Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tidewater News: James D. Howell: Baseball and booze

I have this narrowed down to who this is but…

My brother was much older than me; we were separated by much more than age. He attended high school in Franklin and excelled at baseball. When WWII came, he and my oldest brother found jobs at the Newport News shipbuilding yards. Both my brothers learned trades that would provide them with a livelihood during their later, peacetime lives.

Baseball remained a part of my brother’s life; he played for teams made up to provide recreation for the shipyard workers. He lived in housing built for the increasing workload of the war effort. He always seemed happy at whatever he was involved with.

At war’s end, he returned to Franklin and became a part of the local baseball team, working at whatever jobs would provide for his family. Franklin, Suffolk, Portsmouth and Norfolk all fielded baseball teams, and he worked his way through some of those and wound up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, playing for a AAA team, the Ft. Lauderdale Braves. His record continued to impress others, but something happened somewhere along the way.

Nobody knows exactly when the downward spiral started, but some knew that booze and other drugs were the grease on the skids. The spiral paused for a moment in a flop house in Baltimore, Maryland. Two of my other brothers made the trip to Baltimore and returned the errant baseball player home to our house on the farm with as little fanfare as possible. Slowly, the closeness of relationships becomes strained and the addict is isolated.

The next few years included a divorce, a trip to a psych facility in Richmond, and some electro-shock therapy. At least that’s what it was called. He wandered through our neighborhood and Suffolk, with little vision for a future, trying to escape a recent past. He tried a variety of jobs; someone always remembered his baseball days, and he was a very likable guy. A job was always available.

Eventually, he landed a job with the Town of Franklin as an electrician, and seemed to enjoy the stability. Then came the final pole climb and heart attack.

The death certificate reads heart attack. My information and best guess is that body organs long abused by alcohol, other drugs and questionable therapy finally quit. He just happened to be climbing the pole at that time.

Repoz Posted: June 27, 2014 at 10:34 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: June 27, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4737438)
Wow. At times like this I am amazingly thankful that I don't have a younger brother who writes stories about me on the interwebs.
   2. you mess with the meat you get the wada Posted: June 27, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4737462)
Your not fead yet...give it time.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Downtown Bookie
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - May 2015
(2110 - 9:33pm, May 24)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogBrian Matusz of Baltimore Orioles ejected for foreign substance
(11 - 9:18pm, May 24)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOTP - May 2015: Jeb Bush would like to watch baseball with Teddy Roosevelt and Pitbull
(3769 - 9:15pm, May 24)
Last: DJS From Suplex City!

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 5-24-2015
(75 - 8:56pm, May 24)
Last: The elusive Robert Denby

NewsblogShaikin: Rally monkey, chew on this: Dodgers try the rally banana
(4 - 8:37pm, May 24)
Last: the Hugh Jorgan returns

NewsblogHolding Separate Elections For Player and Non-Player Candidates Would Greatly Improve the Hall of Fame's Era Ballot Vote Process
(33 - 7:03pm, May 24)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(1066 - 5:21pm, May 24)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogMURRAY CHASS: FIVE PERCENT IS NO SOLUTION
(17 - 4:38pm, May 24)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(1679 - 3:34pm, May 24)
Last: Langer Monk

NewsblogMeasuring MLB's best game-callers
(11 - 3:33pm, May 24)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogMoney is MLB's biggest obstacle to a 154-game season
(37 - 2:32pm, May 24)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogMariners notebook: Cano looks back to 2008 struggles in effort to keep even keel as current slump deepens | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune
(4 - 2:20pm, May 24)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: 2015 NHL Playoff thread
(461 - 11:47am, May 24)
Last: you mess with the meat you get the wada

NewsblogYankees will pay Alex Rodriguez's home run bonus if .... | NJ.com
(17 - 11:29am, May 24)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMike Trout teaches expert lesson in the art of sliding | MLB.com
(39 - 11:09am, May 24)
Last: Ziggy

Page rendered in 0.1603 seconds
50 querie(s) executed