Phillies: 5 players who moved to the dark side in New York
If you were to crown a “Mr. Phillie,” Larry Bowa would be up there with Mike Schmidt, Chase Utley, and other Phillies greats.
While Bowa’s numbers don’t always stand out in the Phillies record book, he’s spent the majority of his life as a member of the Phillies organization as a prospect, player, coach, manager, and executive.
Bowa’s Phillies career began as a prospect in 1966 after he wasn’t drafted out of McClatchy High School in Sacramento or Sacramento City College. In 399 minor league games he’d have 450 hits and 88 stolen bases playing for the Phillies affiliates in San Diego, Spartanburg, Bakersfield, Reading, and Eugene.
The 1970 season would be the first of a dozen seasons as a player with the Phillies for Bowa. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year despite having just 23 extra base hits and no home runs in 145 games.
Bowa would win two Gold Gloves, make five All-Star games, and win a World Series as the Phillies shortstop. He also nearly won an MVP in 1978, finishing third behind Dave Parker and Steve Garvey. Bowa received 3 of 24 first place votes and Parker received the rest.
On January 27, 1982, Bowa was traded by the Phillies with Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs for Ivan de Jesus in one of the worst deals in Phillies history.
Bowa would play three seasons in Chicago before he was released on August 13, 1985. A week later he’d sign with the Mets.
Bowa’s time in a Mets uniform was incredibly short, playing just 14 games and hitting .105 with a .190 OBP. After that season he’d retire and become a coach for multiple organizations, but mostly with the Phillies.