Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

November 20, 2011
In History's Spotlight: Larry Bowa

BOWA.jpgBorn: Dec. 6, 1945

Known for: A McClatchy High School graduate, Larry Bowa was a five-time All-Star shortstop who played stellar defense in 16 years in the major leagues while collecting 2,191 hits. He also managed two teams.

Background: After being cut twice from the varsity squad at McClatchy High, Bowa played American Legion ball and became a workaholic at Sacramento City College. The fiery switch hitter was drafted in 1965 by the Philadelphia Phillies. During his career, he posted the highest lifetime fielding percentage for a shortstop. In his first three seasons, he made only 33 errors in 2,202 chances. In 1975, he became the first $100,000-a-year shortstop. Five years later, the Phillies won their only World Series championship. After his playing career, he managed the San Diego Padres (1987-88) and the Phillies (2001-2004), compiling a 418-435 record. This season, he is the third-base coach for the New York Yankees.

A highlight: Bowa led the major leagues in fielding six times, won two Gold Gloves and set a National League record for most games by a shortstop (2,222), playing 12 seasons for the Phillies, three for the Chicago Cubs and his final season for the Cubs and Mets.

In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.

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About Sac History Happenings

California and Sacramento have a long, rich, vibrant history. And our region is blessed with an abundance of historical resources maintained by museums, libraries, archives and societies. This blog aims to alert readers to the latest developments in local/state historical education and research.

Send tips concerning upcoming exhibits, tours, lectures and meetings, as well as new books, magazine articles and online collections to the blog's contributors.

The Contributors:

Michael Dolgushkin

Michael Dolgushkin is Manuscript Librarian at the California State Library History Section. He is co-author of San Francisco's California Street Cable Cars and is a frequent contributor to the California State Library Foundation Bulletin. Contact him at mdolgushkin@library.ca.gov.

Amanda Graham

Amanda Graham is a Certified Archivist working in the Sacramento Room of the Sacramento Public Library. She earned a BS in History from Southern Oregon University and a MS in Information Studies with an emphasis in archives from The University of Texas at Austin. Contact her at agraham@saclibrary.org.

Pete basofin

Pete Basofin is Director of Editorial Research at The Sacramento Bee. He previously worked at The St. Petersburg Times and Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. Contact him at pbasofin@sacbee.com.

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