A five-time all star, Bowa was one of the best shortstops in baseball for much of his 16-year career. He arrived in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1970 and finished third in the Rookie of the Year vote. He led the NL in triples (13) in 1972 while winning his first Gold Glove. He hit .275 with 39 stolen bases and 97 runs scored for the Phillies in 1974, which was good enough to help him reach his first all-star game. Bowa went on to be an all star in 1975, 1976, 1978 and 1979. He won his second Gold Glove in 1978, a year that also saw him finish third in the MVP race. Bowa remained with Philadelphia until 1982 when he joined the Chicago Cubs. He played for Chicago for three and a half seasons. The Cubs released him late in the 1985 season and he joined the New York Mets for the final 14 games of his career. In 2,247 big-league games Bowa hit .260 with 318 stolen bases and 15 home runs.
Bowa reached the playoffs five times with the Phillies. The team lost in the NLCS in 1976, 1977 and 1978. They finally made it to the World Series in 1980 after defeating the Houston Astros in the NLCS. Bowa was fantastic in the series against the Kansas City Royals. He hit .375 with three steals, three runs scored and two RBIs. The Phillies defeated Kansas City in six games.
Following his playing career, Bowa managed the San Diego Padres and the Phillies. He was the 2001 NL Manager of the Year. He also coached for the Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bowa is honored on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame.
We featured Bowa’s favorite teammate, Greg Luzinski, earlier this year.
Larry Bowa – career stats