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Discussion: Howards Furniture

Posted Discussion
Jan. 30, 2009
JamesLG
300 posts
Howards Furniture
Hi All:

I remember my first real look at a great slow pitch team when Howards Furniture came to Tacoma to play an exhibition. These guys made the local field seem like a little league park. I was wondering if any of you on the forum played for that team. It was in the early 70's that is all I remember but that team put on quite a show.

Thank You:
James
Jan. 31, 2009
DoubleL10
Men's 65
816 posts
JamesLG, Just seeing the topic got me to read your post. I did not have the good fortune to play with Howard's but I remember well the guys that did. There were two guys, Don Arndt and Stan Harvey who played with them into their 50s! They played out of Denver, NC and a number of the players worked for Mr. Howard. It was a treat watching these guys hit and they played and conducted themselves with class.
Jan. 31, 2009
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
WE PLAYED HOWARDS JUST ABOUT EVERY WEEKEND, USUALLY THE SAME 16 OR SO TEAMS WENT TO THE SAME TOURNAMENTS THROUGHOUT THE U.S. I PLAYED WITH THE CRUSHER BACK IN WISCONSIN FOR COPPER HEARTH B4 HE MOVED TO NC TO WORK FOR MR. HOWARD.
LL--DON ARNDT WAS UNREAL, HE ALSO FOUND TIME TO PLAY CO-ED!!WE PLAYED THEM IN THAT TOO.
Jan. 31, 2009
#6
Men's 60
1183 posts
What memories, Dick Bartel,Rick Wheeler abd Buddy Slater. Played against them several times,won once !!Does anybody know where these guys are?
Jan. 31, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2647 posts
I played against them 6 or 8 times, never winning. In reality we never even gave them a good game. One of my softball highlights came when we played them in the Pick O Dixie, probably in 1978. I hit two hrs against them. I remember Harvey or Arndt doing a double take at me as I rounded the bases after the first one.
Jan. 31, 2009
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
I CAN REMEMBER BACK IN THE LATE 70'S...HOMESTEAD FLORIDA...JERRYS CATERERS HAD AN EXHIBITION WITH HOWARDS AT A LOCAL FIELD..I WAS AN UMPIRE AT THE TIME BEHIND HOMEPLATE....MANY OF THEM HIT THE BALL OVER THE PINETREES IN LEFT THAT WERE ABOUT 50-100 FEET BEYOND THE FENCE...AND THEY WERE OVER 100 TALL...I ALSO REMEMBER SEEING CRUSHER ON TV DOING AN EXHIBITION FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AT A MAJOR LEAGUE PARK AND THE MAJOR LEAGUE PLAYERS LAUGHING AT HIM WHILE HE WAS WARMING UP...WHICH QUICKLY CHANGED TO AWE WHEN HE STARTED HITTING FOR REAL....WAY UP INTO THE STANDS.....DOKER
Jan. 31, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
back in the late 70's,got to see campbells carpets play in alhambra,ca,in a tourney.they had denny jones,charlie pierce and a couple others.they were hitting the snot out of the ball.think may tool was there with a couple of more teams from LA.had the pleasure of playing with charlie and denny many yrs later in senior ball.late 80's got to watch steele's play exhibition in sacramento,ca
big cat(MM) hit one that was close to 500' if not farther.they beat the team from sacto 95-21 in 5 innings.
Jan. 31, 2009
angus73
Men's 50
97 posts
I was also @ the game in Sac against Steeles. They were using diamoind # 1 in Elk Grove park and there were so many monster HRs. One that made a real impressiom was a ball that not only cleared the light standards but left the entire park over Elk Grove Blvd and into someones yard.

