Phillies All-Decade Team 1970s: Homegrown Talent at the Forefront
Bowa began is Major League career as a 24-year old in 1970. He hit .250 with 17 doubles, 34 RBI and 20 stolen bases. Not impressive offensively, Bowa dazzled with his defense, committing just 13 errors with a .979 fielding percentage. His efforts earned him third-place votes for Rookie of the Year.
In 1972, Bowa led the National League with 13 triples and earned his first Gold Glove Award, committing just nine errors with a fielding percentage of .987, a full 20 points above the league average. The following season was a down year for Bowa, hitting just .211 with an anemic .249 s slugging percentage.
Bowa had his finest stretch from 1974 through 1979, making the NL All-Star team five seasons. He had 10 triples, 39 stolen bases and a .285 average in 1974, and a career-high .305 batting average in 1975.
In 1976, Bowa swiped 30 bases for the second time in his career and had a career-high 49 RBI. Bowa failed to make the All-Star team in 1977, but was still rock solid on defense with a .983 fielding percentage and hit four home runs, his highest single-season output.
The 1978 season was perhaps the best of Bowa’s career. He hit .294 with 31 doubles, 24 stolen bases, and a .986 fielding percentage. He was named All-Star, Gold Glove Award winner and third in the NL MVP vote.
Bowa finished the 1970s with his final All-Star appearance and failed to win the Gold Glove Award, despite committing only six errors with a stellar .991 fielding percentage.
After playing two more seasons in Philadelphia, Bowa was traded along with Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs for Ivan DeJesus.
Bowa goes down as the top shortstop of the 1970s and second-best shortstop in Phillies history.