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 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
1k5v3L
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBaseball’s Best Teams Are Too Damn Good
(19 - 4:42am, Jul 22)
Last: Vertov

NewsblogThe Absurd History of “The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim”
(54 - 4:01am, Jul 22)
Last: stevegamer

NewsblogOTP 17 July 2017: Love is baseball, family. Keep the politics out
(1397 - 3:03am, Jul 22)
Last: He who brought the butter dish to Balshazar (CoB)

NewsblogAmerica Has Spoken: The Yankees Are The Worst
(48 - 2:40am, Jul 22)
Last: QLE

NewsblogDon't look OMNICHATTER in the eye, for July 21, 2017
(90 - 2:14am, Jul 22)
Last: Bote Man

NewsblogTaking Back the Ballparks - San Francisco Giants
(175 - 2:07am, Jul 22)
Last: Bote Man

NewsblogThe Last Cowboy: Joe West Is On A Quest To Preserve The Sanctity Of Umpiring
(32 - 2:05am, Jul 22)
Last: Hank G.

NewsblogTap-In Question: Should the Orioles be sellers no matter how they fare against the Astros? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
(1 - 2:04am, Jul 22)
Last: ptodd

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(1316 - 1:58am, Jul 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist

Gonfalon CubsThe Biggest Fixes
(76 - 1:48am, Jul 22)
Last: Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist

NewsblogIt's unacceptable — Cardinals have lost their Way under Matheny
(15 - 1:04am, Jul 22)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogHe played where? Majors' best 'irony jerseys'
(41 - 11:05pm, Jul 21)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogSteven Souza Jr. blames state of Athletics' field for hip injury
(2 - 10:57pm, Jul 21)
Last: Renegade (((JE)))

NewsblogOT: Summer Soccer Thread 2017
(178 - 10:53pm, Jul 21)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogSonoma Stompers pitcher just 3rd woman to win pro game
(4 - 9:50pm, Jul 21)
Last: vortex of dissipation

Page rendered in 0.2267 seconds
47 querie(s) executed