The thing that I remember that really struck me was that none of the players for Steeles while @ their turn at bat were in the dugout or on the bench. They just stood in their bating order on the outside of the dugout with their bat in hand waiting for their turn to hit.
Jan. 31, 2009
jah#4
Men's 55
551 posts
I was lucky enough to play with a couple of them on Blackburn Trucking this past year Jack Ruli and Tim Rhinehart We sat and talk about the old day that we had the many games and some thing you can't talk about on this board. The stories got big and bigger as the we played. We played them many times and the results`where always the same but their recalls the score was always in there favor. One of the best was Mr Howard private field behind the store you was only to play there when the wind was blowing out if it was not you would play or hit at another. Those was the good old days when you could hit all the HRs you wanted.
Don Ward
Kittrell Softball
Jan. 31, 2009
cmudhen13
Men's 50
7 posts
Whats up Don? This is Carman. How ya been? Are we hooking up this year for Blackburn? My heart is stronger-I should be able to play outfield and maybe not be winded. I am looking forward to hanging out with the guys.
Jan. 31, 2009
JamesLG
300 posts

Great stuff guys:

I was either still playing hard ball or with the 16" ball when I saw them play but I had to try the leg kick after watching those guys hit. I do remember Don Arndt and there #3 hitter who I believe hit 7-8 out in the two games and none of them was a cheap one. I remember going to this with my Dad trying to convince him how I could have more fun playing this game than I could floundering in post high school hard ball.
Great memories.
James
Jan. 31, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
angus that was mike macenko's shot that did that.i bought one of thier bats(elliot bat) that nite for $40 and still have it.
Feb. 1, 2009
DoubleL10
Men's 65
816 posts
jah#4, if memory serves, the warehouse in Denver, NC behind Mr. Howards store had a metal roof which was all dinged up with the long balls their players hit in BP! I've seen pictures and it looks like big hail stones hit it!
Feb. 1, 2009
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
LARRY, YOU'RE RIGHT ABOUT THE WAREHOUSE
RICK SCHEER STILL WORKS THERE. YOU SHOULD SEE CRUSHERS SON, HE'S BIGGER THAN RICK AND CRUSHES THE BALL! HE'S WAITING TO HEAR FROM THE NFL, HE PLAYED FB IN COLLEGE. I THINK DON PASSED AWAY
Feb. 1, 2009
bigdog
Men's 70
40 posts
I played howards in the 1970 world tourney in detriot. We beat them 29to28 knock them out of the tourney. LittleCeaser won it that year.
Feb. 1, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
CRUSADER, did you play with Doc Neubauer (sp?) He was my brother's favorite player when Copper Hearth would come to Parma in teh 60s.
Feb. 1, 2009
CRUSADERVB
Men's 65
272 posts
DIRTY, YES, BOTH NEUBAUERS PLAYED WHEN I WAS WITH COPPER HEARTH. THEY DON'T PLAY ANYMORE.
Feb. 1, 2009
Dirty
Men's 50
1375 posts
Thanks. I don't remember the other one, but Doc was tremendous.
Feb. 3, 2009
cpope
Men's 60
160 posts
I just have to get my story in about Howards Furniture.
In late 68, yes that is 1968 I was 21 and at that time a real good baseball player just starting to play softball and at that age I was just as good as anyone. I just got out of the Coast Guard and moved to Mooresville NC, RT 150, Just east of the Furniture store.
Playing baseball in Charlotte a few players told me there was a very good softball team close to where I lived.
Soo i went over one Saturday morning with glove and spikes (sorry not to many bat bags back then) walked in the front door and the little old lady behind the counter shushed me out the back door, saying they were all out back hitting. I smiled and walked out back, I saw some real BIG country boys, I sat down to watch to see how I stacked up, 10 minutes later a older man (in his 30 back then) dressed in coveralls and had a white beard walked over and ask if I was going to hit with them. I remember this like yesterday, "I would like to but I not anywhere near the player these guys are" He smiled and invited me out again but I just sat there with my eyes bugged out, left 20 minutes later and I backed out from the parking lot I seen the 4 foot by 8 foot plywood sign. "Worlds Champions" it seemed like every year for the last 10 to 12 years. My only regret was I didn't ask names and at least talked with them, they all seemed like good guys.
Yes the tin roof of the warehouse was dimpled very well.
18 months later I was back in the Coast Guard and back in Florida.
If I had a U2 back then I would loved to have taked BP with them. :)
Feb. 3, 2009
jim16
Men's 65
169 posts
Oh yes I remember those boys and what fond memories they are. However, my vote for the most dominating team ever is the Campbells Carpets bunch. Many players played for both teams over the years but the deepest and best were Campbells. The teams I played on actually had a winning record against Howards but Campbells beat us like step children. Campbells could pound you with defense if the wind was blowing in. They could put in a left handed line up if the HR was easy to right. right. I wont bore you with the names but when you get to the 18th player on the roster and he's all world its just didnt seem fair. Yes, Howards and Steeles were great teams but Campbells, OH MY. If Big Cat and Bruce had played for Campbells they would have them all.
Feb. 3, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
yes jim those campbell carpets guys were something else.when i seen them it was 77-79 time frame.a buddy and i heard of this tourney in alhambra,ca and that campbells was gonna be there,so we went over to watch.i do remember denny "the bull" jones and dave(think he was the LF'er) don't remember last name but his nick name was rocket man.they had bear pitching(don't know his real name).they put a whooping on everyone.May Tool had bill sudakis(sp, he used to be the dodgers 2b).were you still in cali then.
Feb. 3, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Mad Dog, you need to stay off the Mad Dog... or Ripple, or whatever it is that you've been consuming. :-0
Denny Jones played left field, Dick 'Rocket Man' Bartell played left center. The pitcher was the late Greg 'The Bull' Fuhrman. Bill Sudakis played for Capitol Insulation but didn't crack the line up.
Jim16, we also beat Howard's more than they beat us, particularly in the spring and early summer. As you know, they always grew tougher as the season wore on. We were about .333 against Campbell's. However, in 1980, they were virtually unbeatable. I agree that they were the best all around team that I ever played against.
In addition to the guys that I have mentioned, they had Mike Cellura, Buddy Slater, Russell 'Rooster' Bradley, Elby Bushong, Dennis Myers, Ricky Page, Charlie Pierce, Randy Barlick, the late Al White, Bill Ferguson and Richard Wilborn.
BW
Feb. 3, 2009
mad dog
Men's 60
3932 posts
woody :):) watch chu talking bout willis :):)the day i watched them jones was in rcf,and they were calling him bull.the pitcher they were calling bear.dave could of been dick,just knew it was something like that,the guy i seen was around 6'4" or taller and weighed in around 225lbs or so and they had him in lf.they had someone announceing the game.sudakis didn't start,that i do know,he came in with a couple of innings to go and got 1 ab if i remember right(didn't do anything).like i said above got to play a few games(in senior ball)with jones and pierce,page was our coach.
thanks for helping me out wood.
Feb. 3, 2009
BMoney
37 posts
I remember 1974 or 76.ASA Nationals in York,Pa. Labor day
Sitting in the stands with them.Great bunch of guys-had those country drawls.I don't think they won that year.I remember another team-Jiffy Club&Jerry's were doing well. But I do remember several players-you guys probably played with them.Bert Smith-first guy I had ever seen walk up in box.HT Waller,Big ole Tony Cloninger,Don Arndt,Stan Harvey.Those were the days.Gas .33/gal

