The Obit For Pat Dobson

Dobson, ex-O's 20-game winner, dies

Veteran of six clubs was special assistant to Giants GM Sabean

By Rich Draper /

11/23/2006 10:18 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pat Dobson, 64, one of four Baltimore Orioles pitchers to win 20 games in 1971, died in a San Diego area hospital on Wednesday night. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Dobson had an 11-year Major League career and had served with the San Francisco Giants the past nine seasons as an advance scout and special assistant to general manager Brian Sabean.

The right-handed Dobson was 20-8 with a 2.90 ERA for the Orioles in 1971 and combined with Dave McNally (21-5), Mike Cuellar (20-9) and Jim Palmer (20-10) to guide Baltimore to a 101-victory season and the American League pennant. The 1920 Chicago White Sox are the only other club in Major League history with four 20-game winners.

Dobson further excelled in 1971 by sporting a 12-game winning streak and a 23-inning scoreless stretch. He climaxed that campaign by throwing a 2-0 no-hitter against the Yomiuri Giants in an exhibition game in Tokyo.

"Pat's untimely death is a complete shock to the whole organization and me," Sabean said on Thursday, "and it's hard for us to express our feelings right now.

"We've all become so close through the years and we're going to miss him dearly. Obviously, our concern is for [wife] Kathe and their family, and on behalf of the Giants, I want to express our condolences. I can't put into words the impact Pat had on the Giants over the years."

Dobson was 122-129 lifetime with a 3.54 ERA in 414 games (279 starts) for Detroit, San Diego, Baltimore, Atlanta, the New York Yankees and Cleveland from 1967-77. He helped guide the Tigers to the 1968 world championship, while his 1971 Orioles club lost to the Pirates in the World Series. He was an All-Star with the Orioles in 1972, though he finished 16-18, but with a 2.65 ERA.

"He had a great curveball," Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Dobson's teammate with the Orioles, told the Associated Press. "He was a real gamer, a real competitor. He didn't give in to anybody."

Orioles executive vice president for baseball operations Mike Flanagan issued the following statement after learning of Dobson's passing:

"The sudden death of Pat Dobson deeply saddens me and the entire Orioles organization. Pat had his best seasons as a player in an Orioles uniform and will be fondly remembered by Orioles fans.

"I got to know Dobber well when he returned to our organization as pitching coach in 1996 and will never forget the fun times we had, talking baseball and telling stories, before and after games."

Dobson joined the Giants organization in 1997 after serving as Orioles pitching coach in 1996. Dobson also was a pitching coach for Milwaukee (1982-84), San Diego (1988-90) and Kansas City (1991). He served as the Colorado Rockies' first advance scout from 1993 to 1995.

Dobson also spent five years as a Minor League pitching instructor. He managed the Fort Myers Sun Sox in the Senior League in 1989-90.

Dobson is survived by his wife, Kathe, and six children, Pat III, Nancy, Stacy, Chris, Shannon and Stephanie.

Funeral arrangements are pending.