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Frank Howard: The Capital Punisher

Frank Oliver Howard was born in Columbus Ohio on August 8, 1936. His parents were John and Erma Howard. John’s dad worked as a machinist for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in Columbus and his mother was a homemaker.

John was a large man, 6’4″ 200 plus pounds. They lived in a modest home, but Frank said there was always food on the table. If they wanted spending money, they had to go out and earn it.

Frank would shine shoes, caddy at the golf course and when he was 14, he worked a 100 pound jackhammer for the city of Columbus and was paid 1.50 an hour and was glad to have it.

By his sophomore year in HS, he was 6’5″ 195 pounds. His dad had played Semi-pro baseball around Columbus and encouraged Frank’s interest in the game.

Howard had no interest in football, but played basketball, at which he excelled, and baseball, his game of choice. He was widely recruited to play college basketball,  but decided to stay home and attend Ohio State.

His coach there, Frank Stahl, recalled that Howard was anxious to get an education, but had little money. There were no grants in aid they have now for scholarships back then. Stahl told him he thought he could get some jobs around the school.

He did get a little aid from the school, but he worked odd jobs for four years. Stahl got him a job with a local cement company. The foreman told him, Howard does twice as much work as any laborer I have ever had. Stahl now worried Howard would work too hard and over train.

But he need not have worried. Howard became a star for the Buckeyes. He was an All-American his junior year. He also set a Madison Square Garden record for rebounds with 32 in one game and 75 over a three-game weekend.

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors, but he had told Stahl he would return for his senior year. He also played baseball for OSU, batting over .300 a couple of seasons and occasionally showing the power he would become known for.

The Dodgers scout, Cliff Alexander, noted he was a definite must follow. After his senior year of basketball was over, he let scouts know he was ready to sign.

The Dodgers had been following him for a couple of years, and he had never really considered other teams. But Paul Richards of the Orioles offered $120,000. Howard told Alexander about the offer and asked for $108,000.

$100,000 for himself, and $8,000 so he could buy his parents a new house. Alexander agreed and Big Frank was on his way. He left Ohio State one semester short of his degree in Physical Education.

Howard was sent to Green Bay, a Class-B team in the Three-I league. His manager was Pete Reiser. He had no trouble hitting .333 with 37 homers and 119 driven in.

He was the league’s MVP. One evening at a pizza parlor, he met Carol Johamski, a secretary for the Green Bay Gazette. Six months later they were married. Howard bought a house in Green Bay and they settled there.

Howard was called up to the Dodgers in September of 1958. On the 10th of the month, he made his debut at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia against Robin Roberts. He went 2-4 including a mammoth homer in his second big league at bat.

The ball hit the billboard on top of the stadium roof, this caused left fielder, Harry Anderson, to say he was afraid the billboard was going to fall on his head.

On the 16th of the month in Cincinnati, Howard was at bat with teammate Duke Snider on third. Vin Scully commented that Snider was way off of third due to Howard’s penchant for hitting vicious line drives down the line.

Just as Scully finished saying that, Howard hit a bullet down the line that caught Snider right in the head. It knocked him unconscious for a short time and it ended Duke’s season. Howard hit .241 in 29 at bats.

Frank started the 1959 season at Victoria in the Texas League. He was on his way to a triple crown hitting .371 with 27 homers, and 71 RBIs. Buzzie Bavasi watched him hit a 520 foot homer to win a game and took him back to LA.

He was with the team a week, going 2-19, then he was sent to AAA Spokane. He hit 16 more homers there and was called up in September. With the team locked in a pennant race, he only got two at bats, one of them was a PH homer off of Lindy McDaniel on the 23rd. The Dodgers would win the pennant and the World Series. Howard was named the minor league player of the year by the Sporting News.  His overall line, .343/43/136.

In 1960, he was doing all right in spring training, but he had a run in with Alston and was sent to AAA to start the season. By now, Howard had reached 6’8″ and 250 pounds. He would have his weight fluctuate during his career, but in an era when most of the star players were 6’0″ and 180 pounds, he stood out.

And his reputation for prodigious homers and vicious line drives threatening runners lives, preceded him and were well known around the league.

He was not in Spokane long, he hit .371 in 26 games. He returned to the Dodgers and hit .268/23/77 to earn ROY honors. He was the team’s fifth recipient of the award.

In 1961, a chipped bone in his thumb caused him to get off to a slow start. Alston wanted to play him at first base, but the injury kept that from happening. Howard hit .296/15/45 in 92 games.

With the Dodgers losing both of their first basemen, Hodges and Larker, in the expansion draft, Alston moved Ron Fairly to first base so Howard could get more playing time. He would slash .296/31/119 for the year. He still struck out more than he would like, 108 times to only 39 walks. But the Dodgers won 102 games in their new ballpark, but lost the three game playoff to the Giants…..{grrrrrrrrrrrrrr).

In 63 he began wearing glasses. It paid off initially as he hit 3 homers in four games. But once again an injury derailed his season. He still managed to hit 28 homers, by far the most on the team, but he lost his starting job and was platooned with Wally Moon most of the year.

He set a record that year for strikeouts in a season by a Dodger player, 116. A mark that has since been obliterated by a couple of current Dodgers. The Dodgers met the Yankees in the World Series and on the strength of their pitching staff, Koufax, Podres and Drysdale, they swept the Yankees. Howard went 3-10 in the series. He had one homer, a monster shot off of Whitey Ford in game four.

The Dodgers had their second Championship in six seasons in LA. Once more than they had won their entire time in Brooklyn. Long forgotten is the 460 foot double he hit off of Ford in Game one. It landed near the monuments, which back then were in play. It was the longest double in the history of Yankee Stadium. His homer off of Ford traveled 450 feet and landed in the loge section at Dodger Stadium.

Howard was averaging 24 homers a year, and both Alston and Bavasi said they believed in him. But he got off to a slow start in 64 and Alston began platooning him again. He finished .226/24/69. Frank asked the Dodgers to trade him and they obliged.

