"I've always been a starter," Bowden told The Eagle. "But the Phillies wanted to see what I could do as a reliever. They thought I could get to the big leagues quicker in the bullpen."
He came back with the Phillies after a brief initial stint in the Reds system. He went on to play in nine professional seasons, but he never saw the majors, whether as a starter or as a reliever.
Bowden's career began in 1980, taken by the Reds in the first round of the January draft out of San Jacinto College in Texas.
At San Jacinto, Bowden went 17-1 with a 1.19 ERA over two seasons. He signed with the Reds in May 1980.
Bowden started at rookie Billings. He went 8-3, with a 3.38 ERA in 13 outings, 12 starts. He moved to single-A Cedar Rapids in 1981, getting 10 outings, three starts.
From 1982 to 1984, Bowden got into only three games, playing them at short-season Eugene in 1983.
He then returned to the pros for 1985 with the Phillies at high-A Peninsula and AA Reading. In 35 outings, four starts, Bowden had a 4.24 ERA.
Bowden made AAA Portland in 1986, getting into 39 outings, seven starts. He had a 4.48 ERA. He returned to AAA with the Phillies in 1987.
In spring 1988, Bowden got time with the Orioles. He played the rest of the year at AAA Rochester, going 9-5, with a 3.38 ERA.
He got into just four games in 1989, then returned for 1990 and played between AAA Iowa with the Cubs and AA Canton-Akron with the Indians. It was his final season as as pro.
- Reading Eagle, Aug. 24, 1985: Bowden finds the mark as R-Phillies defeat Pittsfield
Made the Majors: 881 - 45.7%
Never Made Majors: 1,048-54.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 376
10+ Seasons in the Minors:218