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Monday, October 7, 2013

Rich Rowland started logging, then turned to baseball, bigs

Rich Rowland 1990 London Tigers card
Rich Rowland grew up in Northern California, putting his talents to work in the logging industry, he told The Toledo Blade in 1992.

Soon, though, he turned those talents to another industry, baseball, according to The Blade.

"I only played baseball on Sundays during the summers," Rowland told The Blade of his youth. "Then somebody told me I had baseball ability and I should pursue it."

Rowland pursued it, and took it all the way to the major leagues. And the catcher eventually saw time in six big league campaigns with the Tigers and the Red Sox.

Rowland's career began in 1988, taken by the Tigers in the 17th round out of Mendocino College.

With the Tigers, Rowland started at rookie Bristol, moving to single-A Fayetteville for 1989 and then AA London and AAA Toledo for 1990.

That September in 1990, Rowland also made it to Detroit, getting into seven games and going 3 for 19. He returned to Detroit for four games in 1991 and six in 1992. He played the rest of those seasons back at Toledo.

In August 1992, at Toledo, Rowland caught fellow Mud Hen Buddy Groom, watching him have a poor outing. Rowland's observations were that Groom didn't have command of his pitches, he told The Blade.

"He needs to concentrate on his changeup and curveball and get those over, and keep it down," Rowland told The Blade of Groom. "A couple of adjustments, and I think he'll be fine."

For 1993, Rowland picked up 21 games played for the Tigers. He then saw the most time he'd see in a season in his career in 1994, after being traded to the Red Sox. With Boston, Rowland got into 46 games in 1994, then 14 in 1995, ending his major league career.

Rowland has since gone on to see another Rowland turn pro, his son, Robby Rowland. Robby Rowland has spent four seasons as a pro, including 2013 at high-A Bradenton. In 2010, before the draft, Robby Rowland told The Santa Rosa Press Democrat the impact his father had on his life.

"Have fun. Enjoy yourself," the son told The Press Democrat of his approach to a high-stakes, pre-draft workout. "Like my dad always tells me, 'Act like you have been there.' My dad is the most influential person in my life. Everyday I learn something else from him."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,315
Made the Majors: 714 - 54.3%-X
Never Made Majors: 601-45.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 310-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 182

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