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Jim Owens

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James Philip Owens (Bear)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 190 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Jim "Bear" Owens was originally signed by the Phillies in 1951 and he played in the minors until 1955-the year of his Major League debut. His first game came on April 19 at the age of 21.

His first two years in the Majors were fairly poor-his record was 0 and 6 with an ERA of 7.51.

He missed 1957 due to military service, but in 1958 he appeared in one game, pitching seven strong innings for the win. His ERA in that game was 2.57. He was in the military during most of this time.

His best season was 1959-to compliment a solid ERA of 3.21, Owens went 12 and 12 with 11 complete games and 135 strikeouts in 221.1 innings of work. He was apparently a one year wonder as well-in 1960, he went 4 and 14 and in 1961 his record was 5 and 10. After his poor 1962 season-2 and 4 record, 6.33 ERA-the Phillies traded him to the Reds for Cookie Rojas.

He was used almost entirely as a reliever in his one year with the Reds, 1963. On April 21 of that year, he set an NL record by balking three times in one inning. Bob Shaw broke that record less than one month later when he balked five times in one inning. Overall, Owens posted an ERA of 5.31 in 19 games that year, three of them started. In December of that year, the Astros took him in the 1963 Rule V Draft.

He spent the final four seasons of his career with the Astros. He was used almost entirely as a reliever for them, pitching in a total of 148 games with them and starting only 11 (all in 1964). He even led the team in relief appearances in 1965 with 50.

He played his final big league game on June 20, 1967. After his playing days, was the Houston Astros pitching coach from 1967 to 1972.

Overall, his record was 42 and 68 with a 4.31 ERA. Of the 286 games he appeared in, he started 103 of them, completing 21 of the starts and tossing one shutout. In 885.1 innings, he gave up 84 home runs, walked 340 batters and struck out 516.

He was a poor hitter throughout his career. In 218 at-bats, he collected only 22 hits for a .101 batting average. He struck out 102 times.

He had a .954 fielding percentage. According to Baseball-Reference similarity scores, he is most related statistically to Boom-Boom Beck. According to The Baseball Cube, he spent nine Major League seasons as a teammate of Turk Farrell-longer than any other teammate.

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