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. Meatwad misses Vincennes 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
dirk
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog4-26-2015 OMNICHATTER
(144 - 9:46pm, Apr 26)
Last: JJ1986

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - April 2015
(1650 - 9:45pm, Apr 26)
Last: Paul D(uda)

NewsblogOT: Soccer March 2015
(790 - 9:40pm, Apr 26)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogManfred: Rose will be allowed to be part of All-Star Game
(150 - 9:38pm, Apr 26)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogNick Cafardo | On Baseball: At 40, Koji Uehara in a pitched battle - Sports - The Boston Globe
(3 - 9:37pm, Apr 26)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogOTP - April 2015: Church, baseball, politics: Rahm and Chuy work to close the deal
(3946 - 9:35pm, Apr 26)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogRosenthal: St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright believed to have season-ending Achilles injury | FOX Sports
(49 - 9:35pm, Apr 26)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogFangraphs: Different Aging Curves for Different Strikeout Profiles.
(3 - 9:11pm, Apr 26)
Last: boteman asks Where's My Ring?

NewsblogAll-around catchers among most valuable commodities in baseball - The Boston Globe
(27 - 8:49pm, Apr 26)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(902 - 8:23pm, Apr 26)
Last: SouthSideRyan

NewsblogFormer Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87
(4 - 7:30pm, Apr 26)
Last: winnipegwhip

NewsblogYelich dealing with bulging disk in back | MLB.com
(11 - 5:54pm, Apr 26)
Last: bobm

NewsblogCarlos Beltran making case for NY’s most hated player | New York Post
(6 - 4:13pm, Apr 26)
Last: The Yankee Clapper

NewsblogSource: Angels close to trading Josh Hamilton to Rangers | FOX Sports
(22 - 3:29pm, Apr 26)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogSunday Notes: Bucs’ Watson, Rox McMahon, Belle the Beast, much more | FanGraphs Baseball
(6 - 2:06pm, Apr 26)
Last: Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad)

Page rendered in 0.2113 seconds
48 querie(s) executed