Nothing like being aware of one’s mortality than to have people in a similar category, and of like age, die. A while back I thought about the passings of pitchers Paul Splittorff and Tom Underwood, maybe even more so, because I was a combined 7 for 53 (.132) against them. Of Bob Welch who died on Tuesday at the age of 57, I’ll always remember my first Triple-A at bat. If there is one skill I will accept is that I could hit a (high) fastball; he threw a 2-2 high fastball by my swing for strike three. It was a harbinger of things to come for him, if I may be so immodest, as this was the year he had that epic battle against Reggie Jackson to close out Game Two of the 1978 World Series. A record of 211-146, a 27 win season, the last to win that many, and the third winningest pitcher of the 1980s behind Jack Morris and Dave Stieb, gone too soon.