The Nice List, Angels style. Who made the cut?
#1 – Jack Howell
If you were an Angel fan back in the 1980s you might remember Jack Howell as a young third baseman with power. Howell played with some Angel legends such as Don Baylor, Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, Brian Downing, and Mike Witt. Howell came back later at the end of his career and mentored some of the young Angels that would eventually win the World Series in 2002. Darin Erstad, Tim Salmon, Garret Anderson, and Troy Percival.
Jack Howell has now worked in the Angels organization since 2016 in the minor leagues as a field coordinator and now for the past two seasons he has been the manager of the Low-Single-A Burlington Bees. Howell has mentored and coached some of the Angels top prospects Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, Jahmai Jones, Matt Thaiss, Jared Walsh, Jordyn Adams, Hector Yan, and Jose Soriano. Many of his players have spoken very highly of Howell and his tutelage in the minors.
I got a chance to meet Howell this past summer when I was in Burlington visiting my cousin who worked for the Angels in Burlington in 2019. My cousin also spoke very highly of Jack Howell and how he treated everyone including him with respect and cared about everyone.
When I sat down to interview him it was like I was talking to a family member. He was so genuine and friendly and loved telling stories about his playing days as well as talking about the players within the organization that I asked him about. We talked for about 30 minutes that day and throughout the next couple of days I was there we talked a couple of more times. He also would text me to thank me when I wrote an article about him or any of the Burlington players.
I have texted him to ask him questions for a story I did on the greatest comeback in Angel history in 1986 when the Angels rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat Detroit 13-12. Howell started the rally and got two hits during it which drove in two runs. He also came on a podcast as a guest from his hotel room after an eight-hour bus ride to the city the Bees were playing that night.
Howell is one of the most caring and kind people I have come across in all my sports coverage I have done. He is a great baseball mind, but is also a great person and wants to make a difference in the lives of anyone he comes in contact with and is a great teacher of the game as well as a student of the game.
All of these players on this list are great guys and exemplify what it means to not only be a professional, but also role models as well. There are some guys that were hard to leave off the list such as David Fletcher and Kole Calhoun, as well as Justin Upton, J.C. Ramirez, and the father and son combination of Torii Hunter Sr. and Torii Hunter Jr. They are all class acts as well and I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to interview them as well. I hope everyone has had a great Christmas if you celebrate the holiday. If not I hope you have a great holiday season and month of December as we close out 2019. Have a great night.