On Dec 4th, 1964, he was traded along with Ken McMullen, Phil Ortega, Pete Richert for Claude Osteen, John Kennedy and 100,000 cash. Asked if he was disappointed being traded to the Senators, Howard replied, no, I needed to see if I was good enough to play every day.

His new manager was Gil Hodges, his former teammate. Knowing he was not a great fielder, he worked very hard to improve, but Hodges said Howard is being paid to hit.

His 65 season he slashed .289/21/84 leading the Senators in all three categories. 66 was not quite as good as he had only 18 homers and drove in 71.

You have to also factor in how depressed scoring was in the 60’s. It was the era of the pitcher. But Even with that, his legend was gowing. He hit a pitch that Tommy John threw right back at him, John ducked out of the way and Tommy Agee came in like he was going to make the catch but the ball took off and landed in the upper deck in center field.

They painted a seat for that one. And they began to paint seats for all of his mammoth homers. In 1967, at the age of 30, Howard came into his own. His BA was only .256 and he struck out a career high 155 times to lead the league, but he slammed 36 homers and drove in 89 runs. He credited that season to Hodges who asked him to re-tool his swing.

On a team that was going nowhere, he was the biggest threat. The next year he was even better, he slammed 44 homers, and drove in 106. He led the league in homeruns for the first time, and made his first all star team. Jim Lemon, his new manager, played him more at first base that season.

He set records for the most home runs in four, five and six games(10). And this was in the year of the pitcher. Hodges meanwhile was in New York managing the Mets.

Howard’s best season in his entire career would happen in 1969, and it is linked directly to the change in managers. The owner, Bob Short, fired Jim Lemon and somehow convinced Red Sox legend Ted Williams to come manage the Senators.

And Williams had an idea he could make Howard a better hitter. A couple of days into spring training, Williams called Howard into his office. Howard could not believe he was in the manager’s dog house in such a short period of time. But Williams posed a question, can you take a strike? I mean on the tough pitches and work yourself into a better count? Howard said he could.

The result, a .296/48/111 campaign. He cut his K’s to 96 and walked 104 times. His OPS was .976 and he slugged .572. He was again an All-Star, and homered in the contest and was 4th in the MVP vote.

He followed that up with another solid year, .283/44/126. Leading the league in Homers, RBIs and walks.

In 71 he reported to camp at a whopping 296 pounds, and he worked hard to get the weight off, but it affected his stats, and he had a significant drop off. But the big news was that Short had sold the team, and it was moving to Arlington Texas. Fittingly, Howard hit the last homer by a Senator. Baseball would not return to DC for 24 years.

Frank was one of the highest paid players in the game, earning 120,000. He owned several shopping centers in Green Bay where he lived. He originally held out for a raise in 72, but then settled for the same salary.

After a short players strike, he reported to the team. On the 27th of April, he appropriately hit the first homer in Arlington Stadium. It was also his first homer of the year. But he was not the same hitter and on August 31st, he was sold to the Tigers, a team fighting for a playoff berth.

He had one really good day with the Tigers, hitting a homer off of Dave McNally. But since he joined the team on September 1st, he was ineligible for the playoffs.

The DH came into the AL in 73. Howard hit 12 homers in 85 games. He was released in October and his MLB career was over. He signed to play in Japan, but in his first at-bat, he hurt his back and his playing days were over.

He would go on to have a long career in baseball as a coach, and he was an interim manager a couple of times for the Mets and Brewers. Most of his employers felt he was too nice to be successful as a manager.

He relocated from Green Bay to Northern Virginia. He and his first wife raised six children but their marriage ended in 91. Frank remarried. When the Expos moved to DC in 2005, he became the link between the old and the new. Especially so when they played in RFK stadium, where Frank had played.

When they moved into their new ballpark in 2008, they unveiled three statues. Walter Johnson, the Hall of Fame pitcher, Josh Gibson, the Hall of Fame catcher from the Homestead Grays who played their games in old Griffith Stadium, and Frank Howard, the link to the expansion Senators who were now in Texas.

Howard was always his own worst critic, but he has a statue outside of a stadium. Not many can say that, especially if they are not in the Hall. Frank was only on the ballot for one year and got less than 2 percent of the vote.

The man of multiple nicknames, Hondo, The Washington Monument, and The Capital Punisher did pretty well for himself.

Howard passed away on October 30th, 2023, in Aldie Virginia. He was 87 years old. I have a personal memory of Hondo. I went to a game at Dodger Stadium and was sitting in the pavilion in left field during BP. Back in those days the seats out there were nothing more than 2×4’s.

He hit a line drive that shattered one of those boards about 5 feet from me. Sounded like a rifle shot. Awesome power.

 

 

 

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Dionysus

Minor league contract?

Dionysus

2020 ROY
2024 AAA CF?

Oldbear48

According to his Wikipedia page, no. He is still a free agent.

Jeff Dominique

I did not believe it to be true. I got this notification and I just thought it was funny. Although, the Dodgers do not have a whole heck of a lot of ML talent in AAA OF. So it was plausible knowing the Dodgers penchant for picking up these AAAA players.

Oldbear48

Would not bother me if they did sign the guy. He is a highlight reel defensively. He needs to re-establish himself and OKC would be a great place to do it. I saw him play a couple of games for the D-Backs last year. Not the same hitter I saw earlier in his career.

Dodgerfan

Jeff what are your thoughts Vargas,also it was mentioned the Dodgers minor league was highly rated and we are trading them.

TennisMenace (TM)

Great article, Bear. Thanks again.

Can you imagine Ted Williams as you coach giving you tips on how to hit a baseball? Heck even I probably could have hit .300 under his watchful eye.

I don’t remember seeing Howard play the OF…only remember his as a 1B….so I imagine he was not very graceful out there which kept him on the bench early on.

I recall him being a “gentle giant”…..sad to read his wife and he split after raising 6 kids.

