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
TedBerg
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP - July 2015: Winning the Political Game: Politics is More Like Baseball Than Football
(5702 - 7:30am, Jul 29)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogReport: A potential Cubs — San Diego Padres trade still in the works
(1 - 7:22am, Jul 29)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Soccer June 2015
(1371 - 7:10am, Jul 29)
Last: Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine

NewsblogMets reliever Jenrry Mejia suspended 162 games | MLB.com
(37 - 6:52am, Jul 29)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogFull Count » Red Sox trade Shane Victorino to Angels for infielder Josh Rutledge; Recall Rusney Castillo
(32 - 5:11am, Jul 29)
Last: Mudpout

NewsblogMets give up too much to get Tyler Clippard - Keith Law Blog - ESPN (INSIDER)
(59 - 3:00am, Jul 29)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame to eliminate some inactive voters
(31 - 2:38am, Jul 29)
Last: Athletic Supporter is trying to remember your name

NewsblogAutomated Strike Zone Gets Test Run - BaseballAmerica.com
(8 - 2:37am, Jul 29)
Last: Drexl Spivey

NewsblogColorado Rockies acquire Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro from Toronto Blue Jays | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball
(88 - 2:35am, Jul 29)
Last: BrianBrianson

NewsblogTodd Zolecki on Twitter: "Source: the Phillies will receive Double-A right-hander Nick Pivetta for Jonathan Papelbon."
(15 - 1:57am, Jul 29)
Last: Dan

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - July 2015
(1654 - 1:52am, Jul 29)
Last: theboyqueen

Newsblog7-28-15 OMNICHATTER
(111 - 1:23am, Jul 29)
Last: Mike Emeigh

NewsblogBen Zobrist to Royals: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction | Bleacher Report
(18 - 12:17am, Jul 29)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogTop 25 MLB players 25 and under | MLB.com
(12 - 11:47pm, Jul 28)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

Newsblog2015 midseason Top 100 Prospects rankings | MLB.com
(2 - 9:57pm, Jul 28)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

Page rendered in 0.1664 seconds
48 querie(s) executed