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 still holding up that little wild bouquet 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 needs baseball 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

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (((JE)))
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogInvestors say they are ready to bring baseball to Montreal
(21 - 4:58pm, Mar 29)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogThe Baseball-Bowling Connection!
(38 - 4:57pm, Mar 29)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-29-2017
(16 - 4:52pm, Mar 29)
Last: Der-K: downgraded to lurker

NewsblogStatcast says Miguel Cabrera may be underrated | MLB.com
(1 - 4:45pm, Mar 29)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogOTP 27 March 2017: Trump, Healthcare, and the Art of the Botched Deal
(499 - 4:36pm, Mar 29)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogMLB’s all 25-and-under team: Who are the best young players in baseball? | For The Win
(25 - 4:31pm, Mar 29)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogMLB scouts provide insight and analysis on all 30 teams
(22 - 4:29pm, Mar 29)
Last: TDF, situational idiot

NewsblogPosnanski: Soren journeys from MTV to 'Moneyball' art
(5 - 4:27pm, Mar 29)
Last: Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66)

NewsblogWhy baseball games are so damned long | 2017 MLB Season Preview
(46 - 4:24pm, Mar 29)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

NewsblogOT - March 2017 NBA thread
(1001 - 4:09pm, Mar 29)
Last: maccoach57

NewsblogOne year later, ByungHo Park settles in as DH for Twins - StarTribune.com
(1 - 3:52pm, Mar 29)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogBraves announcers think Tigers OF JaCoby Jones & former NFL WR Jacoby Jones are the same person
(22 - 3:39pm, Mar 29)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogOT: March-April 2017 Soccer Thread
(193 - 3:35pm, Mar 29)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogScooter Gennett waived by Brewers, picked up by Reds
(36 - 3:27pm, Mar 29)
Last: TDF, situational idiot

NewsblogTHE B/R Q&A: ROB MANFRED WANTS MLB TO 'OWN THE NEXT GENERATION' OF SPORTS FANS
(166 - 2:32pm, Mar 29)
Last: Tom Nawrocki

Page rendered in 0.1845 seconds
47 querie(s) executed