Author Topic: Frank Howard, RIP  (Read 1158 times)

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Online welch

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Frank Howard, RIP
« Topic Start: October 30, 2023, 04:03:38 PM »
Rumor: Frank Howard has died. From Washington DC Baseball History group who read it on Hondo's fan page.

Mark Hornbaker writes:

Quote
We are being told on the Frank “Hondo” Howard group page that Frank has passed away.  I received confirmation of the news by Dick Bosman.


Offline 1995hoo

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #1: October 30, 2023, 04:45:56 PM »
Frank Howard at age 87, per a tweet from the Nationals.

Offline blue911

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #2: October 30, 2023, 04:53:36 PM »
Frank Howard at age 87, per a tweet from the Nationals.

That sucks. Nice man.

Online Senatorswin

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #3: October 30, 2023, 05:06:04 PM »
Rumor: Frank Howard has died. From Washing DC Baseball History group who read it on Hondo's fan page.


This is horrible. Hondo's at bats were the most exciting at bats than any player in the history of baseball. When baseball came back to DC I went up in the upper deck and sat in one of those painted white seats. It's hard to believe a human being could hit a baseball that far.

On the day baseball came back to DC it was the most emotional I've ever been at a game when Brad Wilkerson came out to left field and took the glove from Hondo and he slowly walked off the field.

So Many memories. The last Senators game when he hit a home run (even if it was grooved). The home run streak when he hit so many home runs on that one road trip. UGH!

Online Natsinpwc

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #4: October 30, 2023, 05:12:07 PM »
Great player and sounds like a nice guy.  Remember seeing him at one of the playoff games in 2012.  RIP.

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Offline Five Banners

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #6: October 30, 2023, 05:36:38 PM »
Telling that even growing up in the area, really didn’t know about how being a featured star here until the last couple of decades. It was only after the efforts to get a team picked up in the mid 90s and I started hearing more about the baseball history here.

Met him at an event maybe over 20 years ago promoting baseball’s return where he was the featured meet and greeter. Still loomed large physically and for all those who grew up with him. Was sporting a Senators jacket a la Ted Williams at Game 2 Saturday in honor of the history, even more glad of that tonight.

Online welch

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #7: October 30, 2023, 05:40:00 PM »
I hero-worshipped Mickey Vernon to Roy Sievers, and the Roy to Harmon Killebrew. The "New Senators" looked drab and dull until they traded Claude Osteen for Howard, Ken McMullen, Pete Richert, and Phil Ortega. It build a team. (Not a great one, but not as hopeless as they had been).

I left for college in September, 1966. When I got there, in Chicago, a friend from Oxon Hill said he had seen Big Frank hit a line drive that made the White Sox pitcher duck, and that tempted the CF to leap, and that was still rising when it hit the wall behind the bullpens in CF. "It sounded like the crack of doom".

Ah, to have a Frank Howard on the New Nationals in 2024. (When people laughed at a tall rookie named Aaron Judge, and they said that "Nobody 6 foot 7 can play baseball", I just thought of Hondo.

And read this, the story of the 1969 Senators, when Ted Williams met Frank Howard and the Nats finished with a winning record for the first time since 1952, and the last time until 2012:

https://www.amazon.com/Whole-New-Ballgame-Washington-Anniversary-ebook/dp/B07QS1TFD4/ref=sr_1_1?crid=26PSK1BBXH9ZJ&keywords=stephen+j.+walker&qid=1698702118&s=books&sprefix=stephen+j.+walker%2Cstripbooks%2C71&sr=1-1

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #8: October 30, 2023, 05:41:03 PM »
Rest in power sir.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #9: October 30, 2023, 07:02:55 PM »
I remember watching a game on tv from Fenway around 1968 or 1969. Family get together at one uncle's house. Another uncle was watching the game, and Howard was up. My uncle said, "watch, here comes a homer, three rows up, dead center. " I said no way, the red Sox are better, etc... I think we bet. Howard then homers 7 rows up, and I start arguing it wasn't 3 rows up.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #10: October 30, 2023, 08:12:09 PM »
Somehow, this thread didn't feel right in the out of town scoreboard, even if he became a Ranger with the team . Curious what they say in tonight's Rangers game

Offline HondoKillebrew

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #11: October 30, 2023, 09:14:21 PM »
This makes me so sad, but we were fortunate to have had him for as long as we did. RIP, big guy. We loved you.

