Joseph Alan Cowley
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 210 lb.
- High School Lafayette High School (Lexington)
- Debut April 13, 1982
- Final Game May 3, 1987
- Born August 15, 1958 in Lexington, KY USA
Joe Cowley threw the only complete game shutout of his career on August 3, 1984 as a member of the New York Yankees against the Cleveland Indians. He gave up 3 hits, walked 2 and struck out 2. He also pitched a no-hitter against the California Angels on September 19, 1986 while pitching for the Chicago White Sox, but gave up a run in that game. Earlier that season, on May 28th, he set an American League record by striking out the first seven batters he faced in a game against the Texas Rangers; that record was matched 30 years later, in 2016, by another White Sox pitcher, Carlos Rodon.
He finished the 1986 season with a record of 11-11, 3.88, and seemed ready to emerge as one of the major leagues' top pitchers. However, it all came tumbling down very quickly. As spring training was winding down in [1987 Phillies|1987]], Cowley was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on March 26th in return§Gary Redus. The Phillies were counting on him to anchor their starting rotation, but he was simply awful, losing all four of his starts and putting up an ERA of 13.91 in 11 innings. He made one final appearance, this time in relief, on May 3rd, but gave up 3 runs in two-thirds of an inning, and his big league career was over. He was sent to the minors and never returned.