Monday, November 09, 2009

#451 Jim Owens

#451 Jim Owens
Wow, it looks like someone used this card to sand down their banister. You'll also notice the scotch tape on the top and bottom of the card. What did Jim Owens ever do to you, previous card owner?

Fun facts about Jim Owens:

-Jim, nicknamed "Bear", was born in Gifford, PA. The Phillies signed him out of nearby Bradford High School in 1951.

-Had brief stints in the majors in 1955 and 1956, but was hit hard.

-Missed most of the 1957 and 1958 seasons due to military service, but did earn his first career win by holding the Braves to two runs on four hits in seven innings on September 23, 1958. He kept Hank Aaron off the bases in four at-bats!

-His first full season (1959) was his best, as he went 12-12 with a 3.21 ERA and 11 complete games.

-Tossed his only career shutout on September 4, 1959, allowing only two Pirates into scoring position all day.

-Put together three straight miserable seasons in Philadelphia (1960-1962: 11-28, 5.13 ERA) before being dealt to Cincinnati for Cookie Rojas.

-The only noteworthy development in his sole season with the Reds came on April 24, 1963. Jim had the dubious honor of setting a record with three balks in one inning. Of course, Bob Shaw of the Braves let him off the hook later that year with a five-balk performance!

-The Astros claimed Owens in the Rule V draft that offseason, and he rebuilt his career as a go-to reliever, posting identical 3.28 earned run averages in 1964 and 1965 and compiling 14 wins and 14 saves.

-Retired in mid-1967, having gone 42-68 with 21 saves and a 4.31 ERA in parts of 12 seasons.

-Immediately after retiring, he served as the Astros' pitching coach, 1967-1972.
#451 Jim Owens (back)


  1. Another guy with a cameo in the greatest baseball book of all-time, "Ball Four" (of course, in my opinion!)

  2. Anon - I love that book, too. It's a shame that a lot of Jim Bouton's peers didn't agree ;)