Tom Browning Obituary, Death – Former Reds player Tom Browning’s body was found at a house in Boone County. Thomas Leo Browning, an American pitcher, played in the highest leagues of baseball. Over the course of a 12-year career, he pitched in Major League Baseball for the Cincinnati Reds (1984–1994) and Kansas City Royals (1995). He also contributed to Tom Browning’s book Tales from the Reds Dugout. On September 16, 1988, Browning threw the twelfth perfect game in baseball history during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He and the Reds won the World Series in 1990 as well. In the ninth round of the Tennessee June 1982 draft in Athens, the Cincinnati Reds picked Tennessee Wesleyan College’s Browning. After developing his screwball in the Fall Instruction League, he pitched for Class-A Tampa in 1983, compiling an 8-1 record, 101 strikeouts in 78+2/3 innings, and a 0.50 ERA. He was the greatest pitcher in the Pioneer League that season in terms of strikeouts and innings pitched. He pitched 117+3 innings and struck out 101 batters before eventually being promoted to Class-AA Waterbury in the midst of the season.
At the start of the 1984 season, Browning had a 12-10 record with Class-AAA Wichita and a league-high 160 strikeouts. On July 31 of that year, he defeated Iowa in a seven-inning no-hitter, earning him a September call-up to play for Pete Rose’s Cincinnati Reds. To defeat Orel Hershiser and the Los Angeles Dodgers in his debut start in a major league game, Browning pitched 8 and a third innings while only surrendering one run. He was able to keep his job on the major league team the next season with a 1-0 record and a 1.54 ERA.
In his first season with the Reds, Browning posted a 20-9 record and a 3.55 ERA, becoming the first rookie to win 20 games since Bob Grim of the Yankees in 1954. After concluding the season with 11 straight victories, the longest winning streak by a Cincinnati pitcher in thirty years, Browning was named The Sporting News’ National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year. He received the second-most votes to earn National League Rookie of the Year (behind Vince Coleman). Browning did not shave in between races due to superstition. As a result, he frequently featured in pictures sporting a four-day mustache.
He also wore red underwear on days when he pitched. Browning went on to amass double-digit win totals for seven straight seasons in addition to frequently placing among the league leaders in starts, innings pitched, and shutouts. He teamed up with 23-game winner Danny Jackson in 1988, one of his best seasons, and finished 18-5 with a 3.41 ERA. Despite having a 27-26 record between 1991 and 1993 due to injuries, Browning was chosen for the 1991 All-Star team owing to a 10-4 start to the year.
He pulled off one of baseball’s most infamous practical jokes two years later, on July 7, 1993, when he sneaked out of Wrigley Field during a Reds-Cubs game while dressed in full costume and spent a half-inning with fans on the rooftop of 3643 North Sheffield Avenue. For the joke, Reds manager Davey Johnson fined Browning $500. Browning’s 1994 campaign got off to a strong start. On May 9, 1994, San Diego starter Browning struck Archi Cianfrocco with a pitch, breaking his arm. Everyone present at the time could see Browning’s arm separate from his shoulder and hear a “pop!” sound at the same time, making it a terrible injury.
The severe injury forced him to miss the entire season. He threw in two big league games with the Kansas City Royals in 1995 in an effort to get better. But in the end he chose to drop the campaign and concentrate on getting his arm better. He returned to the Royals’ training camp in 1996, but he left before the season began. Browning declared his retirement with a 123-90 record, a 3.94 ERA, and 31 complete games. He was the 12th best player in Cincinnati history overall with 123 victories while playing for the Reds.