Needing starting pitching – sound familiar? – the Reds signed former St. Xavier High School lefty Chris Welsh 30 years ago, on April 4, 1986.
The future Reds TV analyst was 30 when released by Texas the previous November, after compiling a 16-22 record in four seasons for the Padres, Expos and Rangers.
Welsh pitched one season for the Reds, his fifth and final season.
He won 6 and lost 9 with a 4.78 ERA in 24 starts for Manager Pete Rose. He was cut by the Expos during spring training 1987. His five year totals: 22 wins, 31 losses, 4.45 ERA, 8 complete games and 3 shutouts.
Seven years later, he debuted as a Reds TV analyst on Sports Channel Ohio with George Grande, Marty Brennaman and Gordy Coleman.
Welsh, 50, begins his 24th season on Reds TV today, doing Fox Sports Ohio games games with Thom Brennaman, Jim Kelch and Grande. Welsh and Grande were partners for 17 seasons (1993-2009), the longest-running TV duo in Reds history.
After graduating from St. X, Welsh earned a bachelor's degree at the University of South Florida, where he played for baseball coach Robin Roberts, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1976 and 1977. He pitched four seasons in the Yankees farm system before being traded to the Padres with Ruppert Jones, Joe Lefebvre and Tim Lollar for Jerry Mumphrey and John Pacella on March 31, 1981.
Twelve days later he made his Major League Baseball debut April 12, 1981, pitching for the Padres against the San Francisco Giants.
If the Reds hadn't signed Welsh to pitch 30 years ago, would they have asked him to join the TV team in 1993?