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Dayton native, former Cincinnati Reds player, dies

A Dayton native and former Cincinnati Reds player who also was a member of the 1955 World Series Champion Brooklyn Dodgers has died.

Bob “Bush” Borkowski, who resided in old north Dayton, died Nov. 18 at the age of 91.

Borkowski, a pitcher turned outfielder, spent most of his six seasons in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs and the Reds.

Toward the end of his career in 1955, he was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers, where he played nine games alongside baseball greats Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Gil Hodges.

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Borkowski attended reunions with the ‘55 Dodgers, the team that ended the New York Yankees’ streak of six World Series championships.

During his professional baseball career, Borkowski appeared in 470 games and batted.251, with 16 home runs and 112 runs batted in.

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According to a 2005 Dayton Daily News article written by Bucky Albers, Borkowski grew up in Dayton and was an All-City football player at Kiser High School in 1943. He worked in the stock room at Schriber Printing Co. before retiring at the age of 62. 

Borkowski earned the nickname “Bush” as a youngster, according to an essay written by Jim Sargent for the Society for American Baseball Research.

"When we first moved into this area, there were no Polish people here, and people from Dayton couldn't pronounce Borkowski,” Borkowski is quoted in the article. “I had long blond hair at the time, and they started to say 'Bush.' People who knew us called my Mom and Dad, Mr. and Mrs. Bush. That's where the name got started. I guess it was a short way of saying Borkowski."

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Borkowski was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Mary Ann. He is survived by his children, Kathleen (Charles) Walker, Mary Beth (Dennis) Harting, Roberta (Scott) Christiansen and Joe (Jill) Borkowski; six grandchildren; six great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Irene Golba; special friend, Dorothy Frysinger and friend Bo Creech, according to his obituary published by the Newcomer North Chapel funeral home.

Family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Newcomer North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Road, Dayton. A mass of Christian burial will happen at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Adalbert Catholic Church, 1212 St. Adalbert Ave., Dayton.

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