Mark Timmons

Keith Law of The Athletic had this to say about the newest Dodgers:

Lefty Jackson Ferris was the Cubs’ second-round pick in 2022 and made his pro debut last year as a 19-year-old in Low A, posting a 3.38 ERA in 56 innings in a pitcher-friendly environment at Myrtle Beach with a 32 percent strikeout rate, 14 percent walk rate and 15 wild pitches. He’s a four-pitch guy who’s up to 95 mph with a plus slider, needing to work on the changeup more often to keep right-handers in check. Overall, his main issue is repeating his delivery for better strike-throwing and durability. He can overextend in the back and see his arm slot drift upward, causing timing problems out front, which will only get worse as he’s stretched to more than three innings per outing. He’s a strong athlete with a great pitcher’s build and has the weapons to be a mid-rotation starter, with a lot of reliever risk due to the present command/control.

Zyhir Hope was the Cubs’ 11th-round pick in 2023, a superb athlete and plus runner who would do a backflip on the field before every high school game, Ozzie Smith-style, but who faced no quality pitching as an amateur, leading to concerns about how long he’d take to be ready to face full-season pitching. To his credit, he played very well in his brief pro debut in the Arizona Complex League, with a .286/.419/.543 line in 43 plate appearances, although he still struck out 30 percent of the time and it’s a minuscule sample that shouldn’t change what we knew about him from prior to the draft. The Dodgers love athletic players and have a tremendous track record in helping them make adjustments, so I can see what they might like here even though Ferris is the main return in the deal, while they also clear two 40-man spots and cash-in on Busch, who was blocked at first and second by a pair of MVP candidates.

Mark Timmons

Law also said this about Michael Busch:

I expect him to be more of a high doubles, 18-22 homers guy in the majors. In his brief stint with the Dodgers last year, he put the ball on the ground too often, and his swing is much more geared toward low line drives than big fly balls.

He’s a natural first baseman and almost certainly plays there for the Cubs, with experience at second and third base, much better at the keystone than the hot corner. He also helps the Cubs get more left-handed thump, as their lineup was very right-handed. He also has hit southpaws well enough to project as an everyday player

Dionysus

I wish him well.

Lotta pressure on him being brought in by the Cubs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dionysus
dodger dad

is vargas next? a package for Cease is still possible. include vargas, then maybe sign whitt merrifield? great utility player

dodgerram

Trade that I would love to see:
Outman plus two of our young arms not named Bobby Miller plus either Rushing or Cartaya for Cease and Robarts jr.

Go Dodgers””””””””””””””

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerram
Oldbear48

You might want that, but the White Sox cannot afford to trade their only real marketable piece in Roberts Jr.

dodgerram

How do you know what the WS can afford or can not afford ?
Just asking.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oldbear48

Most of the comments from GM state he is going nowhere. And I tend to agree with that.

Mark Timmons
  1. WS wants too much for Cease;
  2. Baltimore wants him, too, and has more prospects.
  3. I don’t think they want to trade Vargas.
Oldbear48

I agree with that.

dodgerram

Dodgers obviously wanted to clear space on the 40 men roster.
Not excited about this trade.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zeke

I wasn’t either Ram. But I will get to see him play quite a bit since the Cubs are on my local broadcast. I sure hope to see other users migrate over here from the now “Defunct” LADT. My Cubs friends were asking me about these players and why we traded them and I told them they are decent players but just were blocked.

They also weren’t that high on the prospects that they gave up and we received but they are just fans and not professional analysts so time will tell.

I think as of now in the short term look at this trade the Cubs won this one quite easily in my opinion.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeke
Oldbear48

It will be several years before you could safely say they won the trade. Both of the players LA received are very young. Almonte was not the same reliever last year he was in 22. Busch is still nothing more than a prospect, and an older one at that. Trade makes perfect sense since they signed Hernandez.

Zeke

You can have your opinion and I can have mine. Just because I am a fan of the Dodgers doesn’t mean everything they do I have to agree with and be ecstatic about and there are a lot of people that think that way. Not saying you are but just saying.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeke
Duke Not Snider

Way too early to say whether the Dodgers or Cubs won this trade, but I bet Michael Busch feels like a winner.
He’s known for quite a while that he’d have a very hard time cracking the Dodgers’ lineup. Now, at age 26, he’s finally getting a real shot. I think he has all-star potential–but only if he left the Dodgers.
From what I’ve read, the Cubs are penciling him at 1B. That could change if they bring back Belli because they have another top prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong, ready to take over CF. But Busch could also factor in at 2B, 3B and DH–and that wasn’t going to happen with the Dodgers.
I also think Ferris and Hope feel like winners too. They know they are moving to a better organization that can help them improve their game. There will be more internal competition, but if they want to get better, that’s a plus.

Mark Timmons

So, what would you have done with Busch?

Zeke

No matter what I say your going to pick it apart, I have seen it to many times so I am not taking your bait. I agree that you can’t fully analyze the trade until a few years and I said that in my original post can’t we leave it like that instead of trying to nitpick?

Mark Timmons

Well, you just picked what the Dodgers did apart! I’m guessing you already know your argument is weak.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Zeke

No I didn’t pick it apart I wasn’t high on the trade and what we got back. I thought we sold low. Is that weak I don’t think so maybe you can take your ball and go home like you did on your own blog. That is what is weak. Oh you can’t shut this one down but your sure trying to make it like yours.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeke
Mark Timmons

Wow! So when you have no cogent argument, you just attack the person? I see…

Zeke

No that’s your style. I tried to let it go but you couldn’t and called it weak so I replied. To bad you reap what you sow.

Frank Howard

You attack everyone. Thank god that here, you won’t get away with the name calling you love to do so much.

porpoiseboy

Dude, cool your jets. NO ONE criticized you, he just disagreed. Some big time emotional projecting going on your side here. He’s just another poster here, maybe you should pull the claws in.

Frank Howard

Wow. You need to just go away. Go back to you own site…PLEASE!!!

