Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dann Howitt, No More - 100

Originally published June 1, 2010
Young players can learn a lot from veterans. For Dann Howitt, among the things he learned from a veteran, Jose Canseco, was steroid use, something Howitt admitted in January 2010, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

Howitt's experiment with steroids was brief, he told The Press, a three week period in mid-1991. He made the comments after one-time teammate Mark McGuire's own steroid admissions.

"I felt like I had to keep up. Against my better judgment, I started to take them," Howitt told The Press. "I stopped because of how steroids affected me. It was Canseco who stepped in and told me, 'No more.' I had all sorts of personality changes. I wasn’t sleeping well. My body just couldn't handle them."

Steroid use or no steroid use, Howitt's major league stat line includes only five home runs in 115 games, one of those home runs coming in 1991. Another, more memorable one, came two years later and involved Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.

Howitt was taken by the Athletics in the 18th round of the 1986 draft. He made AAA Tacoma in 1988 and had his first taste of Oakland in 1989.

He didn't get his first major league hit until late 1990, as a September call-up. The first hit came in the fifth inning, it was a triple that put the Athletics ahead.

"I felt like it was a long time coming," Howitt told reporters afterward. "It's a big thing for any rookie to get his first knock.

"It was a meaningful hit, too, and that made me happy."

Howitt had another meaningful hit in 1994 with the Mariners, the last hit off The Ryan Express. It was a grand slam in an outing unfit for the Hall of Famer.

"I ran around the bases before he could take it back," Howitt recalled to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2003.

Howitt had his last look at the majors in 1994, with the White Sox. In an article in the Chicago Tribune that year, Howitt spoke of a career shuttling between the majors and AAA.

"You become kind of numb to it after a while," Howitt told The Tribune. "You can either quit, or you can keep playing."

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