Results tagged ‘ handsome harry ’

November 14 – Happy Birthday Harry Howell

howellEvidently, “Handsome” Harry Howell could have taught A-Rod a thing or two about flirting with female fans in the stands at Yankee games. According to this excellent article written by Eric Sallee, it was this Jersey native’s roving eye that caused his divorce from the first Mrs. Howell.

After three seasons of playing in the National League, Howell migrated to the newly formed American League as a member of manager John McGraw’s 1901 Baltimore Oriole starting rotation which was also the first starting rotation in official Yankee franchise history. In that inaugural season, he and Joe McGinnity became the first Yankee pitchers to lose 20 games in a season. In 1902, the Baltimore team disintegrated after McGraw quit at midseason and with Howell going just 9-15, the team went on to finish the year with a 50-88 record. That’s when League founder and president, Ban Johnson exerted his near-dictatorial control and relocated the team to New York City.

It proved to be a fortunate move for Howell because when he got to New York he became teammates with Jack Chesbro. The former Pirate ace had one of the game’s most effective spitballs and he was more than happy to show Howell how to throw one of his own. Handsome Harry proved to be a quick study. He spent most of the ’03 season experimenting with the spitter, while still relying more heavily on his fastball and curve. He went 9-6 during the Yankees’ first season in the Big Apple and on April 23rd of that year, he became the first pitcher in New York Yankee history (excluding the franchise’s two years in Baltimore) to win a game, when he beat the Senators 7-2.

The following spring, Yankee skipper Clark Griffith traded Howell to the St. Louis Browns for pitcher Jack Powell. It was in St. Louis that Howell perfected the pitch taught to him by Chesbro. During the next six seasons, he threw one of the nastiest, most-loaded-up spitters in the game with great results. His ERA during his Browns’ career, which consisted of almost 1,600 innings pitched was a pretty incredible 2.06.

Howell shares his birthday with this former Yankee outfielder and this one too.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1903 NYY 9 6 .600 3.53 25 15 10 13 0 0 155.2 140 79 61 4 44 62 1.182
13 Yrs 131 146 .473 2.74 340 282 53 244 20 6 2567.2 2435 1158 781 27 677 986 1.212
SLB (7 yrs) 78 91 .462 2.06 201 173 23 150 16 5 1580.2 1325 549 362 8 390 712 1.085
NYY (3 yrs) 32 42 .432 3.77 88 72 16 64 2 0 649.1 716 403 272 14 171 188 1.366
BRO (2 yrs) 8 5 .615 3.93 23 12 11 9 2 0 128.1 146 80 56 4 47 28 1.504
BLN (1 yr) 13 8 .619 3.91 28 25 3 21 0 1 209.1 248 126 91 1 69 58 1.514
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/14/2013.