Mark Timmons

If you say something smart, I will likely reply, and if you say something I disagree with, I will reply. On my site, I never attacked the person until they attacked me. On this site, I will not respond in kind to childish attacks. Sorry!

dodgerram

I know the question was not directed at me but allow me an asnwer anyway. I would have preferred if the Dodgers had included Bush in a bigger deal. White Sox or brewers maybe for Burnes or Cease. He was our Nr. 2 prospect and top 50 overall on most boards. The return is not overwhelming though the trade indeed should not be judged now but rahter in 3-5 years. But the Dodgers are in a win now mode and Bush should have netted a little more talent for the now. Or should have kept him for insurance.But that certainly woud not have gone well with Bush. So I can live with the trade but looking at the the immediate goal to win the WS this year or next the trade is not a good one.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark Timmons

According to several baseball insiders, the White Sox were asking for at least 4 of the Oriole’s top 10 prospects for Cease. The Orlies have a better farm system than the Dodgers, so what other 3 or 4 top prospects would have been included for Cease?

Jeff Dominique

Just asking. But how do you know that Busch wasn’t offered in a trade for Cease or any other MLB pitcher. How do you know what other teams think of a LH DH/1B? The ChiSox are committed to Andrew Vaughn as their 1B and Eloy Jimenez as their DH. He wasn’t going to play there either.

Miami has Josh Bell as their 1B. They are paying Avisail Garcia $12MM each of the next two years to be their DH. Nobody is taking that contract. They are really hoping he comes back healthy and has a bounceback year.

DH’s are just not that valuable in a trade scenario. So while he is popular with LAD fans, he may not be all that marketable for other teams needs. He is not a middle infielder. He is not a CF who can fly. He is not a potential 40 HR guy. He is a very good MiLB hitter that has not translated to MLB…YET. And he is 26. You are not going to get an Ace pitcher with 2 or 3 years of control for that.

I understand he would need to be in a package. It is going to take pitching and catching. CWS does not need a catcher prospect. They have two highly rated catchers in Korey Lee and Edgar Quero.

What pitchers do you think would interest CWS? Outside of Bobby Miller. CWS has “asked” Cincinnati for 4 highly rated prospects for Cease. CWS is not about to drop their asking price while Snell and Montgomery are still out there. Once they are gone, the bidding will start to elevate for Cease and Luzardo. And Baltimore and Cincinnati can offer a lot more than LAD in prospect capital.

I do think Luzardo can be in play with catching prospects. But what else?

I am a Michael Busch fan, and I cannot wait to see what he does for a team that actually needs him. Or more importantly will actually play him.

The 19 year old LHSP the Dodgers got back (Jackson Ferris) could be special. Or he could be a flop. But if you believe in the LAD farm system, he dropped in at #5 with MLB Pipeline. In the LAD farm system, a top 5 prospect is pretty good. Right? Especially one who is 19.

Hope is one of the better athletes that was drafted last summer. The Dodgers do not have a lot of OF prospects that they are high on. Andy Pages, Josue DePaula and Kendall George are about it. Plus, Hope is a 2-way player who very well could follow in the River Ryan and Payton Martin route and get the fulltime conversion to pitcher. He turns 19 next week. Let’s see what he does over the next couple of years.

I have a feeling that the Dodgers are investing in the future by trading assets that do not fit in with the current LAD roster. Investments sometimes do very well and sometimes they don’t. With the LAD development team, I like the chances on this one.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeff Dominique
Oldbear48

Remember all the uproar about the Dodgers not trading for Hamels?

Mark Timmons

If Busch had been returned to AAA, he would have become a “depreciating asset.” The Andrew Friedman Era has been the best run ever in Dodger Baseball (IMHO). Does anyone actually believe he has accomplished that by not getting the most out of every trade he makes? It’s easy to second guess but to think he sold low is not based upon anything factual.

Oldbear48

Very true. I totally understand that. I just would rather wait a while and see what the two kids might have before I jump to that conclusion.

Mark Timmons

If you are looking at just this year, then the Cubs won the trade. They got two MLB players, and the Dodgers got Zero.

But, if you view it that way, you are missing most of the purpose behind the trade. Busch was blocked and had no play to play. Almonte is a fringe piece.

The trade was made to clear roster space and get prospects for the future.

This trade was made for two to four years in the future. Look at it five years from now. That’s when the real evaluation can be made.

RC Dodger

I agree dodgerram. Also not excited about this trade.
Busch was not only a 1st round pick and the Dodgers #1 prospect, he was the MVP of the Pacific Coast League with a 431 OBP and 1049 OPS! And traded for the Cubs #8 prospect who is 19 years old.
Busch would have been a great option as a DH, 2B, and LF this year. Instead the Dodgers are paying $700 million for a DH, they moved their gold glove RF to 2B, and signed a LF for $23 million. The Dodgers must not think Busch is a MLB player to get this little return.
A better trade option to me was the Braves trade of Vaughn Grissom for Chris Sale. Busch and Grissom had similar trade values on MLBTV and were both blocked from the MLB roster. But the Braves managed to get a 7 time all star pitcher who will be in their starting rotation this year and possibly pitch in the playoffs. Sure, he may get hurt again, but the Braves opted to help this year’s team while the Dodgers opted for a lottery ticket in 2028.

Oldbear48

He was only the #1 prospect because the former #1, Cartaya, has not developed as fast as they might have wanted. As a matter of fact, he is not even their #1 catching prospect anymore, that is Rushing. But I do get your point.

Duke Not Snider

Busch may have been labeled “#1 prospect,” but the Dodger brass clearly considered him, at age 26, more expendable that many other prospects. The deal with Almonte brought back to two young prospects with great potential.
Perhaps there needs to be another kind of listing. I don’t like the term “untouchable,” but which prospects are, well, the least touchable?
I would not give up Rushing unless the return is a true stud–perhaps a guy like Robert Jr. or Luzardo. I might trade a top pitching prospect like Frasso because the Dodgers have so much SP depth. I might trade a guy like Pages while “hugging” young talents like De Paula and Jeondry Vargas who are still a few years away.
What about Miguelito?
I would love to package Miguel Vargas in a deal for Luzardo. Vargas, who is Cuban, might want to go to Miami. Luzardo, with 3 years of contract control, would not be cheap.
How about Stone + Grove + Vargas + Cartaya for Luzardo and throw-ins???
I say Cartaya because I really don’t want to deal Rushing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Oldbear48

They still have one open roster spot after Hernandez is officially announced. Maybe a relief pitcher>>>>?????? Giants signed Jordan Hicks to a four-year 44-million-dollar deal. Wonder how Daval, their current closer feels about that.

