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Thread: Frank Howard was my Man

  1. #26
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    I forget what year it was but Piniella was still with the Royals in old Municipal Stadium (the KC version). Must have been 1970 or 1971. Municipal Stadium was huge being 369 down the left field line and 408 to left-center. Anyway Piniella is in left field when Hondo comes to the plate. Piniella backs up all the way to the wall in straight away left. Howard hits a rocket right at him. Piniella didn't have move (which is good as Lou was a rather indifferent defender). He sticks his glove up to catch the ball and it hits the glove so hard that it slams the glove back into the wall. This in turn dislodges ball and it bounds down in front of Lou. This had to be one of the rare plays where the home-town crowd laughed at one of their own players.
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

  2. #27
    I just came upon this thread while doing a little surfing for memories of Hondo. This morning I headed out to the Home Depot to pick up some stuff and noticed a giant of a man standing in front of the store, casually watching people coming and going. I knew instantly who it was (as an old Senators fan of the sixties). So I walked up and said : "Excuse me, are you Frank Howard?"
    He grabbed my hand and said "I used to be, that's me alright!" We chatted for a few minutes about the good old days. He really is a warm guy, he took a real interest in me and asked me questions about myself as if he wasn't really comfortable being the center of attention! I was thrilled to find out he was signing autographs that morning and he gave me two autographed pictures. I thought sure I'd have to pay something, but he never asked for anything. He just loves to talk baseball with just about anybody. Even at 70 years old now, he still looks great, like he could slam a few over the fence anytime. I was hoping he might come back to D.C. and work for the Nationals but he's real happy working for the Yankees who just extended his contract for two more years. As I was leaving, he thanked me (!?) and said "You really made my day!" Now that is a class guy!

  3. #28
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    Hondo

    That's a great story Timbones. Where did this happen? I grew up in the suburbs of Maryland and saw Hondo play several times. He was as popular as the President in D.C. I have a 24" x 36" framed poster of him surrounded by four 8" x 10"s on my living room wall. My shrine to a past hero. I also have an autographed ball that says "1960 ROY,Frank Howard". The mention of his name still fills us (semi)older guys with wonderful memories. Thanks for letting us know that "The Capitol Punisher" is doing well!

  4. #29
    Hello JohnG, thanks for the response. This happened at the Rhode Island Avenue Home Depot in Washington D.C. Frank told me he still has his home in Virginia, in the rural part of Loudon County. I guess he is on the road a lot though as he told me he is also doing some kind of work with the Major League Alumni Association besides his work for the Yankees. The guy never made more than $150,000 when he was playing. I hope I see him again so I can encourage him to write a book. He must have some great stories of baseball in the sixties, and I am sure some interesting stories of Ted Williams. There was an article and interview in the Washington Post in March 2005.
    Here's a link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Mar21.html
    Let me know if that link doesn't work, I'll post the article up here if needed.

  5. #30
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    Smile Hondo

    Hi TB- I didn't realize he still lived in the area. What a thrill that must have been for you. The link to the article was fine.I always enjoy reading about our Senators memories. I just listened to the last game in 71' on CD. This game and others are available on ebay and other Internet sites like MLB.com
    It would be great if Hondo would write a book. I know there's one called "Frank Howard,The Gentle Giant" (1973) by Al Hirshberg. It's hard to find but there are a few copies online. amazon.com has one for $17.00 plus shipping. If you like the expansion Senators,there's a great book called "Washington's Expansion Senators,1961-1971" by James R. Hartley. It has everything you could want to read,including stats of every player that got into a game. Thanks for the article!




    Quote Originally Posted by Timbones
    Hello JohnG, thanks for the response. This happened at the Rhode Island Avenue Home Depot in Washington D.C. Frank told me he still has his home in Virginia, in the rural part of Loudon County. I guess he is on the road a lot though as he told me he is also doing some kind of work with the Major League Alumni Association besides his work for the Yankees. The guy never made more than $150,000 when he was playing. I hope I see him again so I can encourage him to write a book. He must have some great stories of baseball in the sixties, and I am sure some interesting stories of Ted Williams. There was an article and interview in the Washington Post in March 2005.
    Here's a link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Mar21.html
    Let me know if that link doesn't work, I'll post the article up here if needed.

  6. #31
    Hi JohnG,
    Thanks for all the great info. Always a pleasure to meet a Senators fan.
    I'll have to start checking out card shows to see Hondo again, I guess.
    I've heard he sometimes shows up at those.
    T.

