Friday, April 28, 2006
NO MORE SECOND CHANCE . . . AND HOWE
Steve Howe was a promising young reliever when he broke in with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980. But although he had the presence and poise to become a star in the bigs, his even quicker spiral into the world of substance abuse tempered his quick success with the Dodgers. His most impressive statistic was his record-number of drug-related suspensions (seven).
Today marked the end for the colorful reliever. The former Yankee lefty who played for the Yankees from 1991-1996, lost his life in a car accident at the way too young age of 48. There was a moment of silence at Yankee Stadium before New York played Toronto on Friday night.
Back in the early 90s Howe was the perfect whipping boy at BTB as well as on the road in the American League, not to mention the ppress corps. In 1994 when the players went on strike Steve was selling tickets in Tampa at Spring Training (1995) to help him fulfill his sentence due to the drug charges. As part of his conviction he had to remain working to stay out of jail. They Yankees were behind Steve and let him work at the Ticket Office in Tampa.
Howe, who was a regular at the Yankee Fan Fest was 47-41 with 91 saves and a 3.03 ERA with the Dodgers, Minnesota, Texas as well as the Yankees. His final season in the majors was 1996, and the Yankees released him in June. Two days after the Yankees let him go, Howe was arrested at a Delta Airlines terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport when a loaded .357 Magnum was detected inside his suitcase. He later pleaded guilty to gun possession and was placed on three years probation and given 150 hours of community service. Howe tried a comeback in 1997 with Sioux Falls of the independent Northern League. In August, he was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in Montana and charged with drunken driving. So one has to wonder of his condition when he had his accident.
Steve Howe may not have been the model Yankee, no not even by any stretch of the imagination. He did give it his all everyday and he did know what it meant to wear the pinstripes. The disease that took the not only the pinstripes but from the game from as well may have made a return visit and may have taken his life.
Unfortunately Howe will not be remembered for being a Yankee, not for being the hot shot reliever, not even for playing the game that he loved. Steve will be remembered for his seven "second chances". Sadly there are no second chances in life. RIP Steve. 1958-2006