Scioscia mourns loss of special friend in Welch

Scioscia mourns loss of special friend in Welch

ANAHEIM -- Bob Welch's death hit Angels manager Mike Scioscia hard.

With the Dodgers from 1980-87, Scioscia was Welch's catcher, behind the plate for eight of the 14 seasons that made the hard-throwing right-hander a legend -- one who ultimately finished with 211 wins, 1,969 strikeouts and a 3.47 ERA in 3,092 innings over the course of a 17-year career.

"Welch was a special guy, and we lost a really good friend," Scioscia said Tuesday, hours after it was revealed that the 57-year-old Welch had suffered a fatal heart attack. "I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of people here."

Welch, who died in Seal Beach, Calif., on Monday night, spent his first 10 seasons with the Dodgers and his last seven with the A's, making two trips to the All-Star Game, winning the American League Cy Young Award while in Oakland in 1990 and famously striking out Reggie Jackson as a rookie to end Game 2 of the 1978 World Series.

"He was really easy to catch because he had such great command," said Scioscia, who had spoken to Welch a couple of months ago. "He had a great arm, but what made him so special, even at a young age, was the way he could command the corners and with his velocity. He was just a great talent. But that wasn't really what he was about. Every time there was a road block, he got over it. He didn't take the easiest path, but he was a solid, solid guy."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.