Robert "Bob" Alan Tewksbury (born November 30, 1960) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher and current sports psychology coach for the Boston Red Sox. He played professionally for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and the Minnesota Twins.
Tewksbury was born in Concord, New Hampshire and attended Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, New Hampshire. He played college baseball at Rutgers and Saint Leo University.
Tewksbury's talent was initially discovered by Andy Michael in Concord. Michael contacted the New York Yankees and Tewksbury was drafted by them out of Saint Leo University in the 19th round of the 1981 Major League Baseball draft. He played for the Yankees for two years, before being sent to the Chicago Cubs. As a free agent in 1988, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he would stay until 1994. Again a free agent, he went to the Texas Rangers for a year. In 1996, he signed with the San Diego Padres for one more year. In December 1996, he signed with the Minnesota Twins and played for two years with the team, but shoulder problems effectively ended his baseball career after that.
Due to the shoulder and arm problems he faced over the course of his playing career, Tewksbury became known as an excellent control pitcher. His best year was 1992, in which he went 16-5 on the season and had a 2.16 ERA in 233 innings pitched. He appeared in the All-Star game and was third in the Cy Young Award voting that year. His injury problems marred his success from that point forward, with his best post-Cardinals year being in San Diego, where he helped the Padres capture the NL West division title.
In 1992 Tewksbury walked only 20 batters in 233 innings, the best ratio in the major leagues in over half a century. The next season Tewksbury came very close to ending the season with more wins than bases on balls allowed, an elusive feat only accomplished 4 times by 3 different starting pitchers in MLB history. He had 17 wins with only 18 walks allowed late in the season but gave up a walk apiece in his last two starts and did not achieve a win in either game, ending the season with 17 wins on 20 walks.
In 1997, the ever-crafty Tewksbury threw an Eephus pitch, joining an elite few who have thrown the "junkiest pitch in baseball." He threw it to power-hitter Mark McGwire in an interleague play game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and McGwire grounded out on the pitch – twice. Tewksbury has been quoted as calling this pitch "The Dominator."
During and after his baseball career, he became well known for his philanthropy. He has done a lot of work for the Boys and Girls Club of America, as well as hospital visits for sick children. He was very popular among his fans and peers, his Texas manager saying, "He's a true professional on and off the field — and a pleasure to have in the clubhouse."
After retiring, he worked as a player development consultant for the Boston Red Sox and appeared as a commentator for Red Sox coverage on the New England Sports Network He earned his bachelor of science degree in physical education at St. Leo University in 2000 and earned his master's degree in psychology at Boston University in 2004.
He has been a sports psychology coach for the Red Sox since 2004. He is an Adjunct Professor of Sport Psychology & Exercise at NHTI, Concord's Community College. Tewksbury still lives in New Hampshire, continuing his charitable work.
He played himself in the movie The Scout.
Awards and honors
Tewksbury was inducted into the Saint Leo Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.