Remembering the 1963 Championship Season with Ports Alum Joe Rowden

Each week we have the opportunity to recollect the success of the 1963 season with the members of the 1963 Ports Championship team. Read as they share their thoughts on the magical season, their favorite stories and to catch-up on what on what they have been up to 50 years later. In this edition of Docking with the Ports, we sit down with Joe Rowden.


Name: Joe Rowden

Position: Pitcher

Birthplace: Iberia, MO

Date of birth: November 27, 1942

High school: Iberia R-V

College: B.S. in Business Administration, Accounting from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO

The Ports

  • What is your favorite memory from your time on the Ports in 1963?
    • Meeting the people of the Stockton community, the Ports players, and administrators.
  • What accomplishments from your days with the Ports are you most proud of?
    • Winning a game in relief versus the Santa Barbara Dodgers.
  • What favorite memory do you have about your 1963 teammates?
    • The uniqueness and talent they possessed.
  • Who was the most memorable character from your 1963 Ports team?
    • Paul Blair or Dick Hickerson.
    Rowden and Friend

    With his teammate Dick Hickerson.


  • What was your favorite ballpark in the Cal League to play in?
    • Billy Hebert Field.
  • Who was the toughest opponent you faced?
    • Wes Parker from the Santa Barbara Dodgers.
  • What was Stockton like when you were with the Ports in 1963?
    • A college town, University of the Pacific.
  • What was the best part about winning the 1963 California League Championship Title?
    • The sense of accomplishment for the Stockton community and for the Ports players.

Since then…

  • Where do you currently reside?
    • Dixon, MO.
  • What major league team do you currently follow?
    • St. Louis, Kansas City, and the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Spouse/children/grandkids
    • Spouse: Brenda, married 35 years.
    • Children: Matt, Monte, Jada, Travis, and Troy.
    • Grandkids: 10
  • Do you keep in touch with any of your 1963 teammates? If so, whom?
    • No, but I think about my teammates.
  • What are you doing now after baseball?
    • Worked and retired from the Missouri Department of Transportation. I have a beef cattle farm, which I operate. The farm is a good retreat for me.
  • What has been your biggest success in your career following your time with Stockton?
    • Being a dad.
  • If you could give any piece of advice to current Ports players, what would it be?
    • Work hard, stay focused, and listen to managers and coaches.

1 Comment

Enjoyed this as it reminded me of my year as business manager of the Ports, 1959. Our manager was Billy Demars and three of our players were Pat Gillick, Bo Belinsky and Pete Ward. Our radio announcer, Bob McVay, and I would player pepper late each afternoon.

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