In 1956 Samuel Edward Bowens was All State as a senior at Williston High School in Wilmington, NC. He was a standout athlete in football as a quarterback and linebacker, in basketball as a center and in baseball as a shortstop.
Sam Bowens enrolled in Tennessee State University in 1956. He played quarterback on the football team. Sam was a member of the Tennessee State University Basketball Dynasty…the NAIA Champs for 1957, 1958 and 1959. He was on the baseball team from 1956-1959 as an outfielder. Sam was inducted into the Tennessee State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 for “his contributions and athletic performances.”
From 1950-1964 Sam had a respectful minor league baseball career playing in a number of cities, averaging around .274 during his 4 years. In 1963 he was elected to the International League All Star AAA team representing the Rochester Red Wings. His 1964 Topps Baseball card #201 highlighted his promising and productive minor league career.
In 1964 Sam began his professional baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles. In his first year he was at the Rookie of the Year recognition level. In 139 games he had 501 bats with 132 hits, 25 doubles, 22 home runs, including 71 runs batted in. in 1966 Bowens made a memorable play which was recognized by the Baseball Digest magazine for consideration as “Play of the Year.” In 1966 the Baltimore Orioles won the American League Pennant and they were the e played for World Series Champs. He played for the Washington Senators at the end of his career and then retired from baseball in 1969. Even after his
retirement from baseball, he continued friendships with form teammates. His former teammate, Fred Valentine from the Washington Senators said, “Sam was naturally athletic as a good hitter, good fielder and great teammate. He was devoted to sports, especially his love for baseball.”
Mr. Bowens passed away on March 26, 2003.