"Then he asked me to be his bench coach. I said, "I was all in." It's ironic that I started with the Phillies and, hopefully, the last game I play or game will be with the Phillies," Bowa said.
The irony is in Sandberg giving Bowa a job after he tried to take one from him in late 1981 as a rookie September call up with the Phillies.
The two have known each other for 35 years. Sandberg got his first big league hit with a bat he borrowed from Bowa. He still has it.
The two were then sent to Chicago in the same trade where the veteran Bowa took the kid under his wing. And now their relationship has come full circle.
"He was my number one phone call when I got the job and when I was putting the staff together. I don't know that I got three words out – 'Are you interested...' [He said,] 'yes,'" Sandberg said.
Sandberg added, "To have him by my side throughout nine innings of baseball in a full season, I'm pumped for that."
And Bowa is pumped to have another chance to win with the team he played for, and managed, and hopes to retire with. He said he likes this lineup, doesn't think the team is too old, and as long as they stay healthy, thinks they might surprise some people.
"I like the fact that nobody is taking this team serious, but if you look at the pedigree, there're a lot of guys on that team that know how to win and it's a matter of keeping them healthy. If we can do that, we can have some fun," Bowa said.