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. odds are meatwad is drunk 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: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3738 - 7:57am, Oct 25)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogRoyals get four AL Gold Glove finalists, but not Lorenzo Cain | The Kansas City Star
(15 - 7:54am, Oct 25)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogCurt Schilling not hiding his scars - ESPN Boston
(23 - 7:32am, Oct 25)
Last: Merton Muffley

NewsblogJohn McGrath: The Giants have become the Yankees — obnoxious | The News Tribune
(13 - 7:15am, Oct 25)
Last: ursus arctos

NewsblogBuster Olney on Twitter: "Sources: Manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and is leaving the Tampa Bay Rays immediately."
(81 - 2:03am, Oct 25)
Last: Dan

Newsblog9 reasons Hunter Pence is the most interesting man in the World (Series) | For The Win
(16 - 1:35am, Oct 25)
Last: base ball chick

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(916 - 1:29am, Oct 25)
Last: J. Sosa

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 3 OMNICHATTER
(515 - 1:26am, Oct 25)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(385 - 1:05am, Oct 25)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogHow top World Series players ranked as prospects. | SportsonEarth.com : Jim Callis Article
(21 - 12:04am, Oct 25)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogDid Adam Dunn Ruin Baseball? – The Hardball Times
(73 - 11:22pm, Oct 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBeaneball | Gold Gloves and Coco Crisp's Terrible 2014 Defense
(2 - 7:47pm, Oct 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(871 - 7:22pm, Oct 24)
Last: Jim Wisinski

NewsblogDealing or dueling – what’s a manager to do? | MGL on Baseball
(67 - 6:38pm, Oct 24)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogThe ‘Little Things’ – The Hardball Times
(2 - 6:34pm, Oct 24)
Last: RMc is a fine piece of cheese

Page rendered in 0.0872 seconds
52 querie(s) executed