Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Excellent Post on Steve Howe at Classic Minnesota Twins Blog
As I sit here at SFO waiting to fly out again, I was perusing my emails and came across a message from Michael Busch, fellow blogger, and the ultimate Minnesota Twins fan. Over the past week Michael and I have been corresponding because he has asked me numerous questions about my recollections of Steve Howe from his days with the Dodgers. Michael’s blog, classicminnesotatwins.blogspot.com is a very well put together site that has numerous gems of information. He was working on a Steve Howe piece.
In early 2010 I posted about Rod Carew and his amazing ability to steal home and Michael liked my post and we corresponded. So I was happy to oblige with the Steve Howe information, even though my memory of his departure from the team in 1985 is starting to get foggy. Anyway, this morning I see that his article is out and it is very well done. Take a look at it if you get a chance. LINKED HERE
Additional recollections of Howe
I believe if I had to list the most disappointing Dodger of all-time, Steve Howe just might top the list. The man had intimidating stuff and was as good as any lefty reliever in the game. His entry into a game was about as automatic as I remember, and this predated today’s one-inning save situations. Howe would go two and sometimes three innings. Just look at his numbers with the Dodgers from 1980-83. Had Steve just been able to stay away from the cocaine, he was on a possible track to the Hall of Fame.
Posting ERAs of 2.66, 2.50, 2.08 and 1.44 in his first four seasons. It is no wonder that Campanis and Lasorda were rushing him back on the roster as soon as they could. From 80-83, the Dodgers were in the hunt each year and Howe was a key component to their success. Who can forget the attempts of the Dodgers to replace him after his departure. (See Ed Van De Berg, Matt Young, Carlos Diaz). Nobody came close to Steve Howe.
To me, the thing that stings about Steve is that many say he was given so many opportunities, yet, now with our better understanding of substance abuse, he really was thrown back out there on the field way too soon. He’d clean up for a few weeks and we’d all say, “Okay, Steve’s good to go again,” and then he’d relapse. There really should have been a 24 hour guide with him at all times, something similar to the Josh Hamilton situation of today.
His story is such a tragic tale about a good teammate and ultimate competitor. His death in 2006 was way too soon and you’ll find some insight on that in this excellent piece written by Cary Osborne in 2009 for the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. It’s an inspiring story of his son Brian, who learning of his father’s death, went out that same day and got the save in his high school game for Valencia High.
Michael asked me questions about the sentiment of Dodger fans when Howe departed. I gave him the best recollection I could, but I’d be interested in knowing what others think. Feel free to comment if you remember the Steve Howe years.