Monday, November 7, 2011

Bob Forsch

I got an email from Donna last week with bad news. She mentioned she had seen where Bob Forsch had died. She remembered that he was the person who threw out the first pitch of the seventh game of the World Series. I remember thinking how fit he looked, you'd have thought he could throw a few innings if need be that night.

1974 was the first year I was really into the Cardinals. It was exciting year with Lou Brock chasing Maury Wills stolen base record. The Cardinals pitching staff was not that good. Bob Gibson was fading. Off season pickup Lynn McGlothen started fast at 12-3 and even pitched in the All-Star game but faded as the season wore on. Veterans like Alan Foster and Sonny Seibert weren't pitching well either. In mid season, the Cardinals brought up a young rookie named Bob Forsch. He pitched well for the Cardinals and they just missed winning the NL East that year.

Bob anchored the Cardinals staff for the next 14 seasons. He won 20 games in 1977. He pitched two no-hitters. They were the only two thrown in that Busch Stadium and he's the only Cardinal pitcher to throw 2. I remember listening to the first one in 1977 (vs the Phillies). I didn't know about the 2nd one in 1983 until somebody told me at work about it. I worked in Louisville and they didn't cover the Cardinals like back home. He pitched in three World Series. Bob Forsch was one of my favorite Cardinals.

I imagine Bob Forsch was on top of the world after throwing out that first pitch in Game 7 and then watching his Cardinals win the World Series. He never dreamed what would happen to him in a week. He never would have thought his old manager (Whitey Herzog) or Cardinal great Stan Musial would outlive him. This just shows how fleeting life can be.