BETWEEN THE LINES by Steve  Howe

BETWEEN THE LINES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another big-league athlete derailed by drags. The victim this time is Steve Howe, National League Rookie-of-the-year in 1980 and for a brief span one of baseball's top relief pitchers--until "drug lust" did him in. Howe makes little attempt to save face in this sorry tale, cowritten by a former journalist for the Cincinnati Enquirer. He traces his addictive personality back to childhood hyperactivity, which doctors attempted to cure with heavy doses of Ritalin. By high school he had sampled pot, mescaline, and LSD. Drafted by the Dodgers after a superb college career, Howe began to binge his way across America, wowing batters with a blazing fastball while dazzling his own brain with massive amounts of coke (up to $1500 a week). For a while Howe's wife and the Dodger organization thought he was a drunk, but as missed flights, missed ballgames, and missed banquets piled up, the truth came out. Howe describes the six rehab treatments he has undergone, how it feels to be booted out of baseball (Bowie Kuhn banned him for a year in 1984), his recent flings with Japanese and minor-league bail, his continuing efforts to rejoin the Show, the solace he finds in born-again Christianity. It's a familiar and ugly story. Howe and Greenfield try their best to enliven this unpleasant material, padding out the repetitive drug-horror tales with predictable yarns of practical jokes and pennant races. But in the end this lacks both great heroics and great corruption, and winds up just another sad, unsurprising tale of misspent youth.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1989
ISBN: 940279-25-8
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