  7. #32
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    Senators Fan

    My pleasure too TB! Enjoy this site and I'm sure we'll share other Senators Memories!

  8. #33
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    JGF-Thanks for the great link, somehow I'd missed this one.

    Probably 15 to 20 years ago now, Frank Howard was working for a beer distributor and would occasionally venture into southern Maryland. While I never managed to meet him, there was an autographed photo of him in both Colonial Liquors and Ledo Pizza here in La Plata.

    I have a color photo of Frank Howard hanging in the spare bedroom and have one of those photo posters of him that came with Topps cards in 1971.
    "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Aa3rt
    JGF-Thanks for the great link, somehow I'd missed this one.

    Probably 15 to 20 years ago now, Frank Howard was working for a beer distributor and would occasionally venture into southern Maryland. While I never managed to meet him, there was an autographed photo of him in both Colonial Liquors and Ledo Pizza here in La Plata.

    I have a color photo of Frank Howard hanging in the spare bedroom and have one of those photo posters of him that came with Topps cards in 1971.
    He still travels all around for this. I have some good friends who work for a beer/wine store here in Ohio, and Howard comes here quite a bit.
    Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Alex Sparky
    Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
    Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
    Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
    Robin JEDI

  10. #35
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    Hondo

    Actually our new friend Timbones put up the link. I don't know how I'd act if I saw Hondo on the street. I think I'd be a thirteen year old kid all over again. It's nice to hear that we still have his,and the Senators, memorabilia. You must be married Aa3rt. When I was,my memorabilia was in boxes and my pictures hung in a walk in closet!
    Captain Cold Nose,Have you ever seen him?


    P.S. - Marriage is a good thing!


    Quote Originally Posted by Aa3rt
    JGF-Thanks for the great link, somehow I'd missed this one.

    Probably 15 to 20 years ago now, Frank Howard was working for a beer distributor and would occasionally venture into southern Maryland. While I never managed to meet him, there was an autographed photo of him in both Colonial Liquors and Ledo Pizza here in La Plata.

    I have a color photo of Frank Howard hanging in the spare bedroom and have one of those photo posters of him that came with Topps cards in 1971.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    Actually our new friend Timbones put up the link.
    Timbones-my apologies and my thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    I don't know how I'd act if I saw Hondo on the street. I think I'd be a thirteen year old kid all over again.
    Yeah, I'd probably revert 40 years and turn into a tongue-tied teenager myself! I sometimes wonder how some of the former ballplayers who go to fantasy camps feel when guys over 40 or 50 say "You were my favorite player when I was growing up! I had all your cards!"

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    You must be married Aa3rt. When I was,my memorabilia was in boxes and my pictures hung in a walk in closet!
    I have a photo of the 1971 Senators and a Senators pennant hanging on my wall in the office where I work. Fortunately, my bride of 25 years indulges some of my interests. When the Nationals came to town, I received a Nationals hat and shirt for Christmas of 2004.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGelnarFan
    Marriage is a good thing!
    Most of the time
    Last edited by Aa3rt; 05-22-2006 at 02:31 PM.
    "For the Washington Senators, the worst time of the year is the baseball season." Roger Kahn

    "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby.

  12. #37

    Hondo & Washington Baseball Society?

    Hey guys,
    Glad I could contribute something here. You are right, meeting Frank Howard makes you feel like a kid again. I really was in awe, but the guy is so friendly and down to earth it makes you relax. I had a hundred questions I wanted to ask him and he's asking me about ME! And my family, where do you live, etc. Nothing pretentious about him at all.
    He seems to remember the past fondly, but doesn't live in it. It seems to me he is really just all baseball, and if he can be involved in it in anyway, that's enough for him. Ted Williams once said Frank Howard was the nicest guy he ever met anywhere. I can believe it! I'm gonna email the Washington Nationals and tell 'em to make a deal with Steinbrenner to get Hondo back here, he would be a great PR guy and he's still spry enough to coach somewhere.
    Say, isn't there some kind of Washington Baseball Society or something like that? I understand they have "get togethers" sometimes? That would be interesting.

    K.

    P.S. Hondo autographed an extra picture for me and asked me to give it to "a little boy in your neighborhood who likes baseball". I think I know one...

