Frank Howard, a four-time All-Star and a towering figure in the world of baseball, known for his mammoth home runs and a World Series title with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963, has passed away at the age of 87.
The Washington Nationals, to whom Howard had a significant connection, confirmed the sad news. A cause of death was not immediately provided.
To many, Frank Howard was more than a baseball legend; he was an ultimate teammate. Dick Bosman, who had the privilege of playing alongside Howard for several seasons, shared his thoughts, stating, “Next to my dad, he’s the greatest guy I know.”
Howard’s illustrious career included seven seasons with the Washington Senators, earning NL Rookie of the Year honors with the Dodgers in 1960. His contributions to the Dodgers led to a World Series victory in 1963. Later, he continued his journey in baseball as the Senators relocated to Texas, becoming the Rangers. Frank Howard’s playing career concluded with the Detroit Tigers.
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“Frank Howard was my hero,” expressed Nationals owner Mark Lerner, reminiscing his childhood. Howard’s towering home runs at RFK Stadium earned him the nickname ‘Capital Punisher,’ but Lerner emphasized his kind and gentle nature.
⚾ Baseball Legend Frank Howard Passes Away 🌟 Frank Howard, the larger-than-life slugger, has died at the age of 87. A towering figure in the world of baseball, he leaves behind a lasting legacy and fond memories for fans. Rest in peace, Frank Howard. #FrankHoward… pic.twitter.com/sit1Niv0n6
— Latest Sports News (@latest_snews) October 31, 2023
Frank Howard’s legacy includes hitting the final home run for the Senators at RFK Stadium in 1971 and the first at Arlington Stadium in April 1972, following the team’s move to Texas. The Rangers remembered him as “a bigger-than-life personality who was very popular with his teammates and the fans.”
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Standing at 6-foot-7, Howard, affectionately called “Hondo,” played a total of 1,895 regular-season games and three postseason games from 1958 to 1973. He also briefly took on managerial roles, guiding the San Diego Padres in 1981 and the New York Mets in 1983.
The New York Mets paid their respects to Frank Howard, describing him as “one of the most intimidating figures to ever wear a Mets uniform” but highlighting his kind and generous personality.
Frank Howard left an indelible mark, both as a player and a coach. Dick Bosman, who had a close friendship with Howard, expressed his profound influence on and off the field. He credited Howard with teaching his fellow players how to carry themselves as big leaguers, regardless of their performance. Bosman noted that Howard was “that example in word and deed all the time.”
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Howard’s remarkable achievements included leading the American League in home runs twice, in 1968 and 1970, with a record-setting 48-home run season in between. His 48 homers remain the most in Washington baseball history, and he was inducted into the Nationals’ ring of honor in 2016.
Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ general manager, expressed deep respect for Howard as both a ballplayer and a human being. He remembered Howard’s generosity with his time and his willingness to pass along his knowledge and wisdom.
Frank Howard’s imposing figure, at 6-7 and 255 pounds, made him a dominant presence in the outfield and at first base. He often carried the Senators/Rangers offensively during times when the team faced several losing seasons.
Dick Bosman highlighted Howard’s calm and composed demeanor, recalling, “I don’t think I saw him angry more than two or three times.” His gentle nature resonated with teammates, and they were inspired by his approach both on and off the field.
The world of baseball has lost a true giant, not just in stature but also in character. Frank Howard’s legacy as a player and a person will be remembered with great fondness by those who had the privilege of knowing him.