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Remembering ‘Mr. Perfect’ Tom Browning

To most Cincinnati Reds fans, Tom Browning is always going to be known as Mr. Perfect.

Dr. Tim Kremchek, orthopaedic surgeon at Beacon Orthopaedics, and Reds’ team physician for the last 27 years, will always remember Tom Browning as more. Not just an outstanding pitcher, but also an important part of the beloved organization, who applied his deep knowledge of the mechanics of pitching to mentor young pitchers.

“Tom Browning was the ultimate Cincinnati Red,” Dr. Kremchek said. “He loved the city, he loved the fans, and he loved the Reds. And he’s always going to be remembered for his perfect game.

“But fans don’t know how important he has been to the Reds since he retired,” Dr. Kremchek said. “He was a great addition to the Reds long after his playing days were over.”

Tom Browning passed away Monday at the age of 62. He is a permanent part of Cincinnati Reds lore for his 1988 perfect game against the rival L.A. Dodgers, his victory in the 1990 World Series, and his enthusiasm for the game, the team, and the city he loved.

“Tom Browning was just such a good guy,” Dr. Kremchek said. “He was an outstanding person who was very approachable and easy going. He was fun. All he wanted to do was to be around baseball.”

Dr. Kremchek began treating and caring for the Reds around the time Tom Browning retired. “He was finished with his career, and I was just starting with the Reds. In a sense, we grew up together in our roles with the Reds.”

Dr. Kremchek observed Browning with admiration on how he did whatever he could to help the team.

“I was the new guy, and I would watch how he would come into the training room and just talk about pitching,” Dr. Kremchek said. “He would talk about what the team needed to do to improve, the types of pitches guys should throw, their mechanics and how to not only improve as a pitcher but also how to prevent injuries.”

Tom Browning was never known for a blazing fastball; instead, he was wily and deceptive as a location pitcher who got batters out by knowing just where to place pitches.

“He was candid and taught so many young pitchers that you don’t have to throw faster, you just have to be smarter,” said Dr. Kremchek. “He harped on constant improvement, hard work and always trying to be better.”

Tom Browning was also a family man and would often bring them to visit Dr. Kremchek at the ballpark. “We became friends,” Dr. Kremchek. “He was so likeable, approachable and friendly.”

For Dr. Kremchek, Tom Browning’s legacy is not only in what he did on the baseball diamond, but the type of person he was away from it. He was Mr. Perfect, on and off the field through his character, care, and how he not only had passion for the game but supported and appreciated others as well.

“He will always be known for the perfect game,” Dr. Kremchek said, “but he was more of a perfect friend and a good person.”