Pat Dobson, a right-hander who pitched two seasons for the Orioles (1971-72), died Wednesday night in El Cajon, California. He was 64.
Dobson was born February 12, 1942, in Depew, New York, and signed with the Detroit Tigers at age 17. Eight years later, he made his major league debut for the Tigers, on May 31, 1967. He pitched in relief for 27 games in '67, starting once, and stuck with Detroit as a reliever and spot starter the next two seasons.
In December 1969, he was traded along with Soup Campbell to the Padres in exchange for Joe Niekro. In Dobson's lone season with the Padres, he went 14-15 with a 3.60 ERA (106 park-adjusted ERA+) in 40 games (34 starts).
A year after being traded to San Diego, the Padres flipped Dobson and Tom Dukes to the O's for Tom Phoebus, Al Severinsen, Fred Beene and Enzo Hernandez.
In 1971, Dobson went 20-8 for the AL champion Orioles, as the oft-forgotten fourth man on that club's 20-win rotation (Palmer, Cuellar and McNally were the other three, of course). The next season, Dobson pitched just as well (a 2.65 ERA) but went 16-18 on an strong-pitching, weak-hitting team that finished a disappointing 80-74.
Dobson was sent to the Braves in the Davey Johnson deal, then was quickly shipped to the Yankees after 12 games in Atlanta. In 1974, Dobson was New York's best starter.
The Yankees sent him to Cleveland, and then in 1978, the Indians released him. Dobson's final game came on September 19, 1977. He had a career record of 122-129 over 11 seasons in the majors, retiring at age 35.
Dobson later became a pitching coach, working for Milwaukee, San Diego, Kansas City, and finally Baltimore for one season in 1996. He went to San Francisco as an advance scout in 1997, and was considered one of GM Brian Sabean's most trusted advisers.