High School: C. K. McClatchy
College: Sacramento City
* MLB Playing Career: 16 Years (Philadelphia, Chicago Cubs,
New York Mets)
* 5 Time MLB All-Star (1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979)
* World Series Champion (1980)
* 2 Time Gold Glove Award Winner (1972, 1978)
* 2,191 Career Hits
* MLB Managing Career: 6 Years (San Diego, Philadelphia)
* National League Manager of the Year (2001)
Major League Baseball
Larry Bowa was born and raised in Sacramento into a true athletic family. His dad, Paul Bowa, was a minor league infielder and manager in the St. Louis Cardinal farm system. His mom, Mary, was an outstanding softball player.
Growing up Larry spent all his time practicing and truly learning the game. He has very fond memories of playing Little League with his dad as his coach, and spending all his free time at William Land Park. Most weekends they would be there for 7 hours or more! “I was always the smallest kid on the team… I knew I was going to have to work harder than others to prove myself.”
Unbelievably, when Larry was in high school he tried out for the baseball team and was cut 3 years in a row! “You’re too small”, he was told, but Larry never let that stop him. He worked hard every day to better himself. Dedication is everything. Larry credits everything to his mom, dad and sister, Paula. “They gave up so much so I could perfect my baseball… we never went on vacations over the summer so I could play.”
After high school, he played in the Summer League where Del Bandi saw him and asked him to go out for the Sac City college team. He not only made the team, he earned several awards and soon the Phillies were interested in him. They sent a scout to watch him, only to have Larry get thrown out of both games of a double header. He eventually signed with the Phillies for a $2,000 bonus; and spent time in the minors where he learned to be a switch hitter.
In 1970 Larry made his MLB debut getting the first hit in the first game at the new Veterans Stadium; and would spend the next 12 years at his home away from home. “I truly believe that playing for the Phillies kept me in the Bigs. Fans in Philadelphia make you work hard.”
During his time with the Phillies, Larry won two Gold Glove awards and set a record for leading the National League in Fielding Percentage in six different seasons. He held the NL record for career games at Shortstop with 2,222 and was among career leaders in fielding percentage, assists and double plays. Larry was one of the slickest fielding shortstops to ever play the game.
During his tremendous 12 year career with the Phillies, Larry was a 5 time all star and won a World Series title in 1980, the ultimate success in his career. Larry Bowa turned out to be a great switch hitter as well. He batted over .280 four times in his career, including .375 in the World Series. After his time with the Phillies, Larry was traded to the Chicago Cubs where his former manager, Dallas Green, was now the skipper. Larry was the one who suggested the Cubs ‘get this 2nd baseman named Ryne Sandberg thrown in the deal!’
After his outstanding playing career, he became a successful Manager; which began with a
Triple-A title in Las Vegas. He immediately went to the Bigs managing the Padres; and then in 1988 Larry returned to the Phillies as the team’s 3rd base coach. In 1993, Larry became one of the first two Phillies to go to the World Series as both a player and a coach. In 2001, Larry took over the team that had gone 65-97 the year before and led the club to a 86-76 mark; only 2 games behind the
NL East Champs. Larry was honored as the National League Manager of the Year. Larry also coached under Joe Torre with the New York Yankees and LA Dodgers. He served as a bench coach for the USA team in 2013 and recently returned to the Phillies in 2014 as a bench coach.
Larry has been involved with Major League Baseball for 50 years! His story is one of rarest of its kind. A kid deemed not good enough to play high school ball who went on to have an illustrious 16 year playing career and another 20 as a manager and coach. A man who defied all odds who became one of the greatest shortstops of all time, a five time all star, a world series champion and manager of the year.
He is married to his wife, Patty, and he has a daughter, Tori. His sister, Paula, who’s son, Nick Johnson, played 10 major league seasons still resides in Sacramento. Larry is a part of a long tradition of outstanding baseball players who are proud to call Sacramento their home.
"This is a great honor, especially for someone born and raised in Sacramento. I’m honored to be part of the great baseball tradition since we know Sacramento is such a hotbed of talented athletes.”