Dowd was one the first Crusader basketball standouts, and his record of 12 field goals made in one game (set in 1909) was not broken until Bob Cousy surpassed it during the 1950 season. Dowd served as basketball captain during his senior year.
On the baseball diamond, Dowd was known as the “shut-out king” and was one of four pitchers selected in 1945 for the All-Time Holy Cross Baseball Team. Upon graduation from Holy Cross, he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were the defending National League Champions at the time. After a brief appearance with the Pirates in 1910, he spent four seasons in the minor leagues with Utica, Indianapolis and Montreal, where in 1915, he posted a 25-9 record on the mound. He was called up to the Cincinnati Reds for the 1916 season but soon left the team to return to the family’s insurance business upon his father’s death.