Feb 23, 1987: Howser hangs it up
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sat, 02/23/2013 - 9:00am
Sad news from Fort Myers
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - Kansas City Royals manager Dick Howser gave it all he could, but on this date in 1987 was forced to tell his players they would have to go on without him. Howser had been diagnosed with brain cancer the previous summer. He underwent two operations to try to remove a malignant tumor.
Howser hadn't filled out a lineup card since the 1986 all-star game. Observers noticed during that game that he didn't seem as sharp as he normally was. It would be the last game Dick Howser ever managed.
Howser gave it another try in the spring of '87. He put the uniform on for the first time since that 1986 all-star game on the first day of spring training. The uniform didn't fit. He looked tired and weak. Two days later, according to the Associated Press (AP) he said, "It's just that I need more time to rest. I can't do it like this." He didn't get better. Howser died three months later on June 17, 1987.
Dick Howser guided the Royals to their only World Series championship in 1985. In five full seasons as a manager, and parts of three others, his teams never finished lower than second place. Besides the Royals, he managed the New York Yankees for one full season and part of another. The Florida State University graduate had an eight year playing career, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1961. He played for the Royals, Cleveland Indians and Yankees. Dick Howser was just 51 when he died.
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