“How’m I doin’, Edna?” asked Rowe of his wife during a 1934 radio interview. He was ribbed unmercifully for the ingenuous question, but Edna and everyone else had to admit he was doing very well. Schoolboy, a name he picked up as a teenaged sandlotter, was one of the top AL righthanders of the Depression years. In his career year, the rugged, broad-shouldered Arkansan compiled a 24-8 mark to lead the Tigers to the ’34 pennant. Sixteen of his wins were consecutive to tie the AL record. He followed with two 19-win seasons before chronic arm trouble forced him temporarily back to the minors. He bounced back to lead the AL in winning percentage in 1940 with a 16-3 record, as the Tigers won another pennant.
Waived to the NL in 1942, Rowe pitched briefly for the Dodgers before embarking on a productive five-year stint with the Phillies. A career .263 hitter, he was often used as a pinch hitter, and led the NL in pinch hits and appearances in 1943, going 15-for-49.