As a kid in Minnetonka there wasn't a sport that Jim Brower didn't like. He was involved in sports year-round playing youth basketball, football and baseball for some of the area's most talented teams. In fact, Jim was a member of the 1985 East Tonka team which made it all the way to the Little League World Series.
Unfortunately the team didn't win the title, and though Jim went on to pitch for eight Major League Baseball teams, he's been quoted as saying, "It's still one of the greatest moments of my baseball career, and I was 12."
Jim's success continued right into high school. As only a sophomore, he was a three-sport starter in basketball, football and baseball at MHS. He was also a member of the track and bowling teams (he lettered in all five sports).
By 11th grade, it became clear that baseball and basketball were where Jim excelled. Jim pitched a no hitter against Eden Prairie as a junior and as a senior in basketball he set the record for the most points scored in a game (40). Known as a committed athlete, Jim knew how to work hard and the dedication it would take to realize his dream of becoming a professional athlete.
"There are not many great opportunities you can pursue without sacrifice," Jim says, "I made choices at 16. I didn't go on spring Break because it was right before baseball try-outs." And baseball would turn out to be one of those great opportunities for Jim.
As a right-handed pitcher for the Skippers, Jim had a 91 MPH fast ball, one of the best in what was then the Lake Blue Conference. When he was a senior, he received All-Conference and All-State honors in baseball and was heavily recruited by several Division I teams. He was drafted out of high school, but he chose to attend the University of Minnesota where he was named a baseball Big Ten All-Star in 1994.
"From early on Jimmy had everything he needed to be successful including talent, passion and persistence," said Jim's former Minnetonka Baseball coach Myles Ginther.
Jim was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1994. Throughout his professional career he played for eight Major League Baseball teams including the Indians, Braves, Padres and Giants, with whom he won division championship titles. His career stats include an impressive 128 wins, 37 saves and more than 1,300 strike outs. He also holds the Giants' record for the number of games pitched in a season.
From the MLB Jim went to Japan for a year and recently finished a season with the Rimini Pirates in Italy. Now back in Minnesota with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Landry, Jim looks back on his baseball career and his time at Minnetonka High School and he is happy he made the choices he did. Not only will Jim be remembered for being a talented baseball player, but as someone who pursued his passion and lived his dream.