Ken Rowe, who played three seasons in the Major Leagues and worked in the Indians’ player development system for more than two decades, died on Thursday after a bout of pneumonia. He was 78.
A former middle reliever for the Dodgers and Orioles, Rowe spent the 2011 and ‘12 campaigns as an advisor working in Arizona with youngsters in the Indians’ organization.
“He embodied everything that we have always looked for in our staff members and our players,” said Ross Atkins, the Indians’ director of player development. “In the world of professional baseball, there are always things that come to mind with the sacrifices and passion and toughness it takes not only to compete at the highest level but also to be a leader.”
You can’t be short on any of those traits and Ken Rowe had them all. He was exceptionally bright, exceptionally passionate and exceptionally tough and was really willing to do whatever it took to help young professional baseball players.”
Rowe was a roving instructor with the Indians. He spent springs and summers traveling Cleveland’s minor league affiliates.
For three years, he was the pitching coach for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, instructing current Indians pitchers, Vinnie Pestano, Tony Sipp and Josh Tomlin.
Rowe made 26 career big league appearances from 1963-65, posting a 3.57 ERA in 451/3 innings. In all, Rowe coached for 35 years.