Duke Not Snider

It’s reported that the Giants will try Hicks as a starter. I like the outside-the-box thinking.
The Giants need to be bold and creative to compete against the big, bad Dodgers.

Oldbear48

His first year, 1960, he played 115 of his 117 games in the outfield. That is where he played almost all of his games as a Dodger. He only played 11 games in LA at first base. He only played 334 career games as a first baseman. Most of that with DC and Texas and he only started 261 games at the position. So, if you remember him as a first baseman, it is from when he was with those two teams, not the Dodgers. After Hodges and Larker left, it was mostly Fairly through 62. Bill Skowron came over in 63 and shared the position with Fairly and Dick Nen.

Oldbear48

Found a cool old video of Koufax pitching to Mr. Ed on You Tube. Roseboro catching, Durocher, Willie D. and Moose Skowron watching. So it had to be filmed in 63. Unfortunately, I am not gifted enough to add it here. But check it out. It is hilarious.

Duke Not Snider

Nice piece, Bear. Learned a lot about Frank Howard.
Also reminded about Hodges’s excellence as a manager.

Oldbear48

Thanks Duke, much appreciated.

tedraymond

Another fantastic article Bear. The Dodgers didn’t have many HR hitters at the time Frank was with the team. It was so much fun to watch him hit those monster home runs. I remember the one he hit in the World Series. The horror of him striking out over 100 times in a season. Today, he might be considered a contact hitter. Lol. And to do what he did with the dominant pitching at the time is remarkable.

Probably not Dodger related, but there are still a lot of good free agents on the market. With spring training about a month away it’s kind of unusual to have so many unsigned, quality players.

Who’s going to be the player to fill the Dodgers final spot on the 40 man roster?

It’s nice to see so many LADT contributors migrating over here to LADC. Including, of course, Mr. Timmons.

Carry on.

Cassidy

I think part of the Busch trade is AF being an honorable and stand up leader. Busch is 26 with no foreseeable future with the Dodgers. Rather than stashing him in AAA for injury insurance, he’s giving Busch a chance to start his mlb career and reach his earning potential. Bravo for him and best wishes for Busch. And hopefully Hader is the final piece to the 40 man roster. Now that’s an October move!

Last edited 1 month ago by Cassidy
tedraymond

Other than the Hader comment I completely agree with your sentiment on the Busch trade by AF.

I don’t think the Dodger BP needs Hader. With the cost and Hader’s apparent desire to only pitch one inning and that being the ninth I say no thanks. But, with all that AF has done so far this year, anything might happen.

dodgerram

The Dodgers do not NEED Hader, but he would help them immensely. Especially in a close playoff series. Imagine being able to trot out Graterol. Philllipps and then Hader in innings 7-9. That is the essence of shortening a game.

Go Dodgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dionysus

Hader is an investment that matures in October.

Oldbear48

Hader is also a negative factor in the clubhouse. He has a QO attached which is probably the number one reason LA will not sign him. I am not sure they want a guy in the clubhouse who considers himself a closer only. Does not mix well with all for the team type atmosphere they want. Refusing to pitch in the 8th inning last season could be a good reason why. Hader wants close to 20 mil a year. Won’t happen in LA.

dodgerpatch

This is my take as well. If he really wanted to be hard a**, he could’ve tried to stash Busch in AAA until Muncy’s contract ended. That wouldn’t have been fair to Busch.

It’s not ALL about the numbers.

Oldbear48

Thank you, Ted. I try my best.

Make mine BLUE

Good job Bear, I really enjoyed this written documentary on Hondo. Keep up the good work.

Oldbear48

Much appreciated.

RC Dodger

Great article Bear!
Frank Howard had a very good career. He had an OPS of 851 and 382 HRs in his 16 MLB seasons. He had the 6th most HRs in the 1960s, behind only Killebrew, Aaron, Mays, Frank Robinson, and McCovey. Howard had legendary power and produced impressive numbers during the pitching era of the 1960’s.

Oldbear48

That HR he hit off of Ford in the series was about the hardest hit HR I had ever seen.

dodgerpatch

Good article, Bear.

Looking at Howard’s offensive stats versus his defensive stats, I can’t help but wonder what if MLB had implemented the DH 10 years earlier. He would likely be a HOFer.

Oldbear48

It came too late in his career for sure. Only one season where he was the primary DH for a short time. But he was one of the hardest workers on the team when he was with LA.

Bluto

Zeke had an interesting (to me) thought.

that the Dodgers sold low on Busch. Did they? On one hand they almost had to move on from Busch, Busch was getting “too old”, the Dodgers leverage point was low.

on the other hand:
Busch was a top prospect, coming off a highly productive season, Busch never publically complained nor demanded a trade. Busch’s value would probably (????) only go down without MLB at bats.

I’d like to think more on this, but I feel like Busch was traded mid-value. But I’m not confident.

dodgerpatch

I think a lot of us are arguing over who “won” the trade (and getting ridiculously bent out of shape when not everyone agrees with our take). In many cases a trade might not seem equal, but it nevertheless suits the unique needs of the parties involved; so it works.

I’m ok with the trade. I suppose I would have liked to have seen Busch as part of a package for someone like Bieber/Clase, but I’m a Dodger fan so I naturally overvalue Dodger prospects. What I want as a Dodger fan and what is reality are not always the same.

Bluto

Jeez, my wants and realities are never aligned. Or rarely.

So I feel that.

