Tom Browning, Local Legion Star and Perfect Game Pitcher for the Reds, Found Dead
Tom Browning, a durable pitcher in the 1980s who played for Pete Rose's Cincinnati Reds, has died at the age of 62. The left handed work-horse pitched eleven seasons with the Reds, but before that he played American Legion Baseball in the Utica area.
Browning, who was from Casper, Wyoming moved to Upstate New York when his father took a job here while he was still in high school. Browning went to school at Franklin Academy in Malone, which opened the door for him to play American Legion Baseball for Clonan Post 1000 in Chadwicks. Playing Legion ball in the region, often times put him up against two other up-and-coming baseball prospects, Andy Van Slyke of New Hartford, and pitcher James Deshaies of Massena. Both DeShaies and Browning went on to play for LeMoyne College in Syracuse, which was Division I at the time, and then on into the majors in 1984.
Browning, a one-time all-star, helped the Reds win a World Series Championship in 1990. He's the only Cincinnati pitcher to throw a perfect game, retiring 27 batters in 1988 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, a game the Reds won 1-0. Browning is one of only 27 pitchers in MLB history to have thrown a perfect game. Three months earlier, he took a no-hitter into the 9th inning, and then gave up a one out single to Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in San Diego.
Browning was found unconscious on Monday afternoon inside his Kentucky home. Authorities say there was no foul play, and no cause of death listed.
He retired from baseball in 1995 after pitching part of one season with the Kansas City Royals. Over 12 seasons, he was 123-90 with a lifetime ERA of 3.94 over 302 games.
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