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Jim Owens (baseball)

For other people named Jim Owens, see Jim Owens (disambiguation).
Jim Owens
Born: (1934-01-16) January 16, 1934 (age 82)
Gifford, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1955 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
June 20, 1967 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
Win-loss record 42–68
Earned run average 4.31
Innings pitched 885⅓
Strikeouts 516
Career highlights and awards
  • Threw one shutout in his career
  • James Philip Owens (born January 16, 1934) is an American former professional baseball player and coach. He was a right-handed pitcher who worked in 286 games in Major League Baseball between

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    Early baseball career

    Originally signed by the Phillies in

    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, Owens racked up impressive win totals in minor league baseball, with 22, 22 and 17 victories posted in levels ranging from Class D to Triple-A from 1952 to 1954.


    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, he made the Phillies' Opening Day roster and started two April games. In his debut April 19 against the eventual 1955 world champion Brooklyn Dodgers, Owens was effective for his first five innings pitched, allowing only two runs to the powerful Dodgers. But in the sixth, after a 36-minute rain delay, Owens surrendered home runs to Carl Furillo and Roy Campanella and was chased from the mound with the Phillies trailing, 5–0.[1] Five days later, starting against 1955's cellar-dwellers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, he lasted only 1⅔ innings before, struggling with his control, he was removed from the game. Philadelphia lost the game 6–1 and Owens absorbed his second straight loss.[2] Owens was sent back to the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, where he had another banner year, winning 15 games before his recall in September 1955.


    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year season began in similar fashion, as Owens was treated harshly in two early-season starts (against the Pirates and the Cincinnati Redlegs). He worked in ten MLB games that year (five in relief, and got into 15 games at Triple-A. He was winless in four decisions for the 1956 Phillies, and his record in his first two years in the National League was poor: 0–6, with an earned run average of 7.51.

    One stellar season for the Phillies

    Owens then spent all of

    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, and all but one game in
    2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, in military service. In his one game pitched in 1958, on September 23 against the pennant-bound Milwaukee Braves, he hurled seven strong innings for the win, allowing two earned runs.

    His best season was

    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year: to complement a solid ERA of 3.21, Owens went 12–12 for a last-place team, with 11 complete games and 135 strikeouts in 221⅓ innings of work. But in
    2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, he went 4–14 (5.04) and in
    3. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year his record was 5–10 (4.47). The Phillies finished in the NL basement each season, and Owens received notoriety for his off-field carousing as a member (with fellow pitchers Turk Farrell, Jack Meyer and Seth Morehead) of the "Dalton Gang,"[3] a group of hard-drinking players in frequent conflict with the Phillies' management. After Owens' poor
    4. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year season—a 2–4 record with a 6.33 ERA—the Phillies traded him to Cincinnati for second baseman Cookie Rojas.

    He was used almost entirely as a reliever in his one year with the

    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year Reds. On April 21 of that year, he set a National League record by balking three times in one inning. (Bob Shaw broke that record less than a month later when he balked five times in one frame.) Overall, Owens posted an ERA of 5.31 in 19 games that year, three of them started. In December 1963, the Astros (then nicknamed the Colt .45s) took him in the Rule V Draft.

    Reliever and coach for the Astros

    He spent the final four seasons of his career with the Astros, reunited with Farrell until May 8, 1967, when Farrell was traded. Owens was used almost entirely as a reliever for Houston, pitching in a total of 148 games and starting only 11 (all in 1964). He even led the team in relief appearances in

    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year with 50. He played his final big league game on June 20,
    2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year.

    Eighteen days later, on July 8, Owens retired from the field to become the Astros' pitching coach, succeeding the fired Gordon Jones, and the former disciplinary problem was so successful as a coach that he held that job through the end of the

    1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year season, working with star hurlers like Mike Cuellar, Larry Dierker and Don Wilson.

    Overall, Owens' pitching record was 42–68 with a 4.31 ERA. Of the 286 games he appeared in, he started 103 of them, completing 21 of the starts and tossing one shutout. In 885⅓ innings, he gave up 84 home runs, walked 340 batters and struck out 516.

    He was a poor hitter throughout his career. In 218 at-bats, he collected only 22 hits for a .101 batting average. He struck out 102 times. He had a .954 fielding percentage.


    External links

    Preceded by
    Gordon Jones
    Houston Astros pitching coach
    Succeeded by
    Hub Kittle