Ground Ball Fella

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Ted Bowsfield

Ted Bowsfield was a sinkerball southpaw who pitched for four different teams during a seven-year major league career. Early in his career, he was described by New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel as “that fella that throws them ground balls.” And he was that fella.

While a relief pitcher for most of his career, Ted Bowsfield was a starter in his two seasons with the Angels, and had his best seasons in Los Angeles. He was 11-8 in 1962 with a 3.73 ERA.

Bowsfield was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1954. He made his big league debut with Boston in 1958, going 4-2 with a 3.84 ERA in 16 appearances that season. He made the majors to stay in 1960, splitting a 4-6 season between Boston and the Cleveland Indians after being traded with Marty Keough for Carroll Hardy and Russ Nixon.

After the 1960 season, Bowsfield was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the 1960 expansion draft. After working mostly out of the bullpen during his first three major league seasons, Bowsfield moved immediately into the Angels’ starting rotation and had the best season of his career, going 11-8 with a 3.73 ERA for the fledgling Angels.

Bowsfield followed up in 1962 with a 9-8 record and a 4.40 ERA, and then was dealt to the Kansas City Athletics to complete an earlier deal for pitcher Dan Osinski.

In two seasons with Kansas City, Bowsfield pitched mostly out of the bullpen, going a combined 9-14 with a 4.27 ERA. He retired at the close of the 1964 season at age 29.

In seven major league seasons, Bowsfield posted a combined record of 37-39 with a 4.35 ERA.

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