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Bobby Castillo (1981 photo)

, Associated Press

Former Twins pitcher Bobby Castillo dies at 59

  • Associated Press
  • June 30, 2014 - 8:35 PM

LOS ANGELES — Bobby Castillo, a former Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher credited with teaching Fernando Valenzuela how to throw a screwball, died Monday in a Los Angeles hospital after a battle with cancer, the team announced. He was 59.

Castillo, also affectionately known as "Babo," pitched for the Dodgers from 1977-81, including in the 1981 National League Championship Series and the 1981 World Series, and in 1985, his last season in the majors. The righthander was with the Twins from 1982 to 1984, compiling a 23-24 record with a 3.98 ERA.

Valenzuela called Castillo a great teammate and friend in a statement released through the Dodgers, adding: "I'll always be grateful for his influence on my pitching."

Castillo made his major league debut for the Dodgers on Sept. 19, 1977, retiring Hall of Famer Johnny Bench for his first big league out.

Funeral services are pending.

© 2014 Star Tribune