#69 - (Art Howe)

This week there is no legal section of the blog, but the blog is back.

Now for the Opening Day memory:

Art Howe played infield, and primarily third base from 1974-1985 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals. His best years were with the Astros from 1976-1982. He finished with a career .260 average. He probably was more known for managing over 2000 games with the Astros (1989-1993), Oakland A’s (1996-2002) where he made 3 straight playoff appearances but the A’s were not victorious in any (2000-2002) and New York Mets (2003-2004). I agreed with him that he was unfairly portrayed in the movie “Moneyball.” Art conveyed his Opening Day memories to me one morning before an A’s Yankees game in Oakland while we both sat at his desk in his office in the A’s clubhouse—just me and him. Here they are:

“My vivid memories of all Opening Days are of the butterflies I still get, and that’s why I know I should stay in this game for a while longer, because for me, on Opening Day, if you don’t get butterflies and get excited, then you’re in the wrong profession. Lining up along that baseline and knowing that this is game number one – it reminds me of football games in a way, you’re waiting for the first hit to take the edge off to be able to relax and get into the game. I always look forward to  the enthusiasm of the crowd and the excitement I can see in the players’ eyes. And a lot of times, I look at the young guys, the first year guys, having their first Opening Days just to see their excitement, and I then remember back how excited I was the first time I actually went out there on Opening Day as a player.

One specific Opening Day I remember is when I was managing the A’s in 1997 and Mark McGwire hit a game winning bomb at Yankee Stadium to dead center in the black area off of Mariano Rivera, which ruined the Yankees raising their World Championship banner.”

I, unfortunately, attended the game Art describes and yes, my day was ruined. See you in two. Richie