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Roy Howell

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Roy Lee Howell

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[edit] Biographical Information

On August 5, 1975, Roy Howell became the youngest player in the history of the Texas Rangers, dating back to their days as the "new" Washington Senators, to hit a grand slam. He connected off Jim Todd of the Oakland A's in a 15-2 win in the second game of a doubleheader. He held the record until August 27, 2014, when 20-year-old Rougned Odor, a full year younger, hit one against Erasmo Ramirez of the Seattle Mariners. Howell had come up as a 20-year-old late in the 1974 season and was a regular for the Rangers in both 1975 and 1976, hitting .251 and .253 as the team's starting third baseman. He was traded to the expansion Toronto Blue Jays on May 9, 1977, in return for veterans Steve Hargan and Jim Mason, and he had an excellent season for the Blue Jays, hitting .316 with 10 homers in 96 games while displacing veteran Doug Rader off third base. In 1978, he was the Jays' sole representative at the 1978 All-Star Game, when he hit .270 with 61 RBIs in 140 games. However, due to his lack of power and middling number of walks, he was actually a below-average offensive player that season, with an OPS+ of 96.

Howell continued as the Blue Jays' starter at third base for the next two seasons, in 1979 and 1980, playing well over 100 games both years, but he lost his tag of future superstar when he hit only .247 in 1979, making it clear to all that he had offensive shortcomings. He did bounce back in 1980, as his OPS+ reached 100 again on the strength of a batting line of .269/.335/.413. The Blue Jays were off course perennial doormats during those first four seasons. When he became a free agent after the 1980 season, Howell decided to move to a contender, the Milwaukee Brewers, even though it meant he would no longer be a starter. He shared the third base job with Sal Bando in 1981, then became a part-time DH and pinch-hitter starting in 1982. While his playing time went down, he made the postseason his first two seasons in Milwaukee, going 2 for 5 with a pair of walks as the Brewers were defeated by the New York Yankees in the Division Series in 1981, and then getting to play in the 1982 World Series which the Brewers lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he was hitless in the 1982 postseason, going 0 for 3 in the ALCS against the California Angels and 0 for 11 in the World Series. He played two more seasons with the Brewers, in 1983 and 1984, but saw his playing time go down some more as the Brewers fell in the standings. After hitting .232 in 68 games in 1984, he was released. He signed with the San Francisco Giants for 1985 but was cut half-way through spring training. He played that season with the [[Portland Beavers], AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, but did not return to the majors and retired at the end of the season.

In 1989, Roy Howell played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He hit .320 and drove in 36 runs for the club. From 2000 to 2006, he was successively the hitting coach for the AA Mobile BayBears and the AAA Portland Beavers, as well as manager of the High A Eugene Emeralds for three seasons.

Howell was named manager of the Road Warriors, a road team in the Atlantic League, in 2011. He returned to organized baseball as coach of the High Desert Mavericks in 2012-2013 and was named Coach of the Year in the California League his first season. In 2014, he was appointed manager of the Tacoma Rainiers, the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL All-Star (1978)

[edit] Year-By-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
2003 Eugene Emeralds Northwest League 39-37 4th San Diego Padres
2004 Eugene Emeralds Northwest League 26-50 8th San Diego Padres
2005 Eugene Emeralds Northwest League 34-52 6th (t) San Diego Padres
2011 Road Warriors Atlantic League 38-86 8th Independent Leagues
2014 Tacoma Rainiers Pacific Coast League Seattle Mariners

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