  13. #38
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    Washington Baseball Historical Society

    If you send $20.00 to:
    Nats News
    9039 Sligo Creek Parkway #1116
    Silver Spring ,Md. 20901
    This will get you a subscription to the Nats 16 page quarterly newsletter and make you a member of the WBHS.
    If you have any questions,E-mail Jim Hartley at natnative7@aol.com

    They haven't had a reunion for a few years as they were losing money paying for players to fly in and everything else involved. When they do have them,they're great.They still want to and will announce any events in the newsletter. They do,ocassionally,plan trips to games.It's still worth the $20.00!

  14. #39
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    Over 40 teens

    That's exactly how I acted at the last Nats reunion. I really tried to control it but It's hard when you tell Tim Cullen that he was your hero and he asks you to sit at his table. I was thrilled but someone that was part of the planning committee wouldn't let me. Timmy came up to the table where I ended up sitting,put his hand on my shoulder and said "I thought you were going to sit with me?" I almost cried!
    Mingling and having pictures taken with these guys Is something I'll always treasure. Ron Menchine,the announcer was there and was very friendly. Phil Wood,The sports columnist always gives speeches and writes articles for the newsletter.
    Aa3rt,you have a great wife. You're a lucky man!! My girlfriend is very accepting of my love of baseball but doesn't know anything about it and never will. She did just buy me a Camden Yards collectors baseball in a case and an Atlanta Braves keychain. Her daughter bought me a Nationals Jersey with "Vidro" on the back. I'm pretty lucky too!




    Quote Originally Posted by Aa3rt
    Timbones-my apologies and my thanks!



    Yeah, I'd probably revert 40 years and turn into a tongue-tied teenager myself! I sometimes wonder how some of the former ballplayers who go to fantasy camps feel when guys over 40 or 50 say "You were my favorite player when I was growing up! I had all your cards!"



    I have a photo of the 1971 Senators and a Senators pennant hanging on my wall in the office where I work. Fortunately, my bride of 25 years indulges some of my interests. When the Nationals came to town, I received a Nationals hat and shirt for Christmas of 2004.



    Most of the time

  15. #40
    JohnG,
    Thanks for the info. Maybe they should consider a winter meeting and ask Frank Howard to come. Since he is still in the area, it might be something he'd really like to do and maybe his schedule is lighter in the winter. Doesn't Fred Valentine live nearby too?
    JohnG, Can't imagine why they would not let you sit with Tim Cullen. I saw him hit a home run once if my memory is reliable. I think it was to straight away center, must have been 1967. Say, why was he gone by 1972, was he injured? Glad your girlfriend gives you some space for souvenirs. My wife is a big Nationals fan but can't connect with my interest in the Senators, since she wasn't in D.C. then.
    Aa3rt, Good to know your wife is supportive too. It's great to "connect" with you guys!

  16. #41
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    Tim Cullen

    It would be great if the WHBS could arrange another reunion. They're alot of fun. Fred Valentine was at a previous reunion but I'm not sure where he lives. The organizers of the reunion said that the seats at Cullen's table were already filled. I do have a picture,shaking hands with him on my wall. I also have one of him sitting on the dugout steps with his two small children,both in little senators uniforms. If you saw Timmy hit a homer,it was a rare occurence! I have a game on tape when he hit a homer but It's not the same as your experience.
    As far as retiring,he said that he learned to hit while with Oakland's AAA team at the beginning of the 1972 season. He did fairly well when they brought him up but received an offer to work for Dean Witter as a securities trader,which was his off season job. It was too good to pass up so he retired. He lives in the San Francisco area(too far away!). He's a very nice guy.
    You're lucky to have a wife that likes Baseball TB! It's always nice meeting new Senators fans! There are some very knowledgable ones here.







    Quote Originally Posted by Timbones
    JohnG,
    Thanks for the info. Maybe they should consider a winter meeting and ask Frank Howard to come. Since he is still in the area, it might be something he'd really like to do and maybe his schedule is lighter in the winter. Doesn't Fred Valentine live nearby too?
    JohnG, Can't imagine why they would not let you sit with Tim Cullen. I saw him hit a home run once if my memory is reliable. I think it was to straight away center, must have been 1967. Say, why was he gone by 1972, was he injured? Glad your girlfriend gives you some space for souvenirs. My wife is a big Nationals fan but can't connect with my interest in the Senators, since she wasn't in D.C. then.
    Aa3rt, Good to know your wife is supportive too. It's great to "connect" with you guys!

