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My First Phillies Game – Dave Becomes a Fan of Schoolboy Rowe

When I was a little kid, sports were not a “thing” in my house. However, the next door neighbor was a Phillies season ticket fan and in the late 40s took me to my very first baseball game.

I will never forget walking into old Shibe Park, dingy and poorly lit. Then all of a sudden I was looking out over this gorgeous brilliant green playing field under the lights and I was mesmerized. I seem to remember some home runs being hit that night but I especially remember the Phils pitcher, “Schoolboy” Rowe, batting twice and reaching base both times.

“Schoolboy” was pretty good with the bat, I learned this later once I became a dyed in the wool baseball fan. My recollection is that the Phils did not win that game, but I was hooked and soon the “Whiz Kids” would captivate me. I was made a life long fan who even went on a couple Phillies Cruises.

Years later I found this article that appears to certify my foggy memory of “Schoolboy”, documenting that he received two Intentional BBs in the same game.

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Schoolboy Rowe could really handle himself at the plate. As a 22-year-old in A-ball in 1932, he hit .295 and smacked ten homers in 112 at-bats, while also going 19-7 on the mound with a 1.094 WHIP. In 1943, at the age of 33, he hit .294/.390/.510 in 59 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, to go along with a .304/.385/.420 rate in games he actually started at pitcher.

During the 1946 Rowe IBB event, the next batter, Roy Hughes, was a career .278 hitter. Hughes was making his season debut in what would be his final year in the bigs. He grounded into a force-out at third, sending the game to extras. Rowe pitched all 11 innings, eventually losing 3-2.

Rowe’s two IBBs in 1947 came in the same game. He had been hitting a robust .317/.369/.400 in 66 PAs for the season. After the first IBB, rookie shortstop Ralph LaPointe came up. LaPointe had a .212/.316/.242 line in the first 13 games of his young career. He flied out to center, ending the second inning. Two innings later, Rowe’s IBB was followed by LaPointe hitting a flyball to right, again ending the inning. Rowe would again pitch a complete game, losing 8 – 1.

Dave Nisula (father of former Phillies Nation writer, Jonathan Nisula)

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