Browning, '90 WS champ who threw perfect game, dies at 62

Left-hander threw franchise's only perfect game in 1988 vs. the Dodgers

December 19th, 2022

CINCINNATI -- Former Reds great Tom Browning, who was a member of the 1990 World Series title-winning club and the only pitcher to throw a perfect game in franchise history, died on Monday.

Browning, who was 62 years old, was found not breathing and unresponsive at his home in Union, Ky., according to the Boone County Sheriff's Office. Resuscitation efforts were not successful, and he was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:13 p.m. ET. No foul play was suspected in connection with his death.

A Cincinnati pitcher from 1984-94, Browning was 123-88 with a 3.92 ERA in 300 games (298 starts) for the club. As a rookie in '85, the left-hander was 20-9 with a 3.55 ERA in 38 starts and 261 1/3 innings pitched, but he finished second in NL Rookie of the Year voting to Cardinals outfielder Vince Coleman.

The crowning moment of Browning’s career came on Sept. 16, 1988, when he threw a perfect game for a 1-0 victory over the Dodgers. He also led the NL in starts four times.

During the 1990 World Series sweep of the A's, Browning pitched six innings in Game 3 at Oakland and earned the 8-3 victory. 

Considered one of the game's fun-loving characters while playing, Browning once snuck out of the ballpark during a 1993 game vs. the Cubs at Wrigley Field and was spotted watching from one of the rooftops across the street.

Browning suffered a fractured humerus bone in his left arm while pitching for the Reds at San Diego on May 9, 1994, and he missed the rest of the strike-shortened season. He attempted a comeback in 1995 with the Royals but was forced into retirement after only two starts.

Elected to the Reds Hall of Fame in 2006, Browning at times held various jobs as a pitching coach or instructor in the organization's Minor League system.

"RIP my friend Mr. Perfect Tom Browning," Hall of Fame shortstop and former teammate Barry Larkin wrote on Twitter. "We share some great times as well as the same birth date 4/28. You will be missed."