I didn’t mean to edge into “winning” a trade, I personally think the best trades are when both sides win. But they idea of evaluating when a player’s trade value is at a high or low is endlessly interesting to me.

dodgerpatch

Yeah, and I was more addressing the comments above – I think Zeke – who thought the Dodgers didn’t get enough for Busch.

Remember all the wailing over the Puig trade? The Dodgers actually got quite a bit out of that trade (more like fleeced them, LOL), eventually flipping those prospects for Betts. Sometimes you just have to trust that AF actually knows what he’s doing most of the time.

As to your speculation about value, I think it’s very unlikely his trade value would’ve increased with another year in the Dodger organization. Even if he continued to put up the same numbers in AAA as he did in most of 2023, he’s at the point where he really needs to establish himself at the MLB level. Another year in AAA at age 26 would’ve depressed his value, IMO.

Zeke

Jeff:

Just curious how you feel about the comments section now that LADT has been closed? I’m sure your internet traffic has increased which is good for you and your site. I didn’t post a lot on here but was an avid reader. It sure used to be a lot calmer and seemed like a better conversation and opinions but now it seems like their is a lot more arguing and now you have to walk on egg shells. I wonder why that is??

Make mine BLUE

Zeke, I think we all know why things are somewhat changing here. It may just come down to someone being escorted out the door. I read LADT a bunch but never posted, just didn’t want to deal with the bullshit bullying that was a constant over there (some people or person just can’t help themselves and feel it is their duty to act foolishly and act like a know it all). I hope that that person doesn’t attempt to screw things up over here. So far he is off to a great start to achieving that objective.

Jeff, you better pay close attention and not allow this thing to get away from you. Act early rather than later, if that becomes obviously necessary. That’s my humble opinion, but what you do is up to you, of course.

porpoiseboy

You two are being weak. Seeing insults where there are none. Come on! This is fun!

Last edited 1 month ago by porpoiseboy
RC Ray

My god you have thin skin Zeke! Mark’s contributions are already making an excellent blog even better. Get over yourself!

Zeke

I guess if you say so. Have you read any of the other posters that say different? I see plenty that don’t think so. I can take care of myself.

dodgerpatch

One of the reasons I never previously frequented this place much is that everyone seemed to agree with everyone else. I think that makes for very boring discussion, personally. Disagreement and sometimes arguing is where the good ideas are germinated.

Passive aggressively calling for someone to be banned because your opinion wasn’t sufficiently agreed with is pretty thin skinned.

Bluto

What is the point of asking this question?

Zeke

Just curious if Jeff thinks his site/product is for the better or worse for all the new commenters and opinions. Internet blogs can be great or they can be cesspools. Seems like they are either or. You should know you were a poster on both and should be able to tell which ones are which.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeke
Bluto

Why do you think that question needs to be asked? You don’t think Jeff has thoughts on his site and how it’s doing? Of course he does.

Jeff’s a big boy. Let him deal with his life.

Stick to baseball.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
Zeke

Point taken. Ready for NFL this weekend should be some crazy games with the weather. Moving off this so if you want to continue feel free.

Last edited 1 month ago by Zeke
dodgerpatch

Understand that it is less of a question, and more of a call-to-action disguised as a question – for the plausible deniability part. Understand that and you’ll understand the point.

Bluto

Yeah, it was thinly veiled and passive aggressive and stupid.

Zeke

Just can’t help your self and got to keep stirring the pot, don’t ya.

Frank Howard

I agree and I KNOW WHY. He was an awful bully and name caller when he ran his own site. He has spoiled it over here also.

Mark Timmons

Be careful of what you say that is not true. It is all archived. I never started the fights, but I did respond in kind at LADT. BTW, if Jeff asks me to leave, I will leave. So make your case to him. Maybe taking up a petition to have me removed will work.

Frank Howard

Absolutely awesome article. I loved it. Parts of it gave me chills when I remembered it. He is my all-time favorite player. Thank you very much!

Oldbear48

I gathered that by your handle. We have had other posters with handles like Campy, Toy Cannon and of course, Duke not Snider. You are very welcome; I was happy to do it.

Jeff Dominique

Bear brought up the Mr. Ed video with the Dodgers. I laughed when I first saw, and I laugh at it still today.

Here it is, and I have included it at the bottom of his post.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeff Dominique
Bklyn2LA57

OMG! Mr. Ed sliding into home with the hoof touching home plate was killer! Fell out of my chair.

Oldbear48

Hilarious. Sandy, Alan Young, Rosey, Leo the Lip, The Three Dog and Moose.

Kickstart

Wow. Expressed my opinion about Mark coming here and got deleted. Is that how it works Jeff?

Bluto

we won’t miss you, Kickstart!

Mark Timmons

Jeff, you can let them say whatever they want about me. You have my permission. I don’t care.

Bumsrap

Mark uses hair gel.

Mark Timmons

Not so much.

Oldbear48

I have no hair to gel.

Mark Timmons

Not much of it!

Kickstart

Damm had to break my heart to. Are you all puffed up now?

Bluto

Should read:
Damn, you had to break my heart, too. Are you puffed up now?

If you’re staying, we’re happy to have you!

PS: What does puffed up mean? Anyone?

Cassidy

The opposite of puffed down?

Bluto

Indeed!

Last edited 1 month ago by Bluto
dodgerpatch

AI will destroy humanity, but in the meantime, have fun with it.

https://img.craiyon.com/2024-01-12/prGnwjmETeSefU6y5JMZew.webp

porpoiseboy

Wearing a down jacket?

Eric

Hi Jeff. I hope you’re doing good and I’ve missed you posting on LADT. I stayed loyal (if it matters) to Mark’s website. I want to apologize to Mark if I was part of the reason he shut down his website. He is smart about baseball and I loved that about him, but we clashed sometimes and I hate to take the sides of some posters here, but his personality clashed with mine. With that said, I’m going to miss his website, it was the first thing I read when I started my day. So I’m sorry Mark, if I was part of the reason you did what you did.

I’ve started to read this website to start my day and I like that some from LADT have come over here, because there are some that use to post on LADT that are smart about baseball too, like Mark and you too Jeff.

