“Bob would be so thrilled to be included with these great athletes. He was always so proud to be from Sacramento and part of this high standard sports community. We are honored to have our family recognized as part of the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.” Amy Forsch, Daughter
Majoe League Baseball
High School: Hiram Johnson
College: Sacramento City
* MLB Career: 16 Years (St. Louis, Houston)
* World Series Champion (1982)
* Pitched Two No-Hitters (1978, 1983)
* 2 Time Silver Slugger Award Winner (1980, 1987)
* 168 Career Wins
* 3.76 Career ERA
Bob Forsch will not only be remembered as one of Sacramento’s greatest pitchers, but also being part of one of the greatest baseball families in the area: achieving the ultimate success at the highest level. Bob became a phenom at all levels of competition. As he grew up, Bob learned from his dad, Herb, and his older brother, Ken. He spent most of his days playing ball every chance he could. From his days at Fruitridge Little League, to Hiram Johnson High School, Bob was an all around athlete. He followed in his brother’s footsteps as both a terrific baseball and basketball player at Johnson. During his junior year, the Warriors were Co-Metro Division Champions in basketball; where his teammate was fellow Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Darnell Hillman. In baseball, Bob was the most dominant pitcher in the area going 12-1 his senior year. Johnson was 25-3 and won the Sacramento area Tournament of Champions.
After graduating from high school, Bob decided to attend Sacramento City College which was becoming a powerhouse. This led him to being drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 26th round of the 1968 MLB Draft. Ironically, both he and his older brother, Ken, were drafted that same year. Bob was originally drafted as a third baseman, because he was just as good of a hitter as he was a pitcher. In 1970, he was converted to a pitcher while in the Minor Leagues.
Bob made his Major League debut midway through the 1974 season. In only his second appearance, he threw a complete game shutout in defeating the Atlanta Braves for his first MLB victory. That game featured Bob facing fellow Sacramento Sports Hall of Famers: Dusty Baker and Rowland Office. Bob was a dominate pitcher with a wide variety of pitches. In 1977, he was a 20 game winner and was considered one of the best pitchers in league. Bob pitched his first career no-hitter on April 16, 1978. For most pitchers that would be an amazing accomplishment, but Bob pitched his second no-hitter on September 26, 1983. He is the only St. Louis Cardinal to ever pitch two no-hitters.
In 1982, he was a key figure in the Cardinal’s amazing season. Bob was the winning pitcher in Game 1 of the NLCS, and started Game 1 and Game 5 of the World Series. He reached the ultimate achievement, as the Cardinals won the World Series defeating the Milwaukee Brewers . He was also a major contributor during their run getting to the National League Championship Series in 1985 and 1987. He won 168 total games in his career, which ranks third in Cardinals history. Bob was one of the best hitting pitchers of his time. He had season batting averages of .308, .295, and .298. He hit 12 home runs including a Grand Slam. There was not another pitcher, then or now, that can claim those amazing stats. He won the very first Silver Slugger Award for NL pitchers in 1980, and again in 1987.
After retiring, Bob became a pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds' Rookie League affiliate from 2009 to 2011. He told everyone how much he enjoyed this position because he was working with young men who would be the future of the game. Bob shared his invaluable experience and wealth of knowledge with these up and coming prospects. He was an author as well, writing a book titled “Bob Forsch’s Tales from the Cardinals Dugout.”
Sadly, Bob passed away unexpectedly from a thoracic aortic aneurysm on November 13, 2011. Less than a week before his death, he threw out the first pitch before Game 7 of the 2011 World Series in St. Louis. His untimely death shocked the baseball world and hit hard close to home with all his friends, family and fans. Bob will always be known as a great all around player and one of the few pitchers that could hit with power and average.
He is survived by his first wife, Molly; daughters, Amy and Kristin; and his widow, Jan. Bob is missed not only by his loved ones, but by those who watched him play. He is remember for many accomplishments: the greatest of which is being a very funny, kind and loving human being. He was one of the all time greats from our area, and was proud to call Sacramento his home.