Thursday, November 14, 2013

1978 Topps Baseball #13 - Art Howe

  • Art Howe was signed as an amateur free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in June 1971. Art was 24 years old at the time and after a season in single A was moved up to AAA. Howe spent the 1972 and 1973 seasons in AAA. He started the 1974 season in AAA and was brought up to the majors in July. Art backed up at 3B and SS and batted .243 in 29 games.
  • Howe split the 1975 season between AAA and the Pirates (most of the time was spent in Pittsburgh). Art batted .171 in 63 games for the Pirates. After the 1975 season Howe was traded to the Houston Astros for Tommy Helms.
  • Howe started the 1976 season with the Astros but was sent to AAA in early June. He wasn't playing much in Houston and was batting only .083 after the first two months of the season. Art batted .355 in 74 games for AAA Memphis and was recalled in September. Howe ended up batting .138 in 21 games for the Astros in 1976.
  • After batting .338, .357, and .355 in the last three seasons in AAA, Howe had nothing more to prove at that level. Art started the 1977 season as a backup infielder and pinch hitter. In May Howe was given the starting 2B job and he stayed there for the majority of the season. Art batted .264 with 8 HR and 58 RBI in 125 games in 1977.
  • Howe started at 2B most of the time in 1978 as well. His season was interrupted by a couple of injuries, but he batted .293 with 7 HR and 55 RBI in 119 games.
  • In 1979 Art spent more time at 3B and didn't start as often. Howe batted .248 with 6 HR and 33 RBI in 118 games.
  • Howe was used mostly at 1B in 1980. He played every infield position and batted .283 with 10 HR and 46 RBI. In the one game playoff at the end of the season Art was 3 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBI as the Astros beat the LA Dodgers and claimed their first NL West title. In the NL Championship Series Art batted .200 (3 for 15) in five games.
  • In 1981 Howe was the starting third baseman for the Astros. Art batted .296 with 3 HR and 36 RBI in 103 games in the strike-shortened season. In the 1981 playoffs Howe batted .188 (3 for 16) in five games.
  • Art batted .238 with 5 HR and 38 RBI in 110 games in 1982. He split the season between 3B and 1B.
  • Howe had bone chips in his elbow and tendon problems in his ankle in 1983 and missed the entire season. Art was granted free agency after the 1983 season. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals during spring training in 1984. Art batted .216 with 2 HR and 12 RBI in 89 games for the Cardinals in 1984.
  • Art started the 1985 season with the Cardinals but was released on April 22 after going 0 for 3 in four games. Howe became the hitting instructor for the Texas Rangers later in the season.
  • After the 1988 season Howe was hired to manage the Astros. Art managed the club from 1989-1993 and had three seasons of .500 or better. Howe was fired after the 1993 season.
  • Howe was a scout for the LA Dodgers in 1994 and coached with the Colorado Rockies in 1995. Art was hired to manage the Oakland Athletics after the 1995 season. Howe managed the A's from 1996-2002. The A's were a rebuilding club when Art first took over but they had two AL West titles and finished second twice in Art's last four years as manager.
  • Howe left the A's after the 2002 season and signed on to manage the New York Mets. He managed the Mets in 2003 and in 2004. Howe was fired in September 2004 but finished the season.
  • Art was the bench coach for the Texas Rangers in 2007 and in 2008.
  • 1978 Stats:
    • .293, 7 HR, 55 RBI in 119 games
  • 1978 Highlights: