|WILL THE REAL TOM BROWNING STAND UP?FLAG SPRINGS CHAMP NOT THE FORMER RED
BY MARC HARDIN, POST CONTRIBUTOR
There was the unexpected phone call one day several years ago from PGA pro Roger Maltbie. Newspaper reporters have called his residence seeking quotes on things he didn’t even know about. There have been many, many autograph requests.
They all want a piece of Tom Browning.
The other Tom Browning.
“Everybody thinks I’m the guy who pitched for the Reds,” Browning says. “But I’m a lot older than the real Tom Browning.”
The other Tom Browning, age 63, has a few things in common with the 47-year-old former Reds pitcher, who is one of just 17 Major League Baseball players and the only Red to pitch a perfect game.
Both men are left-handed.
The other Tom Browning says that being left-handed fueled the advancement of his athletic career.
Both men played professional baseball.
The other Tom Browning was a two-sport standout in baseball and basketball at Transylvania University before being drafted by the Houston Astros, for whom he never played after being hit in the elbow by a pitch during his first spring training. Browning led the Transylvania basketball team to an NAIA national tournament berth, and left the school as the baseball team’s single-season home run champion, with 11. He went 8-for-8 during a season-opening doubleheader on dedication day for the school’s new baseball field. Both men are competitive golfers.
The other Tom Browning won the Flagg Springs men’s club championship and the men’s senior flight on Sunday with a two-day score of 15-over-par 157.
“But I’m not him,” Browning, the Pendleton County native, said. “People just get us mixed up because we have the same name.”
Browning, a Pendleton County High School graduate, has actually met Tom Browning, the Reds Hall of Famer who wore red underwear on the day he pitched and never shaved in between starts.
“I ran into him at a golf outing at Traditions one year,” he said. “He was talking to a friend of mine. My friend introduced us and said, ‘Tom Browning, this is Tom Browning.’ He was a real nice guy, and we talked a bit. I think we both thought it was kind of funny we had the same name and had done some of the same things.”
There have been other coincidences involving the two similarly named men.
On Monday, the day after he lost to Browning at the Flagg Springs club championship, tournament runner-up Walt Dierig played with Tom Browning the former Red in a foursome at an outing at Traditions Golf Club.
“It’s been real interesting to have the same name as him,” said Browning, a retired employee for the state of Kentucky who’s been married 41 years. “Who’s the real Tom Browning? A lot of people think it’s me. I know my wife does.”