I’m going to continue reading, because of what I just said in the above paragraph, but I’m not going to post.

And again, I’m sorry to Mark and I hope Mark is doing good and you too. I hope you approve this post, so Mark especially can see it and others too.

As I said in most of my posts at LADT. Just my 2 cents.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eric
Mark Timmons

Thanks Eric. We are good.

Thank you.

Eric

You’re welcome Mark.

Kickstart

I read this site and post from a small phone with a big thumb. So do it more like texting than writing a term paper. Excuse me if I don’t practice proper English. February 22nd can’t get here soon enough

dodger dad

just got here couple days ago, and damn it mark you followed me ! curses! how dare you know so damn much about baseball. you people keep my blood pumping ! no need for nasty! there’s enough of that crap in politics! i hope busch thrives in chicago, but he may never be an all star, or a batting champion. seen rumors rojas may be traded. love his defense , but enough .210 hitters on the bench. jordan hicks is going to start in san francisco.big gamble for the money. away from baseby for a second, alabama fans don’t seem to happy! bring clayton back!

Oldbear48

How dare you, Miggy hit .236 last season and is a career .257 hitter. That average is higher than Muncy’s, Barnes, Taylor and Kike.

Mark Timmons

Sorry….

Bluto

Is your big thumb puffed?

ToyCannon23

Good to see all the new traffic. Looks like according to Heyman ‘everything on table’ for the Marlins. Do we have enough put package together for Luzardo or I would even be cool with Rogers

Mark Timmons

Raul Ibanez back with the Dodgers as VP of Special Stuff. Great news.

Cassidy

If the Dodgers are as enamored with Sasaki as reported then 25 staff would have the three Japanese pitchers, Glasnow and Miller. That leaves Buehler(will they sign him), Sheehan, Stone, May and Gonsolin. Not to mention next gen, Knack, Ryan, Frasso and Hurt. So I can’t see the need to sign another starter beyond a one year deal. That leaves Burnes at the deadline as a rental and the Dodgers should be all in to get him with their depth of pitching.

Mark Timmons

DODGERS PRESS RELEASE

DODGERS SIGN TEOSCAR HERNÁNDEZ

 

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Teoscar Hernández for $23.5 million.

 

Hernández, 31, played in 160 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2023, batting .258 with 26 homers and 93 RBI. He finished among the team leaders in batting average (3rd), homers (3rd), RBI (3rd), slugging percentage (4th, .435), extra-base hits (2nd, 57), total bases (2nd, 272) and hits (2nd, 161) while recording 12 assists, which was tied with Alex Verdugo for the American League lead in outfield assist and tied for second overall in the Majors with Verdugo, Ian Happ and Fernando Tatis Jr.. The right-handed hitter slashed .287/.307/.510 against lefties last season, notching seven homers and driving in 27 batters.

 

In 2021, he had his best season in the Majors with the Toronto Blue Jays, slashing .296/.346/.524 with career-bests in hits (163), runs (92), homers (32), RBI (112) and stolen bases (12). He made his first All-Star Game in Colorado after hitting .297 with 11 homers and 48 RBI prior to the break. He went on to win his second straight Louisville Silver Slugger award (other; 2020) and finished 19th in the American League Most Valuable Player voting.

 

Hernández has played eight Major League seasons with the Houston Astros (2016-2017), Toronto Blue Jays (2017-2022) and Seattle Mariners (2023), amassing 159 career homers and 473 RBI in 811 games. He is a career .261 hitter with an .802 OPS while recording 58 outfield assists. The Cotui, Dominican Republic native was originally signed by the Houston Astros on February 17, 2011 as an amateur international free agent.

Mark Timmons

To me, the hiring of Raul Ibanez as the vice president of baseball development and special projects is a huge – as in very huge – thing. Raul is well respected and will make an impact in whatever he does. Also, to the Roberts haters: This guy could be the next Dodger manager if Doc screws up.

dodgerpatch

Why do you think they hired him? The clock’s ticking for Doc. Dead man walking.

Mark Timmons

You never know!

Oldbear48

Just read that. Good guy.

Jeff Dominique

Teoscar Hernandez signs with the Dodgers is now official.

Oldbear48

Beat me to the punch dagnabit.

Oldbear48

Teoscar Hernandez signing is now official, and he is on the 40-man roster. Hernandez will wear # 37.

dodger dad

true bear , i shorted him .26 points! that list you posted makes me cringe!

Jeff Dominique

I have been out most of the day.

Zeke had a very reasonable response to the Busch trade, one in which lines have been drawn, as dodgerpatch noted. I came down on “it was a good trade”, and also commented on it. I made my point and moved on.

Mark’s Response to Zeke:

So, what would you have done with Busch?

I do not think it was an unreasonable question.  I basically asked the question with a lot more words to dodgerram. 

But it seemed to disintegrate a bit from there. There is obviously a history between Zeke and Mark. Again not knowing the history between the two, the worst thing Mark wrote is that Zeke’s argument was weak. A lot worse has been directed at me in my comments, especially when I get passionate with my Austin Barnes support.

Then again, I also understand that a history has a way of amplifying perceived negative comments. So I am not about to tell anyone that they have a thin skin.

Dodgerpatch has roasted me in some of my commentary on my site. I am not going to get into the reasons, but he has chided me a couple of times. 

Kickstart, your comment was trashed because you made an unsolicited remark against Mark that served no purpose except to try and get into an argument unrelated to baseball. You were not responding to a response to any question, just a slam on Mark. I have also dumped comments against those who do like Mark directed to those who disagree with his methods. 

I am not going to ban anyone. There are a lot of commenters that can and do generate a negative response. One of the reasons we have been as successful is that we stay away from name calling. We do disagree, but try to do so respectfully. Not always successful, but for the most part we have.

I have often taken a comment from the site that I disagree with, and it will become the basis of another post. So I have no problem with contrarian points of view. 

