Born in Detroit, made in Ypsilanti.
When 10-year Major League Baseball veteran and E-Club Hall of Fame inductee Bob Owchinko was a young child growing up in Detroit, he never dreamed of the life he would end up leading.
A story synonymous with so many at Eastern Michigan University, Owchinko persevered, and it paid off. After years of making due and outworking others, he was offered a scholarship to play baseball for EMU in 1973. Owchinko considered it the chance of a lifetime.
For the kid from Detroit, just playing on a well-maintained field with “an actual pitching mound and good coaching,” was more than he had ever hoped for.
Fast forward through four years and Owchinko had turned his chance into one of the best success stories in EMU history; An All-American with a 29-9 overall win-loss record, 2.15 ERA, and a school-record 309 strikeouts, and 305 innings pitched to go along with consecutive NCAA College World Series appearances.
Still the humble kid from Detroit, Owchinko, even after his collegiate success, did not know what would come next. He was taken in the first round, fifth overall, of the 1976 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Diego Padres, and was named the National League Rookie Pitcher of the Year in 1977. From there, he embarked on a 10-plus year stint in “the biggs,” before moving into a career in business.
Now, Owchinko is focused on giving back to his alma mater.
“I was able to turn into a professional baseball player because of the exposure and experience I had at EMU, and it is all the reason in the world I want to give back,” said Owchinko. Technology was never an option throughout my MLB career, and the purpose of this fund is to help Eastern stay ahead of the curve.”
The Bob Owchinko Baseball Technology Endowment and the Bob Owchinko Baseball Technology Expendable Funds, which will provide both long-term and immediate investment into Eastern Michigan University’s storied varsity baseball program, aim to foster a baseball culture at Eastern Michigan that:
- Continually attracts top prospects.
- Returns to its status as a perennial championship contender in both the Mid-American Conference and beyond.
- Establishes Eastern Michigan as a premiere destination for prospective student-athletes who wish to advance to the professional level following a collegiate career.
Please consider joining Bob Owchinko in supporting the EMU baseball program through these funds.