Thursday, June 19, 2014

They come in threes

​It's been a somber mood in the baseball world these past couple weeks, as several well-known former players have passed away. You may recall my most recent post about the late Don Zimmer. Though I'm a few days late, I wanted to give a proper send-off to Mr. Padre as well.

1994 Score Gold Rush # 12 Tony Gwynn
I had the good fortune to see Tony Gwynn play toward the end of the 2001 season. According to everyone's favorite treasure trove of baseball statistics, Gwynn drew a walk as a pinch-hitter in that late September game, just weeks after 9/11. Further investigation and cross-referencing of my ticket stub collection indicates that, sadly, I never witnessed any of Gwynn's 3,141 hits.

Regardless, as a lifelong NL West fan, I'm sorry to see Mr. Gwynn go to that great baseball diamond in the sky at such a young age.

Though Gwynn and Zimmer have been prominent in the news lately, the recent and also-too-early passing of Bob Welch slipped under the radar a bit.

Though not quite a hall-of-famer, Welch earned plenty of accolades during his pitching career, being elected to the All-Star squad twice, winning three World Series rings (one as a coach with the 2001 Diamondbacks), and even earning the coveted Cy Young award in 1990.

1993 Flair #264 Bob Welch
Though much of this blogging community will remember Welch as a Dodger, he was an established Oakland A when I started collecting, so that's how I remember him. He retired before interleague play, which was long before the days of MLB.TV. Thus, during his playing days, I surely knew him only from baseball cards, like this premium piece from Fleer's Flair brand, printed on some of the thickest card stock around.

They say these things come in threes. Though we fondly remember their great baseball careers, here's hoping that's it for a while.


  1. Nice post. It's a shame that the baseball world lost a trio of great men in such a short time.

  2. "here's hoping that's it for a while."

    Sounds good to me.

    RIP Tony & Bob.