Howard, Mike (1990)
How good was Mike Howard? Good enough to be drafted in the sixth round the 1975 Major League free agent draft by the Boston Red Sox.
In his senior year at South Portland High School, Howard was 3-3, put the scouts looked beyond his record in the Telegram League to his size (6-feet two and 185 pounds) to his strikeouts (87 in 55 2/3 innings).
Assigned to the Elmira Pioneers of the New York-Penn Rookie league, Howard was selected for the All-Star team and the Pioneers, managed by Dick Berardino, won the championship. The South Portland power pitcher was 8-1.
In 1976 Howard was 4-1 in the Florida Instructional League where his team again won the league championship. In 1977-78 he pitched tor Winter Haven in the Florida State League, earning promotion to Winston-Salem of the Carolina League the following year.
Winston Salem won the league championship and it was a banner year for Howard. He had his personal best for wins (12-3— and led the league in winning percentage (.800). He led the league in strikeouts.
Howard's progress continued in 1980 when he made the Red Sox major league roster in spring training and was assigned to Bristol in the Eastern League. He was 10-5 and promoted to Pawtucket in the Triple-A International League.
In the winter of 1980, Howard played for the Magellenes in Valencia, Venezuela, made the All-Star team and pitched for the winning All-Star team.
With Pawtucket in 1981, the arm trouble began which was to signal a premature end to a promising career. He was placed on the disabled list, eventually sent down to Bristol where he won six and lost five. Bristol won the league championship (a familiar story to Howard by now) and Howard was the winning pitcher in the second game of the best-of-five playoffs.
He tried to continue in 1982 but was released due to chronic arm problems. But Howard had talent and he was never better than in that summer of 1979 with the Winston-Salem Red Sox. On one memorable night he stopped a three-game losing streak with a gutsy display in the ninth inning for a 3-2 victory against the league leading Salem Pirates.
With the tying run on third, Howard struck out Benny DeLarosa on a low outside slider. ‘We still had the lead so | Knew | had to get somebody out, Howard said. “I wouldn’t have been worried until they tied it up. You can’t pitch defensively. Howard never did.
That’s why he’s joining brother Fred (Hall, 1989) in the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame.
From The Baseball Cube . http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?ID=139626
Proper Name Michael Steven Howard
Height 6-2 Weight 180 Bats Right Throws Right
Born Date October 14,1957 Place Portland,Maine
High School South Portland (Portland,ME)
Drafted Selected by the Boston Red Sox [Team Picks] in the 6th round (135th overall) of the 1975 Amateur Entry Draft [Signed]