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's not going to blame himself 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. Meatwad 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

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2018 Apr 16: Beto strikes out but is a hit at baseball fundraiser
(1216 - 1:02am, Apr 22)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (April - June 2018)
(30 - 12:51am, Apr 22)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogOT - 2017-18 NBA thread (All-Star Weekend to End of Time edition)
(2364 - 12:42am, Apr 22)
Last: Tom Cervo, backup catcher

NewsblogNYTimes: Now Batting in Class AA: Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero
(6 - 12:11am, Apr 22)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogESPN's top 50 players
(19 - 12:06am, Apr 22)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogLook at the size of this WEEKEND OMNICHATTER!, for April 21-22, 2018
(124 - 12:05am, Apr 22)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogWhite Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar in critical condition after suffering ruptured aneurysm
(5 - 11:12pm, Apr 21)
Last: . . . . . . . . . .

NewsblogBryan Price dismissed as Reds manager | MLB.com
(97 - 10:02pm, Apr 21)
Last: Panic

NewsblogWhy the drop in home runs in 2018? Major League Baseball had better hope it’s the weather.
(12 - 9:43pm, Apr 21)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network)

NewsblogCallaway says Harvey might not make his next start after performance in 12-4 loss to Braves
(5 - 9:22pm, Apr 21)
Last: Adam Starblind

NewsblogAngell: Night Moves
(3 - 8:12pm, Apr 21)
Last: Gonfalon Bubble

Sox TherapyAre The Angels A Real Team?
(18 - 7:57pm, Apr 21)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine

Hall of Merit2019 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(106 - 6:31pm, Apr 21)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogOT: Winter Soccer Thread
(1542 - 6:13pm, Apr 21)
Last: AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther

Gonfalon CubsHome Sweet Home
(67 - 4:24pm, Apr 21)
Last: Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington

Page rendered in 0.1101 seconds
47 querie(s) executed