Earlier this afternoon the Boone County Sheriff’s Office announced that former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Tom Browning had passed away. Browning was 62-years-old.

On Monday afternoon the Boone County’s Sheriff Office responded to a call of a report of a man not breathing. After arriving they, along with EMS personnel, attempted life saving measures. Those efforts were not successful and Browning was pronounced deceases at 1:13pm. No foul play is suspected according the the press release from the sheriff’s office.

Tom Browning was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 9th round of the 1982 draft out of Tennessee Wesleyan University. He wouldn’t spend much time in the minor leagues, making his big league debut two years later in 1984 by making three appearances in September. The next season he would make the rotation out of spring training and he barely looked back.

Browning is known best for his perfect game that he threw in 1988. A game of mythical proportions after having an estimated 2.6 million people at it if we take the word of everyone who claims that they were there. The announced attendance for the game was only 16,591 and after a rain delay pushed the start of the game to 10:01pm ET there likely weren’t nearly that many people still there at the end.

On that fateful Friday night Browning dueled with future Cincinnati Red Tim Belcher all night. Browning picked up the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning when Barry Larkin doubled and then scored on a throwing error by Dodgers third baseman Jeff Hamilton. It would be the only run scored in the game as both pitchers completed the game. Browning would finish things out be remaining perfect, ending the game with a strikeout of Tracy Woodson and becoming the 12th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw a perfect game – earning the name Mr. Perfect along the way. There have been 11 more thrown since.

In 1990 Browning made three starts in the postseason as he helped the Reds to a World Series Championship. The next season he was named to the National League All-Star team – the only year he made an All-Star team. During his 12-year big league career he led the league in starts four times (1986, 1988, 1989, and 1990). He finished with 123 wins and a 3.94 ERA while throwing 1921.0 innings. In 2006 he joined the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame along with Lee May and Tom Seaver.

20 Responses

  1. Tar Heel Red

    R.I.P. Tom Browning…a Red’s legend and a wonderful ambassador of the game. You will be missed!

  2. JB

    Loved Tom Browning. He was one of those pitchers that you knew the Reds had a great chance to win the game. He always kept his team in the game. Proud to be a Reds fan because of Tom and others. Great man . May He rest in peace.

  3. Mark Moore

    So sad, so young. Great pitcher and a great guy. The perfect game and sneaking across the street at Wrigley are the stuff of legends.

    • earmbrister

      Thoughts are with his family, way too young. I loved watching him pitch, but I loved the rooftop visit in Chicago perhaps more than the perfect game.

  4. Pablo

    RIP Tom, you’ll always have a special place in the hearts of Reds fans.

  5. Rut

    Very sad to hear this, hope he (and his wife who recently passed) can rest in peace. He will always be one of my childhood favorites, no matter how old I get will make me smile at the memories

  6. MK

    Got to know Tom pretty well when he was coaching in Dayton. He was good to my wife. In Arizona there was a field on the Indians side that did not have access to the public. My wife wanted to get in to see one of the kids who lived with us pitch. Tom came walking up at that time and told the guard “she is with me” and got her into the area. I believe he had a lot to do with the success of Tyler Mahle and TerJay Antonne as they just seemed to click.

  7. Oldtimer

    Very sad news. Not many rookie pitchers win 20 games but Browning did (I think).

  8. Andy

    My favorite Red when I was a 15 in 1990. I am left handed and used to try to emulate his quick smooth motion with the neighborhood kids. He had much more success with this motion then I ever did.

    Consummate gamer and absolute bulldog.

    Wife got me his autobiography a couple of years back, great read.

    Rip Tom gone too soon

  9. Colorado Red

    Condolences to family and friends,
    Way to young

  10. SOQ

    One of my all time favorite Reds. Tom provided us with so many colorful stories. Sad to hear of his passing at such a young age.

  11. Redsvol

    RIP Tom. Way too young. I got a kick out of the story where he went to the bleachers at Wrigley field to hang out with Cubs fans during a game. Davey Johnson fined him 500$. He was a character. That 1990 team was full of them.

  12. Old-school

    Thanks Tom. RIP. Part of some great teams and great moments and a great sense of humor but mostly a Great Red.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    Very sad news, and he was much too young. I have very fond memories of Browining from my youth and recall his perfect game, though I wasn’t able to stay up and watch it, I remember reading about it in the paper and seeing the highlights eventually.
    RIP

  14. Melvin

    That man knew how to actually “pitch”. Great control.

  15. CFD3000

    Sad news. My condolences to his family and all who knew him.

    One of my fondest memories was that perfect game. I was living in Waltham, Massachusetts, and could only listen to Reds games on WLW well after dark when the signal carried all the way to Boston. So with the rain delay it was a rare chance to hear the start of a game instead of just the last few innings. I hadn’t planned to listen to the whole thing – kept telling myself I’d go to bed whenever Browning allowed the first hit. Heard all 27 outs and probably woke the neighbors cheering for a late season, non-Red Sox game. A great pitcher and a fine man – we’ll miss you Mr. Browning!

  16. Eric the Red

    That’s very sad. RIP. It was a joy to watch him pitch, and I’ve never heard a bad story about him.

  17. AMDG

    “both pitchers completed the game”

    Wow, I must be old. I remember when that was actually a common occurrence 🙂

  18. Michael B. Green

    Tom making it to the bigs from Casper, Wyoming is an incredible story. Finding out the team needed him to return to the game while his wife was having a baby was classic too. Heartfelt condolences to the Browning family.

    Would love to hear comments from teammates…