MLB All-Star, Ohio State Basketball All-American Frank Howard Dies at 87

By Dan Hope on October 30, 2023 at 10:19 pm
Frank Howard
Malcolm Emmons – USA TODAY Sports

One of Ohio State’s all-time great athletes passed away on Monday.

Frank Howard, who was an All-American in basketball at Ohio State before going on to be a four-time MLB All-Star, died Monday at the age of 87 due to complications from a stroke.

Howard shined on both the basketball court and the baseball diamond as a Buckeye, playing two seasons for the Ohio State baseball team and three seasons for the Ohio State men’s basketball team.

Howard was best known for his basketball prowess as a Buckeye; he earned second-team All-American honors in 1957 when he averaged 20.1 points per game and was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree. Across three basketball seasons at Ohio State (1955-58), Howard scored 1,147 points (17.4 per game) and grabbed 919 rebounds (13.9 per game), including a school-record 32 rebounds in one game.

The Columbus native was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors with the 21st pick in the 1958 NBA draft, but instead chose to pursue a career in professional baseball, which proved to be a prudent decision. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound slugger went on to play in the MLB for 16 seasons, making four straight All-Star appearances as a Washington Senator from 1968-71. He led the AL with 44 home runs in both 1968 and 1970 and finished his MLB career with 382 home runs and 1,119 runs batted in.

After his playing career ended, Howard coached in the MLB for more than two decades, including one-year stints as the manager of the San Diego Padres in 1981 and New York Mets in 1983.

In recognition of his excellence as both a baseball and basketball player, Howard was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1982.

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