  17. #42
    Players had so much class from that era. They werent like many of the spoiled millionaires we have today, tho in fairness theres still a lot of classy players in the game. Still it was a different time and player/fan relations were much better. Back then my Dad used to get a lot of pro-sports players in the AmVets bar he ran. They liked it because the beer was real cold, the TV was well situated, and they liked the pool table. Imagine that now?

    Ive had the pleasure to see Frank Howard play on several occasions. He was a very exciting player.

  18. #43
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    Fan Friendly

    I think you may be right WSN. They were more like us when the average salary was around $25,000. Every era is going to have it's share of unfriendly players but that's just like society. I used to wait outside the players entrance after games for autographs(can't believe that my mother was so patient!) when I was about 12 or 13 and my memories of the majority are very fond. I remember the few that were "not so nice" very vividly to this day. Maybe they just had a bad day.......Jim French,Mike Epstein,Joe Grzenda,Tom Grieve.... Darold Knowles was the best. He'd just tell us to line up and he'd sign everyones. Classy guy! Guys like Howard,Bosman and Coleman rarely came out of that entrance. Most of the visiting players were fine but they had to get on the bus,so they didn't have as much time.
    Your dad had a great job!




    Quote Originally Posted by Whitesoxnut
    Players had so much class from that era. They werent like many of the spoiled millionaires we have today, tho in fairness theres still a lot of classy players in the game. Still it was a different time and player/fan relations were much better. Back then my Dad used to get a lot of pro-sports players in the AmVets bar he ran. They liked it because the beer was real cold, the TV was well situated, and they liked the pool table. Imagine that now?

    Ive had the pleasure to see Frank Howard play on several occasions. He was a very exciting player.

  19. #44
    Did you know that Frank, a convert to Cathoocism, used to attend Mass and receive Communion EVERY DAY? I'll bet he still does.

  20. #45
    WSN,
    I have to agree with you. I think we had more "classy" players in Hondo's era than now but I think there will always be a few decent ones that will stand out I hope.

    Hey JohnG. That is interesting about Tim Cullen. I would have thought he would have learned something about hitting from Ted Williams, who seems to have had quite an impact on Senators' hitting in 1969.

    Hi Musial6. I did not know Frank was a convert,(I'm one myself) you can tell he is a very decent fellow, that really shines through, so it has been a good thing for him as far as I can see. I could not get him to say anything critical of George Steinbrenner, I don't think Hondo ever criticized anyone. He is very grateful that Steinbrenner keeps him working at 70, and he really gives off lots of positive feelings in everything he says. Must be very good for him to be around young players in the Yankee organization.

    T.
    Last edited by Timbones; 05-26-2006 at 05:47 AM.

  21. #46
    Timbones, Frank became a Catholic after meeting his future wife, a Catholic, while he was playing for Green Bay. He will probably die in the odor of sanctity. +Pax tecum.

  22. #47
    John, I haven't seen him, but he did sign a few baseballs for the people who work at the beer and wine store. I gave one of my friends, the deli manager there, a baseball cube to put the ball in, which he proudly displays.
    Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Alex Sparky
    Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
    Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
    Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
    Robin JEDI

  23. #48
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    Hondo Autographs

    That's the way we want to remember our childhood heroes.That was very nice of you to do captain. Balls can get messed up pretty easily. About two years ago,I dated a woman that was a big Orioles fan. I had my doubts about that until the first time I went to her house and she pulled out two giant gym bags filled with probably 50 autographed balls! I couldn't bring myself to ask her If I could have the Steve Barber or Gene Brabender balls. Wish I had




    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose
    John, I haven't seen him, but he did sign a few baseballs for the people who work at the beer and wine store. I gave one of my friends, the deli manager there, a baseball cube to put the ball in, which he proudly displays.

  24. #49
    If anyone is interested I have several photos of Frank Howard on my website which have never been published anywhere else. They are in the Rangers/Senators gallery. If you're a glutton for punishment there is also one of Frank as a coach for the Brewers in their road blue "pajamas" in the Brewers/Pilots gallery.

    "Steve's Baseball Photography Pages"



    Steve

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevesBaseball
    If anyone is interested I have several photos of Frank Howard on my website which have never been published anywhere else. They are in the Rangers/Senators gallery. If you're a glutton for punishment there is also one of Frank as a coach for the Brewers in their road blue "pajamas" in the Brewers/Pilots gallery.

    "Steve's Baseball Photography Pages"



    Steve
    And for you serious Senators fans, if you scroll down the first page there is a picture of Darold Knowles pitching, albeit in an A's uniform. Great pictures.

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