Dobson used a big curveball to become one of the quartet of 20-game winners on the 1971 Orioles, when he went 20-8 with a 2.90 ERA in his first winning season in the majors. He signed with Detroit for a reported $35,000 bonus in 1959 and spent three years with the parent club, pitching mostly in relief. He was traded to the Padres in December 1969 with Dave Campbell for Joe Niekro and attracted the attention of the Orioles by going 14-15 as the ace for last-place San Diego.
Dobson’s strong 1971 season earned him a start in Game Four of the World Series, but he gave up 10 hits in 5-1/3 innings, getting a no-decision in the loss, and was in the bullpen for the rest of the Series. Dobson’s 2.65 ERA in 1972 was an improvement from his 20-win season, but he went 16-18 and tied for the AL lead in losses (only one member of the quartet, Jim Palmer, repeated as a 20-game winner). Traded to the Braves with Davey Johnson after the season, he was then sent to the Yankees in mid-1973 and in 1974 went 19-15 with a 3.07 ERA as the ace of second-place New York. After an off-year in 1975 (11-14, 4.07) he was traded to the Indians for Oscar Gamble and recovered with a 16-12, 3.48 season. But his 3-12, 6.16 record in 1977 ended his career.