Offline Scrapple

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #12: October 30, 2023, 09:30:19 PM »
Certainly a sad day for all Senators fans. ☹️🥺😢

Great great humbled man. Frank was always willing to stop, chat, and give autographs to children of all ages. I was actually able to sit down with “Hondo” at a golf outing about 20-25 years ago and he seemed as excited to hear I was a huge Senators fan, as I was excited to sit down next to my childhood idol. Wow!!!
 During our 10 minute or so conversation he eventually asked me, “if I was a Baltimore Orioles fan now”? I replied, “heck no! I’m a Washington Senators fan for life”. He replied, “Mike, you got anything you want. Go get some more baseballs for me to sign”. Lol needless to say, all of my nieces, nephews, my brother, cousins, and three sisters received autographed “Frank Hondo Howard” baseballs as gifts for Christmas that year. 😁
My father didn’t watch the Senators from the first inning to the last inning as my brother and I did however, he would always say, “come get me when Hondo is on deck”. Even when the Senators were losing games by double digits we would never leave the ballpark if there was any chance Hondo would get another at bat.

“The Gentle Giant” was probably the most fitting nickname he had. He will never be forgotten.
#33 ❤️ RIP 🙏🏻

Online welch

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #13: October 30, 2023, 10:19:36 PM »
There is a picture somewhere -- I can't find it -- of Frank Howard leaping above the OF fence at DC Stadium to rob "Hawk" Harrelson of a homer. Howards arm-pits are at the top of the fence, as best I remember. Big Frank was, remember, an All-America power-forward at Ohio State, drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors before he signed with the Dodgers. A fine athlete.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #14: October 30, 2023, 10:51:09 PM »
Got his tribute before the bottom of the 9th. Not only last hr for :w: but also 1st for the Rangers.  Showed him with a :w: hat

Online Senatorswin

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #15: October 31, 2023, 11:36:00 AM »
There is a picture somewhere -- I can't find it -- of Frank Howard leaping above the OF fence at DC Stadium to rob "Hawk" Harrelson of a homer. Howards arm-pits are at the top of the fence, as best I remember. Big Frank was, remember, an All-America power-forward at Ohio State, drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors before he signed with the Dodgers. A fine athlete.

He still holds the rebound record for one game for Ohio State with 32.

Online welch

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #16: October 31, 2023, 03:22:36 PM »
He still holds the rebound record for one game for Ohio State with 32.

Howard's knees wore out, so people came to think of him only as a big guy who hardly moved in the OF. But, no. He was a fine basketball player.

Offline nats2playoffs

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #17: November 04, 2023, 02:41:40 PM »
I wrote to him during the Senators' season, asking for an autograph. I didn't hear back after a while. When the season was over, I got a manila envelope in the mail with his two autographed pictures, along with one from pitcher Joe Coleman and a machine-signed one from manager Ted Williams.
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Offline hotshot

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #18: November 05, 2023, 08:47:41 AM »
Had an acquaintance who went to one of those Dodger Fantasy Camps down in Vero Beach. You're paying good money to attend so you would expect players to be friendly and accommodating.

Said Frank, though, was in a category by himself with the "Campers," making a genuine effort to get to know them and exceeding their most optimistic hopes. He had to have been one of the oldest ex-Dodgers there so he would've been given a pass if he had just done the minimum.

As a LF, I recall him as having a barely passable arm. Still, he got more OF assists than you might think. That might've been because players ran on him a lot. His even bigger problem was he rarely got a good jump -- slow to get moving. 

He was a streak hitter for sure. Those 10 HRs in 20 ABs were indicative. He also was strong enough to regularly hit balls he was fooled on out of the park. The bat looked like a toothpick in his hands.


Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #19: November 06, 2023, 11:37:59 AM »
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/sunday-notes-under-the-radar-yankees-prospect-ben-rice-raked-this-year/

Quote
Frank Howard’s passing away this past Monday at age 87 merits more a mention in News Notes. Not only did the hulking 6-foot-7, 270-pound slugger log a 140 wRC+ from 1958-1973, he twice led the American League in home runs and totaled 383 for his career. Over a five-year stretch with the Washington Senators, “The Capital Destroyer” averaged 40 long balls annually with a 164 wRC+. In 1968, he had a six-game stretch where he went 13-for-24 with 10 home runs.

Along with tape-measure homers, Howard was known as a gentle giant. Humility was one of his traits. When I had the pleasure of interviewing him in 2010, Howard told me that he didn’t consider himself worthy of the Hall of Fame. He also said that he “can’t be critical of anything in the game of baseball… The game of baseball has been an absolute delight to be a part of.”

Link to a prior interview mentioned above:
https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/10057/prospectus-qa-frank-howard/

Offline captkirk42

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Re: Frank Howard, RIP
« Reply #20: November 07, 2023, 01:59:41 PM »
That one hurt and so soon after Brooks Robinson passed (about 1 month or less) Childhood heroes.