Hank Borowy

Henry Ludwig "Hank" Borowy (May 12, 1916 – August 23, 2004) was a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1942 through 1951, Borowy played for the New York Yankees (1942–45), Chicago Cubs (1945–48), Philadelphia Phillies (1949–50), Pittsburgh Pirates (1950) and Detroit Tigers (1950–51). He batted and threw right-handed. Born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, Borowy graduated from Bloomfield High School and Fordham University. He pitched in six World Series games and posted a 108–82 record with 690 strikeouts and a 3.50 earned run average (ERA) in 1717 innings pitched.

Borowy debuted on April 18, 1942 with the Yankees, finishing with a 15–4 record, 85 strikeouts and a 2.82 ERA. He started Game 4 of the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals and did not receive a decision.

In 1943 Borowy went 14–9 with 107 strikeouts and a 2.82 ERA and won Game 3 of the World Series against St. Louis. Named an All-Star in 1944, he pitched three scoreless innings in the game, ending the season with a 17–12 record, 107 strikeouts and a 2.64 ERA.

In 1945 Borowy posted a 10–5 record with the Yankees in the first half of the season. The 1945 All Star game was cancelled due to wartime travel restrictions, but Borowy was selected a "virtual" All Star in an unofficial poll of managers conducted by the Associated Press. At the All Star break he was placed on waivers by the Yankees, and eventually sold to the Cubs for $100,000. Borowy went 11–2 for the remainder of the season, including three wins over the Cardinals down the stretch, and led the National League in winning percentage (.846) and ERA (2.14), as the Cubs won the pennant. His combined 1945 Yankees/Cubs record was 21–7 with 82 strikeouts and a 2.65 ERA. Borowy is one of two pitchers in major league history to win at least 10 games for two different teams in the same season (the other is Bartolo Colón, with the Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos, in 2002).

On October 3, 1945, the Detroit Tigers and Cubs met in the World Series for the fourth time. In the opener Borowy pitched a six-hit, 9–0 shutout. He lost the fifth game, and then came back to win the sixth with four scoreless relief innings. Borowy started the final game on one day's rest but gave up hits to the first three batters before leaving. He took the loss and the Tigers won the Series. As of 2013, Borowy is the last Chicago Cubs pitcher to win a World Series game. He is also the fourth and last pitcher to hit two doubles in the same inning, on May 5, 1946. The previous three pitchers were Fred Goldsmith, Joe Wood, and Ted Lyons.

For the remainder of his career, Borowy was plagued by finger blisters and a chronic sore shoulder. He pitched his final game on September 14, 1951.

Borowy grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey and was a longtime resident of Brick Township, New Jersey, where he died at age of 88.

By Dean Hanley

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