Renowned All-Star, Home Run Leader, and World Series Champion Frank Howard Passes Away at Age 87

by Joshua Brown
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Frank Howard's Death

Frank Howard, who earned four All-Star selections and hit a total of 382 home runs during an extensive career in Major League Baseball, including securing a World Series title with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1963, has passed away at the age of 87.

A representative for the Washington Nationals announced on Monday that the organization had been notified of Howard’s passing by his family. No details concerning the cause of his death were disclosed.

Dick Bosman, a former teammate who spent over six seasons with Howard in both Washington and Texas, and remained a close friend for several years, spoke to The Big Big News via telephone. “Frank was the epitome of a team player. Outside of my father, I consider him to be the finest man I’ve ever known.”

Howard commenced his illustrious career by winning the NL Rookie of the Year award with the Dodgers in 1960, before assisting them in their World Series triumph in 1963. He then joined the Washington Senators and stayed with the team during its transition to Texas, eventually becoming the Rangers. Howard concluded his professional playing days with the Detroit Tigers.

Mark Lerner, the owner of the Nationals, issued a statement saying, “As someone who grew up as a baseball aficionado in Washington D.C., Frank Howard was a personal hero. His legendary home runs at RFK Stadium earned him the moniker ‘Capital Punisher.’ However, my lasting memory of him will be as a compassionate and gentle individual. Our entire family extends our deepest sympathies to Frank’s relatives during this challenging period. Baseball has unquestionably lost an iconic figure.”

Howard made history by hitting the last home run at RFK Stadium in 1971 and the first at Arlington Stadium in April 1972 following the team’s relocation. The Rangers organization described him as “a larger-than-life character who garnered immense popularity among both teammates and fans.”

The towering 6-foot-7 Howard, also known as Hondo, played in 1,895 regular-season games and three postseason contests from 1958 to 1973. He briefly took on managerial roles with the San Diego Padres in 1981 and the New York Mets in 1983.

The Mets’ organization acknowledged Howard in a statement, saying, “Despite his imposing stature, Frank was universally recognized as ‘The Gentle Giant.’ His coaching stints and interim managerial role in 1983 with us were marked by his overwhelming kindness and generosity.”

Bosman, who conversed with Howard as recently as two weeks ago, expressed surprise at the news of his passing and highlighted his substantial contributions both on and off the field in Washington and Texas.

Howard was a two-time American League home run leader in 1968 and 1970 and still holds the record for the most home runs in a single season in Washington’s baseball history, with 48. He was honored with induction into the Nationals’ Ring of Honor in 2016.

Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ general manager, stated, “Frank was an illustrious figure in the Washington D.C. baseball community who was deeply respected and admired. It was always a privilege to encounter him at Nationals Park. He willingly shared his wealth of knowledge and wisdom.”

Weighing in at 255 pounds and standing at 6-foot-7, Howard was an intimidating presence on the field, frequently serving as the team’s most potent batter during a period when the Senators/Rangers experienced six losing seasons out of seven.

“He was frequently the individual upon whom the responsibility to generate runs rested, and he met that challenge exceptionally well most of the time,” Bosman noted.

Howard was known for his leadership skills, often providing private counsel to teammates, setting an example not just through his on-field performance but also his demeanor.

“Anger was a rare emotion for him,” said Bosman. “His disposition was such that he believed that was the appropriate way to conduct himself.”

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Frank Howard’s Death

What teams did Frank Howard play for during his career?

Frank Howard played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Senators, Texas Rangers, and Detroit Tigers during his extensive Major League Baseball career.

When did Frank Howard win the World Series?

Frank Howard won the World Series in 1963 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What awards did Frank Howard receive in his baseball career?

Frank Howard was a four-time All-Star and won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1960. He also led the American League in home runs twice, in 1968 and 1970.

What was Frank Howard’s most notable record?

Frank Howard still holds the record for the most home runs in a single season in Washington’s baseball history, with 48 home runs.

How did Frank Howard earn the nickname ‘Capital Punisher’?

Frank Howard earned the nickname ‘Capital Punisher’ due to his towering home runs at RFK Stadium when he played for the Washington Senators.

What managerial roles did Frank Howard have after his playing career?

Frank Howard briefly served as a manager for the San Diego Padres in 1981 and the New York Mets in 1983.

How did his former teammates and colleagues describe him?

Frank Howard was universally described as a team player, a larger-than-life character, and a “Gentle Giant” who was kind, generous, and a natural leader.

What were Frank Howard’s physical attributes that made him stand out?

Standing at 6-foot-7 and weighing 255 pounds, Howard was an imposing figure on the field, frequently serving as his teams’ most potent batter.

When and how was the news of his death announced?

The news of Frank Howard’s passing was announced by a representative for the Washington Nationals, who were informed by Howard’s family. The cause of death was not disclosed.

Who gave a tribute to Frank Howard after his death?

Mark Lerner, the owner of the Washington Nationals, and Mike Rizzo, the Nationals’ general manager, both issued statements paying tribute to Frank Howard. Dick Bosman, a former teammate, also spoke highly of him in interviews.

More about Frank Howard’s Death

  • Frank Howard’s MLB Statistics
  • 1963 World Series Overview
  • Washington Nationals’ Official Statement on Frank Howard’s Death
  • The History of RFK Stadium and its Baseball Legends
  • Profile of Frank Howard’s Managerial Career
  • Frank Howard’s Induction into Nationals’ Ring of Honor
  • Interview with Dick Bosman about Frank Howard
  • Texas Rangers’ Tribute to Frank Howard
  • Major League Baseball Obituaries

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1 comment

MikeJr89 October 31, 2023 - 3:15 am

Man, this is really sad news. Frank Howard was a legend! grew up watching clips of him. RIP.


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