Bottom line for me – I did not read anything that Mark wrote on this particular post that would in any way constitute banning. The same with every other commenter. Did it get personal? It did, but more directed against Mark. Did it need to? I cannot speak for anyone else. But it seemed to me that most of the commentary is due to prior experiences that emanated from LADT. Please give it a chance here, and try not to take comments personally that emanate from prior experiences. 

I know that is not always easy to do and I have posted my email address for such occasions:

jeffdominique@hotmail.com

Feel free to send me an email with any complaints. 

We are all Dodgers fans, and we may have different ideas as to how to make the product better.  The more we concentrate on that subject, the better the site will become.

BTW, I am certainly pleased with the number of comments. The more traffic makes my site more accessible.  All commenters are welcome. All points of view are welcome. 

OhioDodger

Jeff, your sight is becoming LADT 2.0. And that is not good.

Jeff Dominique

Ohio, please just give it a chance.

OhioDodger

I am open minded. I just don’t like to see your blog going from good conversation to confrontation.
I don’t envy your position on this.

Last edited 1 month ago by OhioDodger
Mark Timmons

Let me say two things:

  1. LADT ran for 20 years, and
  2. LADT got more traffic than any other “non-monetized” Dodger Blogs and
  3. LADT got more traffic than many of the monetized blogs… combined!

… and even the guys whom I control (because they hate me) kept coming back.

This is Jeff’s Blog, and I have and will continue to abide by his rules. I have not called anyone a moron here, nor will I, because I know that morons do not like to be called that.

However, if Jeff thinks I am too much of a distraction, I will leave if he asks me to. My weakness is that I do not deal with passive-aggressive people very well. I am trying to get better…

OhioDodger

Mark,

My comments were not an accusation of you. I read your blog daily and enjoyed your takes. I think you have good insights on the Dodgers. However your name calling and bullying attitude produced a toxic environment. I just don’t want to see that come here to this great Dodger blog. I acknowledge that you cannot control the posters from your former site and their vitriol toward you.

dodgerpatch

“Dodgerpatch has roasted me in some of my commentary on my site. I am not going to get into the reasons, but he has chided me a couple of times.”

Water under the bridge. I think I was annoyed at one time over what I perceived as you taking passive aggressive stabs at Mark’s site to generate content on this site. Not a big deal. I know we had a spirited discussion over the Dodgers drafting Maddux Bruns. I liked the pick, you wanted a higher floor guy. Meh. All part of being passionate fans.

I think some folks here are going to be a little put off by the change in culture as a lot of new people come on board. LADT was a little more rough and tumble, and it wasn’t just Mark, although he established that culture. Personally I find that atmosphere more entertaining, and I sometimes enjoy being combative, but it can also quickly devolve into a complete sewer, as it did on Scott’s site. So, I think you are in your right to establish clear guidelines.

To be fair, my advice to Mark would be to tone it down just a little and don’t go full bull-in-china-shop within the first few days of showing up here. Understand and respect that there was a culture here that predated us, and it’s Jeff’s site and he’s the alpha dog. Wait a week. Then be a blowhard. 😅

Last edited 1 month ago by dodgerpatch
Zeke

Jeff: Not much of a history between me and Mark. I’ll just go back to being an avid reader. Much more important things to do than argue with multiple people I don’t even know personally. Good luck with being the most popular Dodger blog, I hope you know what you’re in for. I always appreciate your takes and knowledge along with Phil Jones. He knows the game as well as anyone.

Jeff Dominique

Zeke, I do not like arguing with people I do not know either. Heck. I do not like arguing with people I do know. I have done it on Dodger blogs, and it is not fun. As I told a friend who emailed me, I have no idea how this is going to turn out. All I can do is my best, and hope that everyone wants to continue and do so with as little vitriol as possible. I am optimistic.

Mark Timmons

I’ll tell you how it will turn out: It will turn out just fine, or I will leave of my own volition. I have never started a fight, but I have ended a few. In Keyboard Wars, there are no winners. I chose this blog to comment on because I believe it is the best Dodger Blog and will do that unless it does not work. This is the last time I am going to address the issue. It’s only an issue if people make it one. I am somewhat flattered that I occupy so much space inside people’s heads!

P.S. I am not a bully. Go back and look at the history. I did not call people a moron until they called me something … even in a passive-aggressive way… like 10 times.

Don’t expect me to post this much. I just felt I had to respond today. Go Dodgers!

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Timmons
Ron Fairly fan

Interesting discussion on MLB radio today about the Busch trade. They were talking about Busch’s situation being similar to Adrian Gonzalez. He was blocked and was traded to the Padres and blossomed into an outstanding player. I hope for the best for Busch and I’m glad he’ll get a chance to play every day except when they play the Dodgers.

They also ran down Dodger trades when they trade top prospects. Boston only has Wong left from the Betts trade. Baltimore only has Kremer left from the Machado trade. Texas has no one left in the organization from the Darvish trade. Washington does have Gray and Ruiz still.
Not wanting to debate who won or lost the trade just that it was an interesting discussion.

Jeff Dominique

Actually the Dodgers just got one of those traded back. SS Brendon Davis has signed an MiLB contract.

Mark Timmons

Bluto nailed this: Trades are best when both teams get what they need. Swindling other teams is not good business as they will not continue to deal with you. When you trade 26 and 29-year-old players for 19-year-olds, it is going to take a while to see who “won” the trade, or maybe it becomes a win-win.

Duke Not Snider

Absolutely… The win-win deal leads to more good deals.
I really want Busch to become an all-star… while Ferris and Hope fulfill their potential…and while Freddie, the guy who is blocking Busch, burnished his HOF application.
If Busch succeeds, it reflects well on the Dodgers. There will be similar deals in the future and the other team might think, “well, that prospect might be the next Mike Busch.”

Mark Timmons

BANG! You nailed it!

Bumsrap
Duke Not Snider

I’ve read that Jorge Polanco could be dealt too.

Mark Timmons

Lewis would be amazing but it would take a haul. Like three of our young pitchers, Rojas and Sweeney… just to start.

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