Bobby Sprowl - P

Bobby Sprowl Robert John Sprowl was a left handed pitcher orignally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 2nd round (39th overall) out of the University of Alabama in the 1977 Amateur Entry Draft held on June 7, 1977.

A star pitcher in college, Bobby Sprowl led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with 115 strikeouts in 92 innings pitched in 1977 and had a bright future ahead of him.

For the 1978 season, Sprowl took to the mound at Muzzy Field and quickly rose throuh the ranks, eventually getting moved up from Brisol to Pawtucket midway through the season.

A strong prospect in the Red Sox system, against the wishes of Pawtucket manage Joe Morgan, who didn't think he was ready, Boston manager Don Zimmer called Sprowl up to start for the Red Sox on September 5, 1978 in a game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Though the Red Sox would lose the game, 4-1, Sprowl pitched well in his debut, throwing six shutout innings before faltering in the 7th and into the 8th.

His second major league start would, unjustly, be the game Bobby Sprowl is still remembered for.

On September 10, at Fenway Park, against the Yankess in the fourth game of a four-game series (in which Boston had lost the previous 3 games by large margins), Zimmer opted to turn the ball over to Sprowl, bypassing noted "Yankee Killer" and fan favorite Bill "Spaceman" Lee in the rotation.

Zimmer defended this move by saying that the 22-year old Sprowl had "ice water in his veins."

Sprowl, thrown into the fire, didn't even make it out of the first inning that day.

He walked New York's leadoff man, Mickey Rivers, who then stole second. Willie Randolph walked. Then Thurman Munson grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but moved Rivers into scoring position on third base.

Reggie Jackson, batting fourth, then singled to center, scoring Rivers. Sprowl then walked Lou Pinella and then walked Chris Chamblis before he was pulled.

The Red Sox would eventually lose the game 7-4, and the four game sweep would go down in history as the "Boston Massacre".

Bobby Sprowl would make one more start for the Boston Red Sox on September 18 against Detroit earning a no-decision in a 5-4 Boston victory, but the damage had been done.

Sprowl unfairly became the scapegoat (of Bill Buckner-like proportion) of yet another late season Red Sox collapse.

In June of 1979, Sprowl was traded to the Houston Astros along with Pete Ladd for Bob Watson.

As of April 2008, Bobby Sprowl is the head coach of the Shelton State Community College baseball team in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Bristol Red Sox Stats
Year Team IP W L ERA SO BB
1978 Bristol
Statistics Not Available

New Britain Rock Cats
Eastern League AA Affiliate of the Minnesota Twins
Connecticut Defenders
Eastern League AA Affiliate of the
San Francisco Giants
Bridgeport Bluefish
1999 Champions of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball
Hartford Wolf Pack
American Hockey League Affiliate of the New York Rangers
Bridgeport Sound Tigers
American Hockey League Affiliate of the New York Islanders
Connecticut Sun
2005 Eastern Conference Champions of the WNBA
Univ. of Connecticut Huskies
University of Connecticut Athletics