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Orange County, California

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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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Strike out artist, strikes out early

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A life troubled with alcohol and drugs, cuts short a promsing career.

It’s been almost a year since Steve Howe, one of my favorite baseball players, died after rolling his pick up truck in Coachella, California. According to local police, the pickup truck Howe was driving left the road and then entered the median and rolled several times, ejecting Howe from his truck.

To my knowledge the toxicology report was never made public. When I heard the news of his accident I assumed he had been driving while intoxicated and unbelted. That is a totally unfounded and unfair assumption to make, but that’s what I thought based upon Howe’s history.

Steve Howe was a first round draft choice and rookie of the year in 1980 for my beloved Dodgers. He helped us win the World Series the next year. I thought he’d go down in annals of Dodger’s greats like Sandy Kofax and Don Drysdale. It wasn’t to be.

Steve had a tougher foe than opposing hitters to deal with; he was constantly troubled by additions. Baseball suspended him from playing seven times and became the poster boy for the rampant cocaine problem that plagued professional baseball in the eighties. He was the first baseball player “banned for life” because of drugs.

Please buckle up and never drive while the slightest bit intoxicated.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), in California, where Howe died, in 2001 of the 3956 traffic fatalities 1569 of them were alcohol related. That amounts to 4 alcohol-related traffic fatalities a day .

Driving is a privilege, not a right, and no matter who you are you owe it to the other drivers on the road to act responsibly!