Kenneth Howell, Jr. (November 28, 1960 – November 9, 2018) was an American professional baseball pitcher and pitching coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the National League (NL) Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies (1984-1990). During his playing days, Howell stood 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) tall, weighing 200 pounds (91 kg). He batted and threw right-handed.

Ken Howell
Born: (1960-11-28)November 28, 1960
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Died: November 9, 2018(2018-11-09) (aged 57)
West Bloomfield, Michigan, U.S.
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 25, 1984, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
August 5, 1990, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Win–loss record38–48
Earned run average3.95

Scholastically, Howell attended Northwestern High School (Michigan), in Detroit, Michigan. He continued his education at the Tuskegee Institute, graduating in 1982. In 1981, he played collegiate summer baseball with the Cotuit Kettleers of the Cape Cod Baseball League.[1] Howell was selected by the Dodgers in the 3rd round, 73rd pick overall, of the 1982 Major League Baseball draft, after being scouted by Tony John. He made his MLB debut on June 25, 1984, at Dodger Stadium. Howell pitched a scoreless 9th inning, allowing 2 singles, in a 9-4 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Howell's lone appearance in baseball's postseason came in 1985, finishing the game (GF) in a 4-2 loss to the eventual-NL champion St. Louis Cardinals. That October 12, on the road at Busch Stadium II, pitching in (NLCS) Game 3. Howell's stat line for the day included, 2 innings pitched (IP), 0 runs (R}, and 2 strikeouts.(SO), in the eighth inning.

Howell's final big league appearance came on August 5, 1990, at Veterans Stadium. While he left the game after 4 innings, trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2, the Von Hayes- and John Kruk-led Phillies rallied to beat the Buccos, 8-6. Following his playing career, Howell served as both a minor- and major-league coach for the Dodgers.

Howell suffered from diabetes, complications of which resulted in the amputation of one of his toes in 2008. He died on November 9, 2018, in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He was 57 years old.[2]

Playing careerEdit

Howell was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 3rd round of the 1982 MLB Draft out of Tuskegee University. He made his Major League debut for the Dodgers on June 25, 1984 against the San Diego Padres, working a scoreless ninth inning. His first start was on July 3, 1984 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing three earned runs in 5.2 innings to take the loss. His first career win came in an extra innings game against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 6, 1984. He was 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA for the Dodgers that season, including 6 saves (the first of which occurred on August 3 against the Cincinnati Reds).

Howell remained with the Dodgers through the 1988 season, acquiring an 18-29 record and 4.04 ERA in 194 games, with 4 starts and 31 saves.

He was traded by the Dodgers (along with Juan Bell and Brian Holton) to the Baltimore Orioles on December 4, 1988. The Orioles then traded him four days later (with Gordon Dillard) to the Philadelphia Phillies for Phil Bradley. He pitched in 33 games with the Phillies in 1989, 32 of which were starts and was 12-12 with a 3.44 ERA and then made 18 starts in 1990 with an 8-7 record and 4.64 ERA. Injury issues caused him to miss the rest of the 1990 season and most of 1991 and 1992, appearing in only 6 games in AAA in 1991 and none at all in 1992.

Howell attempted a comeback with the Texas Rangers in 1993, but after 6 appearances (4 starts) for the Gulf Coast Rangers he was released. He then played in 1994 for the unaffiliated San Bernardino Spirit before retiring.

Coaching careerEdit

He returned to the Dodgers in 2003 as the pitching coach for the Vero Beach Dodgers in Class-A and was subsequently promoted to pitching coach for the AA Jacksonville Suns in 2005 and AAA Las Vegas 51s from 2006-2007.

In 2008, Howell joined the Dodgers Major League coaching staff as the bullpen coach, a position he held through 2012 under Managers Joe Torre and Don Mattingly. On November 13, 2012, he became the Assistant Pitching Coach for the Dodgers and remained in that position through the 2015 season.

Personal lifeEdit

Howell was rushed to the hospital on February 6, 2015, when it was found he was suffering from kidney failure. It was later discovered he was suffering from pancreatic necrosis, an anaerobic infection, as well as other health complications. Howell underwent multiple surgeries, and later texted to the media that he was "doing much better."[3]

Howell died on November 9, 2018.[2]


  1. ^ "Major League Baseball Players From the Cape Cod League" (PDF). Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Osborne, Cary (10 November 2018). "Influential former Dodger reliever and coach Ken Howell passes away". Dodger Insider.
  3. ^ "Los Angeles Dodgers assistant pitching coach Ken Howell to miss Spring Training due to health issues".

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Dan Warthen
Los Angeles Dodgers Bullpen Coach
Succeeded by
Chuck Crim