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Howard, Fred (1989)

Howard, Fred (89) Topps

Fred Howard, who saw service with the 1979 Chicago White Sox, began his baseball career at age seven with Wolfe Ford of the South Portland Farm League. The team was coached by his father. Howard was a member of the Kiwanis team of the Central Little League (1965-68) in south Portland and was twice elected a league all-star.

He continued his development in the South Portland Senior Little league (Broadway Market 1969-71) and played for Morrill Post American Legion 1971-74. The legion team was coached by Jack Clarke And Bud De Angelis.

At South Portland High School, Howard was coached by Gene Davis. As a senior in 1974, he was elected team captain and a member of the All-Telegram League team. The hard-throwing right-hander attended Miami-Dade Community College in Florida in 1975. The following year he was a fourth-round draft pick of the White Sox. For the next eight years, Howard served in the White Sox organization starting with Appleton, Wisconsin in Class - A baseball. He also played in the rookie league in Sarasota before earning promotions to Double-A Knoxville and Triple-A in Des Moines. He was a league all-star in Sarasota and Appleton. In 1978 at Knoxville, Howard was a member of the team that won the Southern League Championship.

Howard made his Major League debut in 1979 against the California Angels. His record that year was 1-5 a with a 3.57 ERA. He appeared in 28 games and was credited with six saves. In 68 innings, he allowed 73 hits, walked 32 and struck out 36. The win came after seven strong innings against Milwaukee. Howard gave up a first inning run then shut out the Brewers for six innings, allowing five nits.

Steve Trout came on in the eighth to pick up a save for the White Sox who won the game 6-2. Howard struck out four and walked Iwo.

Maine fans remember Howard for a relief appearance against the Red Sox at Fenway later that year. He pitched three scoreless Innings in a 7-4 Boston victory.

In the ninth, after Butch Hobson led off with a triple, Howard retired Stan Papi on a weak grounder to third and struck out Dwight Evans and Rick Burleson on hard sliders.

Howard, Fred (89) Topps back

Fred Irving Howard (born September 2, 1956) is a former American professional baseball pitcher with the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball. Howard was born in Portland, Maine and attended the University of Maine, where he played college baseball for the Maine Black Bears baseball team in 1975. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 1976 amateur draft by the White Sox and made he debut on May 26, 1979. His final MLB game was September 6, 1979. During his lone MLB season, he appeared in 28 games, starting 6, and finished with a 1–5 record. His ERA was 3.57 over 68 innings.

He played in the minor league system of Chicago from 1976–1983, including with the GCL White Sox, Appleton Foxes, Iowa Oaks, Knoxville Sox, and Glens Falls White Sox. He then attended the University of Missouri School of Medicine and became a general surgeon. He practices in Lake Wales, Florida.

Howard, Fred (89)

Howard, Fred (89)

Howard, Fred (89)

Howard’s one-year baseball career included several issues and incidents that make it unique so many years later. Tony LaRussa, who will soon become the second-winningest Major League manager of all time, began his managerial career with the White Sox that summer. And although he started only six games, Howard was the starting pitcher for the White Sox on July 12, 1979 — Disco Demolition Night, the most notorious baseball promotion ever concocted.

“Bring a disco record, get in for a dollar,” Howard recalled. “But they forgot to take the records from people.”

And so the 45-rpm records, which were supposed to be burned in a bonfire between games, became frisbees in the hands of thousands of fans who weren’t necessarily at Comiskey Park for baseball. Howard started getting the picture when he was icing his arm down between games.

“Ken Kravec walked into the clubhouse and he was supposed to start the second game, and I asked him: What’s up? What’s he doing in here?” Howard recalled. “He said there’s people all over the field, they’re having a pot party on the mound.”

Neither Howard nor Kravec will ever forget the scene.

“I went out to warm up, and I looked up and there was a shoe flying out of the upper deck at me, then a record,” said Kravec, now a scout for the Chicago Cubs. “People were running around, but it didn’t bother me too much because they left me alone. But then I looked up at the stands and I couldn’t see any aisles.”

The aisles were just as filled as the seats. The field was filled with people and smoke and fire, and Kravec noticed that home plate and the bases were gone. The scene would soon be declared “unplayable.” The White Sox forfeited the second game.

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