Bob Welch can't be dead. Can he?
Upon learning on Tuesday afternoon that Welch, my classmate and friend at Eastern Michigan University, had died of a heart attack Monday night at his home in Seal Beach, Calif., I couldn't believe it. He was only 57.
Welch leaves behind three grown children whom he loved deeply and some very special memories. He won the 1990 Cy Young Award by winning 27 games for the Oakland A's; had some enduring World Series moments with Reggie Jackson; and very nearly led Eastern Michigan's Hurons to a national championship.
Welch was so full of life, passion and accomplishment. He was imperfect, though, and admitted to that in a book -- "Five O'Clock Comes Early: A Ballplayer's Battle With Alcoholism" -- he co-authored with New York Times columnist George Vecsey.
I got to know Vecsey when he was writing that book, and we'd talk about what Welch was like while leading EMU to the College World Series in 1975 and 1976. The Hurons -- led by head coach Ron Oestrike, w...