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Happy 68th Birthday, John Lowenstein

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For many of us Oriole fans, our most memorable moment of John Lowenstein's career was when he hit the game-winning, pinch-hit, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game One of the 1979 A.L.C.S. against the California Angels.

But John had a long, distinguished overall career, as well.

Sandwiched in between two lengthy tenures with the Cleveland Indians and the Baltimore Orioles, Lowenstein played one season for the Texas Rangers in 1978.

His best season offensively was in 1982, when he hit 24 HR's and 66 RBI's in only 384 plate appearances, to go along with a .315 batting average and .415 on-base percentage.

Lowenstein had some speed, too. He stole 36 bases for the Indians in 1974, the only season in which he started a full season (140 games, 574 plate appearances.)

Defensively, Lowenstein had 2 distinctions, 10 years apart.

In 1972, even though he only played in 68 games, he led the American League in double plays turned as a rightfielder (3.)

In 1982, he led the American League in fielding percentage for all outfielders (1.000).

In addition to playing in two World Series in 1979 and 1983, Lowenstein had 881 career hits, 116 career home runs, and stole 128 bases. Although he had a modest career batting average (.253), and on-base percentage (.337), he shined brightest when he played for the Orioles, where his batting average over 7 seasons between 1979 and 1985 was .274, and his OBP was .365.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lowenjo01.shtml

Wherever you are, I hope all is well with you, Johnny. :)

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Brother Low was not only one of my favorite players when I was a kid, but to this day is my favorite O's color guy on TV. It's rare that you get a true eccentric on a baseball broadcast, someone who regularly says stuff that makes you both laugh and think. Of course that couldn't last, not in a world of required amounts of cliches and toeing the company line.

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Brother Low was not only one of my favorite players when I was a kid, but to this day is my favorite O's color guy on TV. It's rare that you get a true eccentric on a baseball broadcast, someone who regularly says stuff that makes you both laugh and think. Of course that couldn't last, not in a world of required amounts of cliches and toeing the company line.

bal-john-lowenstein-20140327

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He hasn't quite disappeared off the map. I had the pleasure of meeting him at a '83 Orioles reunion show in Timonium in Sept '13.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT9kSSG4XwzGviWJZ7viIOqkRbABazXMIoY8jLu0BWhsfMGLwwV

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I'll have to do a YouTube search for this when not at work, but classic Lowenstein was the time he ran into the outfield wall chasing a long fly ball and appeared to have knocked himself unconscious. One of the few times I've ever seen a stretcher taken onto the field. He really seemed badly hurt. The trainer and other staff carried his limp body from deep RC to the dugout. And just as they were about to go down the steps he sat up on the stretcher and raised both arms over his head to a huge ovation. Edit: It appears he was actually hit by a thrown ball as a baserunner... but the rest is more-or-less right.

Edited by DrungoHazewood

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Brother Low was not only one of my favorite players when I was a kid, but to this day is my favorite O's color guy on TV. It's rare that you get a true eccentric on a baseball broadcast, someone who regularly says stuff that makes you both laugh and think. Of course that couldn't last, not in a world of required amounts of cliches and toeing the company line.
A classic moment was him howling like a werewolf when they showed a closeup of the moon. Then there was the time the giveaway seat cushions came flying from the upper deck and Brother Lo started it all
Seat Cushion Night. Every fan who came to the game at Memorial Stadium got a black and orange Orioles’ seat cushion. “Hold up your seat cushions,” instructed the P.A. announcer. “Let’s do some tricks like they do at the Rose Bowl.”

On camera, John and I held up our seat cushions and then John said, “Not only are these seat cushions, they also make great Frisbees.” He sailed his seat cushion out of our booth. When fans saw Brother Low, they started throwing their seat cushions. Soon, thousands of seat cushions rained down on the field, as the announcer said, “OK, that’s enough.”

The game was stopped. Both Orioles and A’s players helped the grounds crew pick up the seat cushions which littered the field. Seat Cushion Night was removed from future Orioles’ promotional schedules.

.source - Mel Proctor Edited by TonySoprano

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I'll have to do a YouTube search for this when not at work, but classic Lowenstein was the time he ran into the outfield wall chasing a long fly ball and appeared to have knocked himself unconscious. One of the few times I've ever seen a stretcher taken onto the field. He really seemed badly hurt. The trainer and other staff carried his limp body from deep RC to the dugout. And just as they were about to go down the steps he sat up on the stretcher and raised both arms over his head to a huge ovation. Edit: It appears he was actually hit by a thrown ball as a baserunner... but the rest is more-or-less right.

I was at that game as a youngster, sitting with my grandparents tucked way up underneath the lower reserve level on the first base side, so that the concrete of Memorial would block you from seeing the flight path of any ball hit higher than 20 feet. Everyone was on edge when the stretcher was carrying him off, and when he sat bolt up right and thrust up his hands, the place erupted.

The only Lowenstein quote I remember verbatim from his HTS announcing days was after a hitter broke two bats in the same plate appearance. Lowenstein deadpanned, "You know what they say, you just can't get a good piece of ash anymore." Proctor was quiet for a few second, unsure of what to say. I knew then he wasn't long for the broadcast booth, but I loved every minute of it.

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DrungoHazewood said:
I'll have to do a YouTube search for this when not at work, but classic Lowenstein was the time he ran into the outfield wall chasing a long fly ball and appeared to have knocked himself unconscious. One of the few times I've ever seen a stretcher taken onto the field. He really seemed badly hurt. The trainer and other staff carried his limp body from deep RC to the dugout. And just as they were about to go down the steps he sat up on the stretcher and raised both arms over his head to a huge ovation. Edit: It appears he was actually hit by a thrown ball as a baserunner... but the rest is more-or-less right.
InsideCoroner said:
I was at that game as a youngster, sitting with my grandparents tucked way up underneath the lower reserve level on the first base side, so that the concrete of Memorial would block you from seeing the flight path of any ball hit higher than 20 feet. Everyone was on edge when the stretcher was carrying him off, and when he sat bolt up right and thrust up his hands, the place erupted.

The only Lowenstein quote I remember verbatim from his HTS announcing days was after a hitter broke two bats in the same plate appearance. Lowenstein deadpanned, "You know what they say, you just can't get a good piece of ash anymore." Proctor was quiet for a few second, unsure of what to say. I knew then he wasn't long for the broadcast booth, but I loved every minute of it.

 

 

Here is an article on that incident.

It was on the final play of the game (the ball careening off of Lowenstein's head allowed teammate Al Bumbry to score the winning, walk-off run.)

Also, the Orioles were trailing by a score of 3-2 entering that 9th inning, and Lowenstien's RBI-single tied the game before his head-assist allowed Bumbry to score. So, Lowenstein had a hand in both the tying and the winning runs.

Lowenstein Uses Head to Ignite Victory

(By Herschel Nissenson)

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=HIlOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=p0wDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6718,1656652

Edited by OFFNY

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Brother Low and Mel Proctor were GOLD in the HTS booth. Remember the time in Spring Training when he yelled for the hot do vendor to bring him up some dogs to the booth?

I can't believe he's 68. Man time flies by.

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Here's that walk-off ALCS homer.

[video=youtube;Qqsv0AaIwwc]

I love seeing Earl run out to greet him at 3rd base on the home run trot. I remember in his interview about it in postgame Lowenstein said "I looked down and there was Earl!".

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