Tom Browning

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Thomas Leo Browning

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Biographical Information[edit]

“I couldn’t rely on natural talent — because I didn’t have much of it. I wasn’t the hardest thrower, the fastest runner, or the most gifted athlete. But I had a solid and durable arm, and I worked hard.” - Tom Browning, from Tom Browning's Tales From The Reds Dugout

Tom Browning pitched the twelfth perfect game in MLB history against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 16, 1988 [1]. Additionally, he came close to adding another perfecto in 1989, taking a bid into the 9th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on the Fourth of July, only for Dickie Thon to break it up with a lead-off hit in the 9th. Browning also had another no-hit bid broken up in June 1988 by Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres with one out in the 9th inning.

Tom was signed as a 9th round pick in the 1982 amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds and scout Chet Montgomery. He has more than six times as many pitcher wins as all the other pitchers combined who were drafted with him. He won 20 games as a rookie in 1985 and ended the season with an 11-game winning streak. He was also the first rookie pitcher to win 20 games in 32 years; Bob Grim was the last to do it before him, in 1954, when he went 20-6. No one has done it since. He finished second in the voting for the 1985 National League Rookie of the Year Award, behind Vince Coleman. He was also the first Reds pitcher to win 20 games in 15 years; Jim Merritt was 20-12 in 1970. A workhorse, he was the National League leader in starts on four different occasions (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990) and threw over 200 innings six times. In 1990, he was 15-9 with a 3.80 ERA in the regular season, chipping in two wins in the postseason as Cincinnati won the World Series.

Following his All-Star 1991 season, Tom began to battle injuries. On May 9, 1994, he broke his arm while delivering a pitch to Archi Cianfrocco which ended his season. He tried to come back in 1995 with the Kansas City Royals, but appeared in only two games before shutting himself down for the season for further rehab. He was in spring training with the Royals again in 1996, but retired before camp broke. In twelve seasons, Tom was 123-90 with a 3.94 ERA

Browning was pitching coach for the Billings Mustangs in 2008 and 2009. He was originally slated to be the pitching coach of the Carolina Mudcats in 2009, but was replaced by Rigo Beltran after being arrested in Florida for failure to pay child support. He was pitching coach of the AZL Reds in 2010 and 2011 and Dayton Dragons in 2012. Browning was pitching coach of Billings again in 2013, the Bakersfield Blaze in 2014 and back at Dayton in 2015.

Tom was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2006. He is the co-author of Tom Browning's Tales From The Reds Dugout with Dann Stupp. He died suddenly at age 62 in 2022 when he was found not breathing and unresponsive in his home in Union, KY.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
2003 Florence Freedom Frontier League 27-61 12th Independent Leagues
2004 Florence Freedom Frontier League 13-33 -- Independent Leagues replaced by Pete Rose, Jr. on July 7

Further Reading[edit]

  • Tom Browning and Dann Stupp: Tom Browning's Tales from the Reds Dugout, Sports Publishing LLC, Champaign IL, 2006.
  • Bobby Nightengale (USA Today): "Mr. Perfect: Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning dies at 62", Yahoo! Sports, December 19, 2022. [2]
  • Mark Sheldon: "Browning, '90 WS champ who threw perfect game, dies at 62: Left-hander threw franchise's only perfect game in 1988 vs. the Dodgers",, December 19, 2022. [3]

Related Sites[edit]