It was just Thursday, between sets at Lon Bronson and his All-Star Band’s monthly gig at Sunset Station, when somebody brought up the old Fleetwood Mac. And then somebody else brought up the name of Bob Welch, the old guitar player for the old Fleetwood Mac.
Bob Welch, the musician, was diagnosed with cancer and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2012.
And now Bob Welch, the ballplayer, is gone, too.
The former Cy Young Award winner, who won 27 games in 1990, who as a hard-throwing right-hander was nicknamed “Ebony Eyes” by ESPN’s Chris Berman after the hit song of the other Bob Welch, died Monday night at home. He was only 57.
The Dodgers said it was a heart attack.
This one hit close to home, as it always does when a guy you remember well dies much too soon — i.e., at the very age you are.
I had a pal named Gary from the Four Corners, who moved to Tempe, Ariz., who had been to alcohol rehab. Bob Welch, the ballplayer, had a room down the hall.
I was stunned when I read that Bob Welch, the ballplayer, had died, just as I was stunned to learn from a mutual friend that our pal Gary didn’t make it, either.
George Vecsey, the old sportswriter, wrote a book in 1981 with Bob Welch, the ballplayer. It was called: “Five O’Clock Comes Early: A Young Man’s Battle With Alcoholism.”
You could get a used copy on Amazon Tuesday for $o.58.