Larry Bowa and Ryne Sandberg have been linked since the infancy of Sandberg’s Hall of Fame career. Now, the two old friends appear ready to reunite full-time in the Phillies dugout next year.
Bowa, who was traded with Sandberg in that ill-fated swap with the Cubs back in 1982, is set to re-join his former double-play mate as a bench coach next year, first reported by CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury.
Of course, Bowa is a Phillies legend, both as a player and former manager. Bowa played 12 years in Philadelphia, amassing 1798 career hits with the Phillies, five All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, and actually finished third in the NL MVP vote in 1978.
As a manger, Bowa enjoyed some success, although it didn’t end terribly well.
Bowa managed from 2001-2004, going 337-308, good enough for a .522 winning percentage, finishing in second place twice and third place twice. But it was the cold stares, the uber intensity, the war with Scott Rolen, and the team’s ultimate inability to make the playoffs, that signaled the end of the Bowa managerial era.
The Phillies have been making changes to their coaching staff since the end of the year and have openings at bench coach, pitching coach and third base coach. It appears Bowa will be joining his good friend Sandberg on the bench.
This would be Bowa’s fourth time with the Phils. He also served as third base coach in the ’90s, including the 1993 NL pennant season. And although the team and Bowa have had a few messy break-ups in the past, both sides appear willing to re-marry once again.
So, in honor of Bowa’s imminent return, some video highlights of the walking human volcano.