I remember Yankee catcher Elston Howard well, he always seemed to find a way to beat our Minnesota Twins. Howard could do it all, he could hit, behind the plate he called a great game and he was a leader.
Do you remember how as a young child you used to “hate” certain ball players because they found ways to beat your favorite team? For me Ellie Howard was one of those players, it had nothing to do with the color of his skin, just the fact that he kept beating the Twins. As you grew up you realized that your ‘hate” for certain ball players was really respect in disguise.
To me Ellie Howard was always and always be a New York Yankee and I didn’t realize until a number of years ago that he was traded by the Yankees to the Boston Red Sox in August of 1967 and also played there in 1968. My time in the service from 1965-1968 limited my ability to follow baseball.
Ironically to me, it turns out that Elston Howard’s first game in a Boston Red Sox uniform took place at Met Stadium on August 5, 1967 against the Minnesota Twins. Howard went 0-3 that day and the Twins beat the Red Sox 2-1 on a complete game 3-hitter by Dave Boswell and the only Red Sox run scored on a Rico Petrocelli home run. Tony Oliva was 3 for 4 with an RBI and Zoilo Versalles was 2 for 4 with a home run that was actually the winning run.
There is a recent story by Dave Kaplan at thenationalpastimemuseum.com about Elston Howard called “Elston Howard made the difference for the ’67 Boston Red Sox” that you may enjoy reading. To learn more about Elston Howard you can check out his SABR Bio.
The rest of the stories that I have done on the 1967 AL pennant race can be found here.