Saturday, July 18, 2009

1976 Topps #147 - Larry Bowa

  • Larry Bowa was a good-fielding shortstop who played mainly for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1970-1985. He won two Gold Glove awards and led the NL in fielding percentage six times. In high school he tried out for the baseball team but never made the team. He played for Sacramento City College but was undrafted. The Phillies sent a scout to see him play but he got thrown out of the game that day. The scout had a winter league team in the area and gave Bowa a chance to play. The Phillies liked what they saw and signed him for a $2000 bonus.
  • Bowa spent the 1966-1969 seasons in the minor leagues. He made the team in 1970 and played in 145 games. Larry batted .250 and finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting (Carl Morton won it). In 1971 Bowa led the NL in at bats with 650. He batted .249 and stole 28 bases.
  • Larry led the NL in triples (13) in 1972, batted .250, and won his first Gold Glove. Bowa slipped to .211 in 1973 and missed the entire month of August. In 1974 Larry bounced back with a .275 batting average and played in his first All Star Game. He also had a career-high 39 stolen bases.
  • In 1975 Bowa set a career high in batting average (.305) and made his second NL All Star team. Larry made his third straight All Star team in 1976 despite batting only .248. He batted .280 in 1977 but wasn't an All Star.
  • Bowa's best season was probably 1978. He was an NL All Star, won the Gold Glove award, and finished third in NL MVP voting. Larry batted .294 and set career highs in hits (192) and doubles (31). He also batted .333 in the League Championship Series.
  • Larry was an NL All Star for the last time in 1979 but he dropped back to a .241 batting average. In 1980 Bowa batted .267 for the World Champion Phillies. Bowa batted .267 in his last year for the Phillies (1981).
  • After the 1981 season Dallas Green (now GM for the Chicago Cubs) traded Ivan DeJesus for Bowa. He also got a guy named Ryne Sandberg in the deal. Larry batted .246 in 1982 and .267 in 1983. In his last full season (1984) for the Cubs, Larry batted .223. He batted .200 in the League Championship Series.
  • The 1985 season was Larry's last season. He started with the Cubs and was released on August 13 after batting .246 in 72 games. Bowa was signed by the Mets on August 20 but batted only .105 in 19 at bats. He played four games at 2B, which was the first time he played a position other than SS since his rookie year. Bowa was granted free agency at the end of the year and retired.
  • Bowa was hired as manager of the San Diego Padres in 1987. The Padres were 65-97 in 1987 and Larry was dismissed in 1988 after the Padres started at 16-30. After his stint with the Padres, Larry coached third base for several teams from 1988-2000. Bowa was hired as manager of the Phillies in 2001. He led them to a second place finish after they finished last in 2000. He was voted NL Manager of the Year in 2001. Larry managed the Phillies from 2001-2004. He was fired in the last week of the 2004 season after the Phillies weren't able to win the NL East during Larry's tenure.
  • Larry spent the 2005 season as an ESPN analyst, then was hired to coach third base for the New York Yankees in 2006. He stayed with the Yankees through the 2007 season, then went with manager Joe Torre to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Larry now coaches third base for the Dodgers.
  • Larry Bowa has always been a firey player, manager, and coach. He has numerous ejections to his credit.


  1. I'm glad Larry ditched the 'stache in later years. Not a good look for him.

  2. That's not a really good mustache, either.

    Kind of funny to see him with the bat in his hand and no helmet on......