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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

John Pawlowski, Keep Working - 637

John Pawlowski was in a state of shock in late March 1988, The Chicago Tribune wrote. Sox GM Larry Himes, relaying the good news, wasn't even sure Pawlowski believed him.

Pawlowski soon believed it: Pawlowski had made the White Sox out of camp.

"I'm excited," Pawlowski told The Tribune. "Now I've got to keep working hard so I can stay here."

Pawlowski, described as a hard-throwing reliever, got into six games for the White Sox that April and May. Those came after the two outings Pawlowski had for Chicago the previous season.

They would be the only eight outings of his major league career.

Pawlowski's time with the White Sox began when he was taken in the sixth round of the 1985 draft, out of Clemson.

Pawlowski began that year at short-season Niagara Falls, going 9-3 with a 2.13 ERA. He made AA Birmingham in 1986, returning for 1987.

In 1987, Pawlowski got the September call-up, but The Tribune wrote that was delayed as Birmingham worked its way through the Southern League playoffs. When he arrived in Chicago, Pawlowski got into two games, and 3.2 innings, giving up two earned runs.

Making the club out of spring training, Pawlowski was part of a team of new faces. Pitcher Dave LaPoint used Pawlowski to illustrate that notion to The Tribune.

"I can see it now," LaPoint joked to The Tribune April 4. "Pawlowski is going to get introduced. In the first row of the box seats, you're going to see all these people feverishly looking through their programs trying to find out, 'Who's Pawlowski?' "

Even White Sox manager Jim Fregosi had to prove he knew Pawlowski's name, The Tribune recording the manager testing his memory of the reliever late in April.
"I want him to know I know who he is," Fregosi told The Tribune. "I'll get him in whenever I get a chance."
Pawlowski was sent back down in May, his major league season and major league career ending early.

Pawlowski spent much of the rest of the year back at Birmingham, also spending time at AAA Vancouver. Then it was 1989 and 1990 at Vancouver, 1990 his last year with the White Sox system.

Pawlowski signed on with the Angels system, then the Orioles system, his playing career ending in 1992.

Then it was back to Clemson, as a pitching coach under coach John Leggett. Pawlowski started in 1994, later facing his old school with his own head coaching job at the College of Charleston.

Pawlowski faced his old coach this past year in the regionals this past June.

"Coach Leggett gave me my first opportunity to get involved with college baseball, and I can't thank him enough for that opportunity," Pawlowski told The Associated Press. "I had five years that I worked for him. It was a great learning experience for me and helped springboard my career. I am certainly thankful for that."

Pawlowski and his Auburn Tigers would go on to lose to the coach's old school.

"It's obviously frustrating," Pawlowski told The Decatur Daily after the 13-7 loss. "Anytime your season ends it's always a disappointment."
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 248/880 - 28.2%
Players/Coaches Reviewed: 253
Made the Majors: 171 - 68%
Never Made the Majors: 82 - 32%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 76
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 75

1 comment:

  1. Pawlowski, I believe, is the only former major leaguer to graduate from my high school. He was two years ahead of me in school.