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This document was based on a similar policy used by SABR.

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Sean Holtz, Webmaster of Baseball Almanac & Baseball Fever
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Frank Howard was my Man

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  • #16
    That's a great story about Brooks Robinson! I think that goes a long way towards explaining why aluminum bats have never gained acceptance on the professional level.

    I never saw him play, but met him when he was a coach with the Mets and he still looked like he could cream the ball. Judging by how some of those Mets teams played, that may not have been a bad experiment.

    Comment


    • #17
      I can still see Frank in my mind's eye in the batters box, swinging the bat 360 degrees and running his left hand up and down the bat (sounds provocative there, but it worked... ). I used to copy that style in Little League although I was about 18 inches and 170 lbs less than Frank. He was a fearsome sight for AL pitchers to contend with.

      I've always been happy for Frank that he did get 1 WS ring for the `63 Dodgers, plus the 1960 ROY award. He was part of the 1959 Dodger team but did not play in their WS.

      I vaguely remember Frank in a Detroit Tiger uniform in `72-`73, at the end of his career. He may have played in Japan for a year after that, memory is hazy on that one.

      When Gil Hodges took over managing the Senators in 1963, I always wonder if he was the driving force that said "Go get me Frank Howard" in the winter of 1964, as they were teammates on the Dodgers from 1958-1961.
      "Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em."
      - Casey Stengel

      Comment


      • #18
        I'm highly impressed that you can remember Frank Howard as having played in Japan. Apparently he only played there for exactly one at bat! On his first time to the plate he struck out and hurt his back swinging at the final strike. That marked his first and only at bat in a Japanese uniform and his last professional at bat.

        Comment


        • #19
          What impressed? Remembering Frank Howard in Japan is like remembering Gulliver in Lilliput. Not exactly Burl Ives with the House of David!
          After 1957, it seemed like we would never laugh again. Of course, we did. Its just that we were never young again.

          Comment


          • #20
            Lol, yeah I guess Howard probably stood out just a wee bit there.

            Comment


            • #21
              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.
              "Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em."
              - Casey Stengel

              Comment


              • #22
                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

                Comment


                • #23
                  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!!!!!!

                  Comment


                  • #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.

                    Comment


                    • #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!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        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

                        Comment


                        • #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!

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            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!

                            Comment


                            • #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.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                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!




                                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.

                                Comment

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