Bob Forsch at game seven of the World Series. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Former Cardinals pitcher Bob Forsch died suddenly Thursday night of an apparent heart attack at his home in Florida. Forsch was 61. Forsch spent 15 seasons with the Cardinals and is third all-time in franchise history with 163 victories.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bob Forsch,” Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said, “Bob was a one of the best pitchers in the history of our organization and a valued member of the Cardinals family.”

Forsch threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series on Friday night in St. Louis.

Bob Forsch UPI/Bill Greenblatt files

Forsch was part of all three Cardinals World Series teams during the 1980s, including the 1982 World Championship team. Forsch is one of only 28 pitchers to throw multiple no-hitters. His first came on April 16, 1978 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies and his second was on April 26, 1983 vs. the Montreal Expos. The two no-hitters were the only two ever thrown at Busch Memorial Stadium, where he won more games and pitched more innings than any other pitcher.

Throughout his sixteen year MLB career that included a stop in Houston, Forsch won 168 games.   Forsch was selected by the Cardinals in the 26th round of the 1968 amateur draft and broke into the big leagues with the Cardinals on July 7, 1974.  Over his career, he amassed 1,133 strikeouts, a 3.76 ERA and a .533 winning percentage.