Phillies History: Larry Bowa named 2001 Manager of the Year

Larry Bowa #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Larry Bowa #10 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Then-Phillies skipper Larry Bowa was named 2001 NL Manager of the Year, 19 years ago today.

Nineteen years ago today (November 14, 2001), a longtime member of the Philadelphia Phillies organization — Larry Bowa — was named the National League Manager of the Year.

Bowa was voted in by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America as what ESPN described as a  “runaway winner,” garnering 18 first-place votes, six second-place, and five third-place for 113 overall points. Fellow first-year manager Jim Tracy, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, finished second with just 48 points.

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The Seattle Mariners’ Lou Piniella likewise was the overwhelming AL Manager of the Year Award recipient, after leading the team to a record 116 wins. The Mariners have not returned to the postseason since; the Phillies have the second-longest postseason drought behind them (2011).

Bowa is just one of five Phillies skippers to ever earn Manager of the Year honors — joining Jim Fregosi (1993), Danny Ozark (1976), Gene Mauch (1962, 1964), and Eddie Sawyer (1950).

Following his playing career, Bowa’s first Phils coaching stint was from 1988 to 1996 as third base coach. Then, after joining the Anaheim Angels (1997-99) and Seattle Mariners (2000) staffs, the 1980 World Series champion was hired to return to Philadelphia as manager starting in the 2001 season.

The Phillies immediately found success under Bowa, winning 86 games that year, a 21-win improvement from 2000; he would remain as manager for most of the inaugural season of Citizens Bank Park (2004). He finished 337-308 (.522) as their skipper.

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Bowa returned to the Phils dugout again as bench coach and infield instructor (2014-17). He has since served as a Senior Advisor to the General Manager, after spending nearly three decades donning red pinstripes —13 as a coach, 12 as a player, and four as manager.

The 2021 season will mark Bowa’s 37th with the Phillies organization and 56th in Major League Baseball; he was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and 2009, respectively.

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