“I’m not a sentimental guy, but I’m sentimental about this.”

Frank Howard Washington Senators

“This is utopia for me. This is the topper, something I’ll never forget. I’ll take this to my grave.”

Frank Howard spoke those words on September 30, 1971, following the final game played at RFK Stadium in Washington, in which he received several standing ovations and hit the last home run in Senators history. The franchise moved to Texas after the 1971 season.

The Senators were winning their final game 7-5 when fans rushed the field in the ninth inning, causing a forfeited loss to the Yankees. The statistics for the game stood, however, including Frank Howard’s 237th home run for the team. After rounding the bases, the fans refused to settle down, forcing Hondo to come back out of the dugout and throw his helmet and a kiss to the fans.

When asked if Howard was given an easy pitch to hit, Yankees manager Ralph Houk said, “I may be a nice guy, but not that nice.” He then smiled and admitted, “But I’m glad Howard hit it.”

Howard, whose nicknames included “The Washington Monument” and “The Capital Punisher,” was obviously touched by the fans’ gestures that day. “Everything that happens after this is anticlimatic. Everything is downhill after this. I’m not a sentimental guy, but I’m sentimental about this.”

[This is the ninth of a series of “pre-season” baseball cards published at TWJ cards on tumblr. At least one new virtual card is planned for each day from now until Opening Day. Follow TWJ cards on tumblr for more.]

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About JT

Preacher. Author. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Posted on January 13, 2015, in baseball, baseball cards and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I am a life-long Senators/Nationals fan, and Frank Howard was my hero growing up. I thought I had every photo of Hondo but this is a new one for me. How much of a fan was I?

    Hondo is wearing his home uniform. In ’68 the team wore pinstripes, and in ’69 they had the 100-year centennial patch on their arm. Could be ’70 or ’71. But while wearing his home jersey, this isn’t RFK Stadium. It looks a lot like Tiger Stadium, even though you clearly see an Oakland Athletic coach/manager between his legs. You can tell because coaches wore white hats while the players wore green.

    My guess this was the 1971 MLB all-star game at Tigers Stadium in Detroit.

    Great, I know, but I couldn’t tell you what I had for dinner last night. Sigh ….

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