Thomas Bruce Borland was born in El Dorado on February 14, 1933. He moved with his family to McAlester, Oklahoma when he was four and graduated from McAlester High School in 1951.
In High School, he played football and basketball in addition to baseball. His senior year, McAlester won the state baseball championship an he was selected to the All State team. A left handed pitcher, he was named the outstanding player in the All State Game for his performance, striking out 9 batters in 3 innings (while only walking 6).
He went on to Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University) where he initially played both basketball and baseball, but later concentrated solely on baseball. His career pitching record in college was 19-2, including a perfect 11-0 record as a senior earning him All American honors. He also received the Outstanding Player Award for the 1955 College World Series. In the quarter finals he pitched a 12 inning complete game defeating Arizona 5-4.
Each summer while in college Borland played semi-pro baseball, including the 1953 season with the El Dorado Rockets. He posted an 8-3 record with a 2.00 ERA with the Rockets while working at Skelly Refinery.
Next stop for Borland was the minor leagues. But, after just one season, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and spent the next two years playing service baseball. Following his stint with Uncle Sam, he spent the 1958 an 1959 seasons in AAA with the Minneapolis Millers.
He made his Major League debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1960. He posted an 0-4 record with a 6.53 ERA, but did earn 3 saves. For the season, Borland pitched 51 innings, striking out 32 while walking 23. A highlight of his rookie season was being called on to relieve in the 9th inning against the Yankees with fellow Oklahoman Mickey Mantle at the plate. He got Mantle to pop up to earn the save.
He only pitched one inning in 1961 and was traded to the Houston Colt 45's prior to the 1962 season. However, he never pitched in the National League, spending part of the 1962 season and all of 1963 with their AAA team, the Oklahoma City 89'ers. The 89'ers won the Pacific Coast League championship and in the playoffs he won one game and saved two others.
Other honors that Borland has received include being named the left handed pitcher on the All Decade Team for the College World Series first decade. In 1996, he was inducted into the McAlester High School Sports Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was inducted into the Oklahoma State Baseball Hall of Fame.
Borland an his wife Eileen live in Stillwater and have four grown children and nine grandchildren.