100 Moments: Bowens Makes the Big Leagues
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
100 Moments: Bowens Makes the Big Leagues

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® series continues by remembering one of the most successful baseball players in Tennessee State history.

In 1958, outfielder Sam Bowens joined the TSU baseball team after spending two seasons with the Nashville Elite Giants of the Negro League.

Bowens put his tremendous speed and defense on display while at Tennessee State, earning him looks from big league scouts.

After his time with the Tigers, Bowens was drafted by the MLB's Baltimore Orioles. The going rate for a new outfielder at that time was approximately $10,000.

Before Bowens could join the big league team, he had to spend time in Rochester's minor league squad. He immediately drew rave reviews and was even dubbed the league's fastest player.

In 1963, the O's called Bowens up and the young outfielder responded by hitting a cool .333 and slugging .500 in 15 games.

Bowens became Baltimore's starting right fielder in 1964. He hit a career-high 22 home runs for the squad as a full-time starter.

Unfortunately, Bowens suffered a leg injury later in his career. The set-back coupled with the emergence of a younger crop of players forced Bowens to a back-up role.

He was still successful as a back-up however and even played a part in the Orioles winning the World Championship in 1966. Baseball Digest also named a catch by Bowens as the Play of the Year.

Bowens retired in 1969 and was inducted into the Tennessee State Sports Hall of Fame in 1983.

The 100 Moments of TSU Athletics presented by Taco Bell® highlights some of the greatest moments in honor of Tennessee State's centennial celebration. A new moment will be released each weekday for a total of 100. These moments were chosen by the TSU 100 Moments committee, which consists of alums from various departments. TSU has so many great moments, not all can be represented in these 100.

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