October 25, 1951|
Los Angeles, California
|Died: March 11, 2002
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 6, 1974 for the Kansas City Royals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 8, 1986 for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||717|
|Career highlights and awards|
Alfred Edward Cowens, Jr. (October 25, 1951 – March 11, 2002) was a right fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1974 through 1986, Cowens played for the Kansas City Royals (1974–79), California Angels (1980), Detroit Tigers (1980–81) and Seattle Mariners (1982–86). He batted and threw right-handed.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Cowens was a product of the Kansas City Royals farm system. He made his major league debut with the Royals in 1974 and played for them through 1979. His most productive season came in 1977, when he batted .312 with 23 home runs and 112 RBI, earned a Gold Glove, and finished second to Rod Carew in balloting for the American League MVP Award.
A notable feud started between Cowens and Chicago White Sox reliever Ed Farmer early in the 1979 season. On May 8 while playing at Chicago, a Farmer pitch thrown in the top of the 5th inning fractured Cowens' jaw and broke several teeth; Cowens would miss 21 games. Farmer also hit Cowens' teammate Frank White in the same game and broke his wrist and caused him to miss 33 contests. The next season on June 20‚ 1980 while playing Detroit‚ the now-Tiger Cowens hit an infield grounder against Farmer at Comiskey Park. While Farmer watched his infielder make the play, Cowens ran to mound and tackled the pitcher from behind, instead of running to first base; getting in several punches before the benches cleared and the two were separated. Cowens was suspended for 7 games and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Illinois‚ forcing him to skip the remainder of the series. Later Farmer agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a handshake‚ and the 2 players brought out the lineup cards before the game on September 1. However, future appearances for Cowens in Chicago were greeted with a "Coward Cowens" banner.
In a 13-year career, Cowens was a .270 hitter with 108 home runs and 717 RBI in 1584 games.
- "May 8, 1979 Kansas City Royals at Texas Rangers Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball-Reference.com. 1979-05-08. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- "Cooperstown Confidential: Thinking of Al Cowens". Hardballtimes.com. Retrieved 2012-03-27.