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Thread: Frank Howard was my Man

  1. #21
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    I have a vivid recollection of a picture in the Washington Post sports page, circa 1971, with 6' 7" Frank Howard playing first base and 5'4" Freddie Patek of the Royals taking a lead. Nothing unusual about the photo except for the contrast in sizes between the men, most probably the tallest and shortest men in the game at the time.

  2. #22
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    Believe it or not Frank now works for the Yankees in some capacity. He came to a card show in Chantilly VA. I got his autograph and asked him if Washington ever got a team again would he be interested in Managing. He said that depends on Mr. Steinbrenner because he's employed by him now!

    I was in total shock!

    I haven't felt this bad since Mussina went to the Yankees!!!

    Oh, well, I've been to countless card shows and Frank has always been gracious and kind. I'm still a Frank fan!
    CALSGR8

  3. #23
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    I too have fond memories of Hondo. As a child, I recall going to many opening day games at RFK. I seem to remember 2-3 seats in the upper deck towards right-centerfield painted a contrasting color in order to mark Frank's shots. I also recall that streak of homeruns in 1969. I admired Frank Howard and named our pet after him. Does anyone remember a Opening Day base running snafu by Frank that lost the game sometime in the mid-60's? He had either over run second or to second with the runner ahead of him forced back to second at the same time. Great memories!!!!!!

  4. #24

    A Giant of a Man

    My father and Frank became friends when Frank played in Green Bay and Frank visited my father's bar grill in GB - I was fortunate enough to have an acquaintance after his playing days with Mr. Howard and there are a few things I will never forget: 1 - He was a giant of man; 2 - He was sincere; 3 - He was kind and gentle.

    A quick story of his sincerity: When Frank was a (ist base?) coach for the Mets, my dad and I were to have dinner with Frank after the game (in LA). This happened to be the day that the Met's promoted Frank to the Manager position. Frank kept his dinner with us, while keeping the Met's owner (impatiently) waiting for Frank to join him.

    Yes, Mr. Howard was a giant of a man.

  5. #25
    Back in '69 when the Pilots were in Seattle one of my friends during a Pilots/Senators game at Sicks Stadium sought to get Frank's autograph atop the Senators dugout. Not only did Mr. Howard give him an autograph but he also hoisted my friend over the railing and let him sit in the dugout with the Senators for awhile. What a lucky guy!

  6. #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

  7. #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!

  8. #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!

  9. #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.

  10. #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.

  11. #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.

  12. #32
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    Senators Fan

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

  13. #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.

  14. #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.
    Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick 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 Bill Ernie JEDI

  15. #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.

  16. #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.

  17. #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...

  18. #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!

  19. #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

  20. #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!

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