Money
Feb. 4, 2009
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
wood, you are correct on that 80's Campbell's team, that was a tough group. We, Stark St.Pizza/Henry Fords, played them every year at the Portland Invitational in Oregon, that was there best team for sure. Have the scoresheet from the 1980 game, here's one you won't see often, Denny Jones 0 for 4!! They were a great group to play against and super group to have a little pizza and beer with.
Feb. 4, 2009
softballer
Men's 55
560 posts
one for all you Howard guys

here's one for you go to flea bay and look up this item # 230322746776

my gosh wow
Feb. 4, 2009
the wood
1079 posts
Henry Ford's? We played up there in 79 and 80... and then 'dined' @ Henry Ford's. we = Capitol Insulation... we played almost adjacent to the Columbia River.

Mad Dog, I've been researching my mind (it took a while because I got lost in there... BB in a box car syndrome). The guys from CC Brick/Taylor Bros didn't play for Campbell's until 1980... Bartell, Wilborn & Slater. So the tall guy in left field wasn't Dick. They did have a guy named Moutain Man, Randy Barlick, but he wasn't one of their better outfielders... but a good hitter.
:-)
Feb. 9, 2009
curveball
Men's 65
400 posts
Wood, I remember when you guys came up, good team. And yes, we played at Delta Park, right next to the Columbia. You guys and Campbell's were the class of the tourney; we weren't loaded with good teams in the Pacific NW, so it was always good to se you guys come north. The Portland Inv. was always a great event for us, being able to showcase a few teams like yours.
Eating at the old Henry Fords was always great also. Henry was an avid fan and always a good sponsor and host.
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