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Don Rowe
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Don Rowe
Don Rowe
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 615 of 1043 players
Donald Howard Rowe
Born: April 3, 1936 at Brawley, Cal.
Died: October 15, 2005 at Newport Beach, Cal.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 6.00 Weight: 180

Don Rowe was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on March 25, 2009.


First Mets game: April 9, 1963
Last Mets game: July 18, 1963

Share your memories of Don Rowe


May 28, 2001
I remember him when I was a teenager. He had a brief career with the Mets in 1963. He was a lefthander he had the misfortune of pitching when the national league had a controversial balk rule in place and he committed many balks in one game and I don't think if he got many other chances to pitch after that. I always wondered how he would have done if it wasn't for that crazy balk rule in force for a brief period of time in 1963. I believe later in life he was a pitching coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Joe Figliola
August 13, 2002
I think it's incredible that a guy like Rowe could pitch in 26 games for a team that lost 111 games and not earn a decision, especially on the losing end. He also hit .231 with an RBI. Apart from the balks, he must have been doing something right!

Don's other claim to fame is his 1963 rookie card. He's pictured with a Ken Rowe. I'm not sure if they were related, but it's an interesting factoid to note.

I'm wondering if Don's 26 decisionless games in one season is a Mets record. Right now (2002), Armando Benitez is decisionless in 40-something appearances. Someone please tell Valentine to put Armando in a tie situation so he can either win or lose so that guys like Rowe can be remembered for trivial things like this.

David Mo
February 13, 2003
In my last visit to the Polo Grounds (July 14, 1963) I saw Don Rowe pitch a virtual "complete game" -- in relief. Galen Cisco started (vs. Houston Colt .45s), got shelled in the first without recording an out. Rowe came in and pitched 8 innings, allowing 3 runs on five hits. The 8-3 loss was mercifully cut short by rain. It was supposed to be a double-header, which may explain why Casey let him go all the way -- although such practice was not uncommon in those days of yore. That's why they called it l-o-n-g relief. Don Rowe also singled in the Mets first run that day -- the only RBI of his career.

July 13, 2004
As a young boy I use watch Don pitch for the Long Beach Rockets which was a pretty good semi-pro team in Long Beach, California. He was one of my favorite players. The only thing I can remember about his playing time with the Mets was that while warming up between innings one night at Dodger Stadium, he threw a pitch that hit half way up the backstop.

Bob P
March 1, 2006
Rowe's first major league appearance came on Opening Day of the 1963 season at the Polo Grounds against the Cardinals. Casey called on Rowe to relieve Roger Craig in the top of the sixth inning with the Mets down 5-0 and runners at the corners. The first batter Rowe faced in the major leagues was STAN MUSIAL!!

Well, as you or I might do in that situation, Rowe committed a balk. Bill White scored, and Kenny Boyer moved to second. Rowe then walked Musial before getting Carl Sawatski to ground out.

Don's final major league appearance came three months later, on July 18, 1963 against the Giants at the Polo Grounds. He relieved Al Jackson, who had come out of the game with the Mets leading 5-4 in the top of the eighth. Rowe faced one batter, left-hand hitting Giants catcher Ed Bailey. Bailey walked, and Rowe walked off a major league mound for the last time.

Jamey Bumbalo
November 24, 2006
Don Rowe did appear on a 1963 Topps rookie card, which is somewhat valuable because one of the other rookies on the card is Dave McNally.

Mets fan in Maine
January 6, 2008
Rowe spent only part of one season in the majors, but he pitched for 14 seasons in the minors, going 18-3 (but with a 4.15 ERA) in 1954, his debut. After his time with the Mets, he spent 1963-1967 with Buffalo and Portland, going 12-18. Rowe was a longtime sports coach at Golden West College in California, spending 25 years as the school's football defensive coordinator and also serving as the college's first tennis coach. One Internet source says he was also a pitching coach for the White Sox and Brewers.

December 23, 2009
I played with Don in Compton, CA. He was a hell of a first baseman. The Mets turned him into a pitcher.

Larry P.
December 6, 2010
I never had the privilege of meeting Don or watching him pitch. But I've met his wife and she has shared some great memories that she has of Don from high school to the bigs and back to coaching in college.

She shares it with a broad loving smile that just shows how proud of him she is.

Bob Kaiser
February 19, 2011
I met Don Rowe for the first time in Birmingham Alabama at a baseball convention. We both played in the Cleveland Indians organization at different times. He endorsed a product I invented called the FastArm. He was very intelligent with pitching mechanics. He claimed that the FastArm taught a player how to find the "Path of Least Resistance." Since his passing I have used that term many times in describing my product. I have redesigned the FastArm and it can be found at www.PitchUSA.com.

I am going to add his name to my web site in the Testimonial Section.

We met again in Baltimore after a game he coached in and had a beer. I am sorry to hear he is no longer with us. Sincerely, Bob Kaiser 1971 Indians

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