Remembering Joe Cowley

Michael GrossContributor IApril 28, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - MARCH 21: The Philadelphia Phillies logo sits atop the new scoreboard at Citizen's Bank Park, the new home of the Philadelphia Phillies March 21, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Phillies officials aren't sure if the new park will be fully completed when Citizen's Bank Park is scheduled to open in April.  (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Considering the Phillies are having some pitching trouble this year I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane to remember some of the truly awful Phillies pitchers of my youth.  There certainly are a lot of arms to choose from, and perhaps I'll canonize one a week or so until the Phils turn things around, but I'm starting with the inimitable Joe Cowley. 

Why Cowley comes to mind is that I watched the 1987 Phillies Video Yearbook at least 40 times from about 1988-1991.  It's a great video, the Phillies had added Lance Parrish (hahaha), and were coming off a 2nd place finish (26 games behind the World Champion Mets).

At one point early in the video Mike Schmidt refers to the Phillies as "The Purple and White" team. Here I thought they wore maroon all those years. 

Along with Parrish, Joe Cowley was an anticipated addition, but his only appearance in the video is during a "montage of ineptitude".  Cowley is on the mound, the hitter delivers a swinging bunt to the right side of the infield, and Cowley lumbers off the mound after it. 

When he bends down to pick up the bunt, he trips over himself, rolls over the ball, and his hat falls off.  At this point he retrieves the ball, and rolls it over to first base. 

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Needless to say, the runner beat the play easily.  Cowley then  lays on the ground for a moment like a beached whale until the video goes to the next scene—this is my best recollection of the video.

Cowley's final stats for the '87 Phils:  0-4, 15.43 ERA.  11 2/3 Innings pitched.  21 hits.  17 BBs.  (3.26 WHIP)

Can you imagine being Mike Schmidt, a future Hall of Famer, playing third in your purple and white uniform, and having to watch this? 

Cowley's ultimate claim to fame:  He's the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter, and then never win another game.  Yes, you read that right. 

He threw a no-hitter late in the '86 season, didn't win again that year, came to the Phils in '87, made 4 starts, and that was it, goodbye career.  Cheers Joe, you were a shooting star of my youth. 

Coming Next:  Don Carmen, Marvin Freeman, Bobby Munoz, Pat Combs...I don't know.

                      --Originally Published at Three Putt Territory--

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