He started as an outfielder with the Buffalo Bisons in 1938. He played with the Minneapolis Millers before joining his last team, the Scranton Red Sox, in 1946.
The Beachwood resident was born in Cleveland, the son of a factory worker, and grew up in Newburgh Heights.
Nowak lettered in three sports at Cathedral Latin School before graduating in 1936.
In 1941, Nowak married Rose O'Neill, whose father, Steve, had managed the Cleveland Indians.
After retiring from baseball in 1947, he worked in The Plain Dealer's circulation department. He delivered papers by truck in the overnight hours to newspaper carriers for home delivery. He retired from that job in 1977.
Nowak also worked in the ticket room of Thistledown Race Track from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Schulte and Mahon-Murphy Funeral Home in Lyndhurst handled arrangements.