Phillies Coach Billy DeMars Makes Hall of Fame Case For Fellow Shortstop Larry Bowa

Posted July 8th, 2010 by Tom Owens and filed in Billy DeMars, Joe DiMaggio, Larry Bowa, Paul Owens, Pete Rose

Billy DeMars was a marvel. A talented batting coach long before the advent of videotape and other technological boosts, DeMars had a fan in Pete Rose. They worked together in Philadelphia, Montreal and Cincinnati. DeMars wrote:

“Pete would have been a very good manager. All he needed was more experience.”


DeMars began his 13-year association with the Phillies at the 1968 World Series. He recalled:

“I was at the World Series in Detroit in 1968 and ran into Paul Owens and John Quinn from the Phillies. As I was leaving, I told Paul Owens who I knew that if they ever needed a good person to let me know. A month later, they called and offered me a coaching job. I spent 13 yrs with the Phillies, 3 with Montreal Expos and 3 with Cin Reds.”


During his service with the Phillies, DeMars remembers one crowning glory named Larry Bowa:

“I was very pleased at what I did for Larry Bowa. He only hit one year left-handed in the minors before coming up to the Phillies. He was a very poor hitter and not much power. But we worked hard almost 365 days a year and it turned out he hit about .265 lifetime. Had 2,191 hits, 25 less than Joe DiMaggio. that’s more hits than 6 shortstops in the Hall of Fame, and he had one of the highest fielding averages lifetime of any shortstop that played the game.”

How does DeMars sum up his half century-plus in baseball?

“Baseball was my lifetime, 58 years. Every job has its ups and downs, but I still can’t see me doing anything else. It was a great ride.”

5 Responses to “Phillies Coach Billy DeMars Makes Hall of Fame Case For Fellow Shortstop Larry Bowa”

  1. Tony says:

    You could also make a case for Tony Fernandez for the Hall of Fame. He had 2276 hits, .288 lifetime average(higher than Ozzie), 5 All Star teams, 4 Gold Gloves, and more homeruns than Ozzie Smith. Fernandez was at least equal to Smith in the American League, he just didn’t do backflips. You could say I’m biased and a little bitter because I grew up in Toronto…

  2. ND says:

    I spoke with DeMars on the phone and he had similar praise for Bowa.

  3. Tom Owens says:

    So true, Tony! I think having famous local media types advocate for you gets you into the express lane to Cooperstown. Maybe, fans will have to step in on Tony’s behalf?

  4. Tom Owens says:

    I’m glad you added that, ND. Billy’s constant efforts have to gain notice of some baseball boosters. Imagine Bobby Doerr’s chance at the HOF without Ted Williams in his corner…

  5. Tony says:

    Well, it would have to go to the Veteran’s Comittee now, Fernandez didn’t get enough votes in his first year to be carried over.

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