Frank Howard’s journey to baseball stardom was far from conventional, filled with determination, hard work, and unyielding commitment. This humble, towering figure was on the cusp of greatness, and his story was just beginning
The Remarkable Journey of Frank Howard: From Humble Beginnings to Baseball Stardom
Frank Howard, a name synonymous with baseball greatness, may not have been the first to challenge Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 60 home runs in a season, but his journey to the top was one that captured the hearts of fans even before he reached the major leagues.
This unassuming, modest man would ultimately prove to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of base
Early Life and Upbringing
- Frank Oliver Howard was born on August 8, 1936, in Columbus, Ohio, to John and Erma Howard.
- John, a sturdy man standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing over 200 pounds, worked as a machinist for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in Columbus, while Erma dedicated herself to homemaking.
- Frank was the third of six children, and the Howard family lived in a modest frame house. Despite having an abundance of food on the table, Frank and his siblings had to earn their own money.
- Frank’s determination shone through as he took on various jobs suited to his stature, such as shining shoes, caddying, and undertaking strenuous manual labor.
- He recalled, “When I was 14, I worked a hundred-pound jackhammer in the streets for the city of Columbus, got paid maybe a dollar and a half an hour, and was glad to get it.”
- By the time he attended Columbus South High School, he had grown to an impressive 6-foot-5 and weighed 195 pounds.
A Family’s Baseball Legacy
- John Howard, Frank’s father, had played semipro baseball in Columbus and instilled in his son a deep love for the game. Surprisingly, despite his imposing physique, Frank had no interest in football.
- Instead, he excelled in both basketball and baseball. His talent on the basketball court attracted college recruiters, but Frank chose to stay close to home and play for Ohio State University.
- According to Floyd Stahl, his basketball coach at OSU, “Frank was anxious to get an education, but he had almost no money. We didn’t have the grants-in-aid and sports scholarships that we have today. I told Frank I thought we could find jobs for him.”
- Frank received some support from the university, but he also worked various jobs on campus to make ends meet.
- One such job involved working on a cement crew, where the foreman once remarked, “Frank does twice as much work as any laborer I’ve had.”
- Stahl, concerned that Howard might overtrain, watched his star player excel on the basketball court.
- Howard earned All-American honors as a junior and set a Madison Square Garden record with 32 rebounds in a game and 75 over three games. The following year, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA.
Baseball Stardom on the Horizon
- Frank Howard didn’t limit his athletic prowess to the basketball court; he also excelled on the baseball diamond while playing for Ohio State. He achieved a batting average of over .
- 300 in two seasons and occasionally showcased the incredible power that would later define his baseball career.
- In 1956, the Brooklyn Dodgers first scouted him, and the following year, as a junior, Cliff Alexander filed a revealing report: “Good arm.
- Fielding below average. Hitting below average (good potential). Running speed slightly below average. Major league power. Definite follow.”
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- What Alexander saw in Frank Howard was a work in progress with immense potential. In the summer of 1957, Howard played for Rapid City in the Basin League, a league that garnered significant attention from big-league scouts.
- Although he was tempted to sign with a professional team that summer, he had made a promise to Stahl to return to Columbus for his final year of basketball.
Unveiling MLB Legend Frank Howard’s Astonishing Wealth: Net Worth Before His Passing
Frank Howard, an iconic figure in Major League Baseball (MLB), left an indelible mark on the sport. While precise figures remain elusive, we estimate his net worth at approximately $1 million at the time of his passing.
The Journey of a Rookie Phenom
Frank Howard’s baseball journey was nothing short of spectacular. He earned the National League’s Rookie of the Year title and played for three MLB teams, along with a notable stint in the Japanese Pacific League (JPL).
Despite his prominence, the details of his earnings during his playing career remain shrouded in mystery.
Unlocking the Enigma: Frank Howard’s Earnings
Throughout his 14-year tenure in the major league, Frank Howard reportedly amassed a total income of $770,000. His highest annual salary of $125,000 was achieved in 1970, a testament to his exceptional skills and contributions to the game.
This substantial income exceeded the average MLB player’s salary during the 1940s through the late 1960s, which stood at around $6,000.
