The Frank Howard Bobblehead is a hit… just like he is
The rain delay couldn’t dampen the spirits of former Washington slugger Frank Howard and the hundreds of autograph seekers on his Bobblehead night. Howard might be the world’s most personable and charismatic autograph signer. He loves it. He soaked up every minute of it. He personalized Bobbleheads and signed “1960 ROY,” “The Capital Punisher” and “1968 and 1970 AL Home Run King” on each ball. He was schedule to sign from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30… there was still at line at 7:30 p.m. Not a big deal at all.
“My captain Pee Wee Reese once told me, ‘You have a problem once they stop asking for your autograph,’” Howard said with a smile.
The Howard Bobblehead completes the NatsTown collection along with Adam Dunn. The Bobbleheads join Washington’s great slugger of the past, Howard, with the Nationals current slugger, Dunn.
When Dunn joined the Nationals in the spring it had current fans cheering and former Washington Senators fans reminiscing about the days of the former All-Star Howard. There is a striking similarity between Dunn now and Howard then, a home run hitting outfielder who came over in a deal with the Dodgers in 1965 amid much fanfare.
“Dunn has a much better strike zone than I had,” Howard said “He has much better plate presence too.”
But you could hit the ball farther… right?
“I don’t know about that.”
Both are offensive linemen by weight and basketball forwards by height but give 6’6″, 275-pound Dunn and 6’7 1/2″, 265-pound Howard a bat and they can make balls leave the ballpark in the blink of an eye.
When Howard would hit a tape measure shot into the upper deck at RFK Stadium, the team would paint the seat in honor of his herculean strength. Dunn knows little about Howard’s career in Washington, but he is well acquainted with the white seats in the upper deck.
“Someone pointed them out to me when I came through with the Reds in 2005 but I thought they were kidding me,” Dunn said. “It’s almost unfathomable that any human being could hit a ball that far.”
A fan told Frank, “I once sat in one of your white seats at RFK.”
“What were you doing way out there,” Howard responded. “Baseball isn’t meant to be watched from there.”
Other funny comments from Howard:
Frank Howard is 6 feet 7 and half inches tall. A person who was an even 6-foot-7… “I can still eat soup from the top of your head.”
“What is it like to have a Bobblehead as yourself,” a fan asked.
“It is nothing new,” said Howard moving his head much like his Bobblehead statue. “I have been a Bobblehead my whole life.”
On how he is feeling:
“I am on this side of the grass and I am not in the unemployment line so I am two runs up on this game. Hopefully I can continue to win.”