On Friday, Washington, D.C.’s all-time home run leader, Frank Howard was added to the Ring of Honor. He’s the only non-Hall of Famer in the ring which is no longer restricted to just that membership. Howard is also immortalized in a statue (that the D.C. Fine Arts Commission installed) and in the Hall of Stars (Events DC) all of which are around Nationals Park. It’s a bit confusing, particularly when Montreal Expos are included.
I was hoping his #33 (worn 1969-1971, before that he wore #9 which he gave up for Ted Williams) would be retired as well. Back in 1992, his #33 was “retired” before an (rained out) exhibition game between the New York Yankees (he was hitting coach) and the New York Mets (whom he managed for a season). My wife and I met him in 2007 a Maker’s Mark event in Northwest.
There were tributes to Hondo in the D.C. media this week that are worth a read:
DAN STEINBERG: Senators legend Frank Howard is humbled and thrilled to enter the Nats’ Ring of Honor – The Post
THOM LOVERRO: Frank Howard was a gentle giant, but fearsome at the plate – The Wash. Times
Howard also appeared on nationals.com beat writer Bill Ladson’s podcast:
I’m glad to see that the Nats found a way to give Hondo a night, though they erred when they didn’t hire for a goodwill ambassador job when they arrived.