The Financial Evolution of MLB
The financial landscape of MLB has undergone significant transformation over the years. In the late 1970s, the average salary for players rose to $44,676.
Frank Howard, who continued to play until 1974, was among the fortunate few to earn six-digit figures in the later stages of his career.
Considering his exceptional talent and dedication to the sport, it’s reasonable to assert that, had Frank Howard played in the modern era, he would have ranked among the highest-paid MLB players.
Beyond the Diamond: Coaching and Management
- Frank Howard’s journey extended beyond his playing career. He ventured into coaching and management roles for various teams, leaving an enduring impact.
- Notably, his most extended coaching tenure was with the New York Mets, where he served in two separate stints, totaling four years.
- As a coach and manager, he undoubtedly accumulated a substantial income, which significantly contributed to his overall net worth.
- Frank Howard’s multifaceted career and unwavering dedication to baseball solidify his legacy as a true legend of the sport.
Frank Howard: A Legacy of Sporting Excellence and Family Ties
Frank Howard, the legendary figure in the world of baseball, bid farewell at the age of 87 on October 30, 2023, succumbing to complications arising from a stroke.
While his illustrious baseball career remains etched in history, his profound commitment to his extended family is equally noteworthy.
The Early Years and Marital Bonds
Frank Howard, affectionately known as the “Capital Punisher,” was married twice in his lifetime. His first marriage was to Carol Johanski, followed by his union with Donna Howard.
Frank Howard’s First Marriage
The first chapter of Frank’s married life began in 1959 when he exchanged vows with Carol Johanski. However, their journey together met its crossroads in the mid-1980s, leading to a parting of ways.
Frank Howard’s Second Marriage
In 1990, Frank embarked on a new chapter in his personal life when he married Donna Howard. Unfortunately, this second union faced a tragic turn of events when Donna succumbed to cancer on March 13, 2016, following a valiant 18-month battle against the disease.
We are deeply saddened to share that Washington Senators legend Frank Howard has passed away at the age of 87. We join Frank’s loved ones in mourning. pic.twitter.com/PCEk13TSLs
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 30, 2023
A Remarkable Family Man
Beyond the baseball diamond, Frank Howard was a dedicated family man. With Carol, he nurtured a loving family, which included six children: Catherine, Tim, Daniel, Mary, Mitch, and Rebecca.
In the wake of Frank’s passing, his memory lives on through his beloved wife, cherished children, and eight adoring grandchildren.
This enduring legacy is a testament to his commitment to both sporting excellence and the enduring bonds of family.
The Legacy Lives On
Frank Howard’s legacy, known as the “Capital Punisher” on the baseball field, continues to thrive in the hearts of his family and all those who admired his remarkable journey.
His enduring commitment to his loved ones and the impact he left on the world of sports ensure that he will always be remembered as more than just a baseball legend.
Legacy and Impact
Shaping Washington Baseball
Frank Howard’s influence extended far beyond the baseball diamond. His charisma and dedication made him a beloved figure in the city.
He inspired countless young athletes to pursue their dreams and demonstrated the power of resilience and hard work.
Honors and Recognition
In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the game, the Washington Senators retired Howard’s number 33 jersey.
He was inducted into the Washington Nationals Ring of Honor in 2016, cementing his place in the annals of Washington baseball history.
The Final Chapter
Howard’s Lasting Impact and Farewell
Howard’s passing on October 30, 2023, was met with profound sadness. He may have left this mortal world, but his legacy endures.
His remarkable life serves as an inspiration to all, a reminder that dedication, passion, and the pursuit of excellence can lead to a life well-lived.
Howard’s journey was a testament to the boundless potential of the human spirit. His indomitable will, versatility, and philanthropic endeavors have left an indelible mark on our hearts and in the world.
1)What number did Frank Howard wear?
Howard wore #9 from the time he joined the Senators through 1968.
2)When did Frank Howard retire?
After his time in Washington and Texas, Howard was sent to the Detroit Tigers in the middle of the 1972 season. He retired after the 1973 season.
3)How many teams did Frank Howard play for?
Howard played seven seasons with the Washington Senators after earning NL Rookie of the Year honors with the Dodgers in 1960 and helping them win the World Series three years later.