Former Philly and Cub Larry Bowa was on hand this evening to honor Ryne Sandberg and sign some autographs.
Larry reminisced about his playing days and joked that originally in the Dejesus trade, Sandberg was the “throw in”. As we know it didn’t quite turn out that way.
Career info AFTER the trade
2,385 hits in Cub uniform and 282 homers – 1,061 RBI’s – 344 stolen bases – 9 time Gold Glove winner – 10 time All Star – 1 MVP Award
Played 3+ years for Cubbies, part of 1984 NL East division title team, #1 for shortstops in fielding percentage in 1983.
Bats .249 in 3 seasons with Phillies. Traded 3 more times before his career quietly ends in 1988.
Larry spoke of his often emotional play.
“I wasn’t afraid to show my emotions,” Bowa said. “I played hard and had fun. That’s basically the way I was raised. I didn’t have great ability. I had to work hard.” “Getting 2,000 hits is probably the thing I’m most proud of. People said I couldn’t hit at this level. If you work hard you can achieve anything.”
Being well-traveled I was curious to know what Larry thought of Coca-Cola Park and the fans in LHV. Bowa was at the Park previously to watch his nephew Nick Johnson who was with the Columbus Clippers then.
“It’s beautiful,” he said. “I was here last year. I sat right behind home plate. I wish we had these facilities when I played.”
“I think Philly is doing a great job with their minor league system. “Nobody wants to stay in the minor leagues, but if I had to stay, I’d want to play here.”
Larry mentioned that even players who know they most likely aren’t going to reach the Major League level would continue to play just to call The Coke their home.
Bowa said he would return to Major League coaching if the right offer came along and he stated that working for the MLB network is a lot of work/research.
Maybe, just maybe Larry will someday return to Coca-Cola Park, this time as a Manager. We can only hope….