John Lowenstein
1973 Cleveland Indians Postcards John Lowenstein.jpg
Born: (1947-01-27) January 27, 1947 (age 75)
Wolf Point, Montana
Batted: Left
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 2, 1970, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
May 4, 1985, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
Batting average.253
Home runs116
Runs batted in441
Career highlights and awards

John Lee Lowenstein (born January 27, 1947) is an American former professional baseball outfielder and designated hitter, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles. He attended the University of California, Riverside, where he played college baseball for the Highlanders from 1966–1968.[1]

Playing career

Lowenstein was born in Wolf Point, Montana. He is known for being part of a left-field platoon during the late 1970s and early 1980s with Gary Roenicke for the Baltimore Orioles.[2][3] He had been claimed off waivers by the Orioles from the Rangers on November 27, 1978.[4]

Lowenstein hit an extra inning walk-off home run for the Baltimore Orioles to win Game 1 of the 1979 American League playoffs against the California Angels.[5] He also made a spectacular, off-the-wall catch to rob the Phillies' Bo Diaz of a home-run in Game One of the 1983 World Series[6] and hit a home run for the Orioles in Game 2.[2] Lowenstein and the Orioles won the World Series that year, four games to one.

Although he never played in a major league game for them, Lowenstein was briefly a member of the expansion Toronto Blue Jays between the 1976 and 1977 seasons. He was traded by the Indians to the Blue Jays for designated hitter Rico Carty, and reacquired in the same off-season for utility infielder Héctor Torres.

While with the Indians in 1974, he started the John Lowenstein Apathy Club as opposed to having a fan club. He explained, "The people who start fan clubs do it for a publicity gimmick, and I don't care for it. I've turned down about a half dozen fan clubs already. They're a big hassle."[7]

In 1980, after being hit in the back of the neck on the basepaths with a thrown ball, Lowenstein was taken off the field on a stretcher. As he reached the dugout, he abruptly sat up, and pumped his fists to the crowd.[8]


Lowenstein was an announcer for Oriole television broadcasts on Home Team Sports for eleven seasons, working as an analyst with Mel Proctor. After he was told before the 1996 season he would not be retained, Lowenstein speculated the Orioles put pressure on Home Team Sports to remove him from the booth.[9]

In 1986, Lowenstein served as a backup color commentator (behind Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek) on NBC's Game of the Week broadcasts alongside play-by-play man Ted Robinson; Lowenstein and Robinson called the May 17 game between Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox.


  1. ^ "University of California, Riverside Baseball Players Who Made it to the Major Leagues". Archived from the original on 12 July 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b Cronin, Don (13 October 1983). "Lowenstein Gets His Turn". Mid Cities Daily News. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  3. ^ Wulf, Steve (12 July 1982). "It's The Right Idea For Left". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  4. ^ Baltimore Orioles 25th Anniversary: 1979 Information Guide (Lowenstein's profile on pages 96–97). Retrieved October 23, 2020
  5. ^ Loomis, Tom (3 October 1979). "Lowenstein Latest Hero For Baltimore ". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  6. ^ "1983 WS Gm1: Lowenstein robs Diaz of a home run" – via
  7. ^ Peterson, Harold. "People," Sports Illustrated, June 24, 1974. Retrieved October 23, 2020
  8. ^ Nissenson, Herschel (20 June 1980). "Lowenstein Uses Head To Ignite Victory ". The Prescott Courier. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  9. ^ Kent, Milton (22 January 1996). "Lowenstein: Maybe criticism of O's led to 'inexplicable' firing". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2 April 2011.