch because he had such great command," Scioscia said. "He had a great arm but what made him so special, even at a young age, was the way he could command the corners with his velocity. And that wasn't really what he was about. Bobby was just (a guy who), I think anytime there was a roadblock in the way, he got over it.
"He didn't take the easiest path but he was a solid, solid guy."
In 1979, Welch appeared in 25 games, making just 12 starts. He later admitted to battling an alcohol addiction and was sent to a treatment clinic following the season.
In 1981, he wrote a book about his alcohol addiction entitled "Five O'Clock Comes Early: A Ballplayer's Battle With Alcoholism."
Following his stint in rehab, Welch went on to pitch 15 more seasons in the big leagues.
In 1990 he made his second career All-Star appearance. He won 27 games and was named the American League Cy Young Award winner. No pitcher has won 27 games since.
Scioscia says the last time he saw Welch was during spring training. He says the two spoke a couple of months ago.
"First and foremost, he was a friend and a talented pitcher and just a really good guy," Scioscia said.