Borowy on the front page of Baseball Digest, 1945
May 12, 1916|
Bloomfield, New Jersey
|Died: August 23, 2004
Brick Township, New Jersey
|April 18, 1942, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 14, 1951, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Earned run average||3.50|
|Career highlights and awards|
Henry Ludwig "Hank" Borowy (May 12, 1916 – August 23, 2004) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1942 through 1951, Borowy played for the New York Yankees (1942–45), Chicago Cubs (1945–48), Philadelphia Phillies (1949–50), Pittsburgh Pirates (1950) and Detroit Tigers (1950–51). He batted and threw right-handed.
Born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Borowy graduated from Bloomfield High School and Fordham University. He pitched in six World Series games and posted a 108–82 record with 690 strikeouts and a 3.50 earned run average (ERA) in 1,717 innings pitched.
Borowy debuted on April 18, 1942 with the Yankees, finishing with a 15–4 record, 85 strikeouts and a 2.82 ERA. He started Game 4 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and did not receive a decision.
In 1943, Borowy went 14–9 with 107 strikeouts and a 2.82 ERA and won Game 3 of the World Series against St. Louis. Named an All-Star in 1944, he pitched three scoreless innings in the game, ending the season with a 17–12 record, 107 strikeouts and a 2.64 ERA.
In 1945 Borowy posted a 10–5 record with the Yankees in the first half of the season. The 1945 All Star game was cancelled due to wartime travel restrictions, but Borowy was selected a "virtual" All Star in an unofficial poll of managers conducted by the Associated Press. At the All-Star break he was placed on waivers by the Yankees, and eventually sold to the Cubs for $100,000. Borowy went 11–2 for the remainder of the season, including three wins over the Cardinals down the stretch, and led the National League in winning percentage (.846) and ERA (2.14), as the Cubs won the pennant. His combined 1945 Yankees/Cubs record was 21–7 with 82 strikeouts and a 2.65 ERA. Borowy is one of two pitchers in major league history to win at least 10 games for two different teams in the same season (the other is Bartolo Colón, with the Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos, in 2002).
On October 3, 1945, the Detroit Tigers and Cubs met in the World Series for the fourth time. In the opener Borowy pitched a six-hit, 9–0 shutout. He lost the fifth game, and then came back to win the sixth with four scoreless relief innings. Borowy started the final game on one day's rest but gave up hits to the first three batters before leaving. He took the loss and the Tigers won the Series. Before the 2016 World Series, Borowy was the last Chicago Cubs pitcher to win a World Series game.
For the remainder of his career, Borowy was plagued by finger blisters and a chronic sore shoulder. He pitched his final game on September 14, 1951. Just prior to his retirement, he performed one of the worst pitching performances ever seen in Major League baseball. Playing against the St Louis Browns on the 18th of August, Borowy was called up to pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the game tied at 7-all. Borowy faced nine batters, and was unable to achieve an out, giving up four singles, four walks and a three-run home run, before being pulled from the game by Tigers manager Red Rolfe. No other pitcher has faced nine batters in a game and not managed an out.
- "Hank Borowy". Society for American Baseball Research archive. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
- "Doubles Records: Game Records – Fast Facts". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- Preston, J.G. "Hank Borowy, Blake Stein, Paul Wilson and the worst pitching performances in major league baseball history". prestonjg.wordpress.com. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
- Goldstein, Richard (August 26, 2004). "Hank Borowy, 88, Top Pitcher With Yankees and Cubs in 40's". The New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
Hank Borowy, a right-handed pitcher who helped the Yankees capture pennants in 1942 and 1943, then starred for the last Chicago Cubs team to reach the World Series, died Monday at his home in Brick, N.J. He was 88.... Borowy, a native of Bloomfield, N.J., who pitched for Fordham University, was 15–4 as a rookie on the Yankees' 1942 pennant winners