Some of the earliest memories I have of the cardinals contain Bob Forsch. So it was a huge blow to me to find out he had passed away Thursday at the age of 61, just a week after he threw out the first pitch in game seven of the world series.
Never a hard thrower, but never really a finesse pitcher, either. He could just pitch. Though not blessed with a lot of wins in his career, due to the fact he played on some dreadful cardinal teams, his name is still the stuff of legend here in Cardinal Nation. In 1977 he won twenty games and in 1978 he threw a no-hitter vs the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1980 he won the NL Silver Slugger Award for pitchers as he hit .296 and clubbed three home runs. As a former shortstop in the minors, he always was a good hitting pitcher. In 1982, in a season in which the cardinals won the world series vs the Brewers, Forsch had a 15-10 record as one of two aces for manager Whitey Herzog. (The other being Joaquin Andujar.) In 1983 he did what very few pitchers have ever done; throw two-hitters. The second one came vs the Montreal Expos (Now the Washington Nationals).
After an abbreviated season in 1984 due to back surgery, he had a decent year for the Cards in 1985, which saw him relieve and spot start for a very good Cardinals team that went to the World Series but lost to the Kansas City Royals. He pitched for the Cardinals until 1988 when he was traded to the Houston Astros for utility player Denny Walling. (A bad trade in my mind) and in 1989, pitched his last year in the Major Leagues. He finished with a career record of 168-136 with an era of 3.76 and had 1176 strikeouts.
He and his brother Ken Forsch are the only brothers in Major League history to have no-hitters. Ken got his in 1979 vs the Atlanta Braves.
Forsch and former teammate Darrell Porter are the only two members from that 82 team to have died.
RIP my friend.
Bob Forsch 1950-2011