Larry Bowa (1970, shortstop, ROY voting: 3rd)
Bowa began his Major League career during a down period in the franchise’s history. However, he became a major building block that eventually turned the cellar dwellers to one of the top teams in baseball and ultimately a World Series in 1980.
During his rookie season, Bowa hit a modest .250 with 17 doubles, six triples. 34 RBI and 21 stolen bases. However, he started 141 games at shortstop committing only 13 errors for a fielding percentage of .979, well above the league average of .965. Bowa’s efforts were good enough for a third place finish in Rookie of the Year voting.
Although not outstanding with the bat, Bowa led the league in triples in 1972 with 13 and hit a career best .305 in 1975. A good base stealer, Bowa surpassed 20 thefts nine times and and 30 stolen bases three times.
Bowa made five All-Star teams and won the Gold Glove award twice, although his career fielding percentage for a shortstop of .980 is one of the best of all-time.
He was traded to the Cubs along with Ryne Sandberg for shortstop Ivan DeJesus. After more than three seasons with the Cubs, Bowa finished his career in 1985, appearing in 14 games for the Mets. Bowa ranks sixth in franchise history in hits and stolen bases and seventh in triples. He retired with .260 average, 2191 hits and 318 stolen bases.
Bowa went on to manage the Padres before returning to the Phillies as third base coach from 1988 through 1996, manager from 2001 to 2004 and bench coach from 2014 through 2017. He also spent time as a studio analyst for the MLB Network from 2011-2013 and is now Phillies Senior Advisor to the General Manager.