NEW YORK - Steve Howe, the relief pitcher whose promising career was derailed by cocaine and alcohol abuse, died Friday when his pickup truck rolled over in Coachella, Calif. He was 48.
Howe was killed at 5:55 a.m. PDT about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, said Dalyn Backes of the Riverside County coroner's office. He had been in Arizona on business and was driving back to the family home in Valencia, Calif.
Toxicology tests had not yet been performed.
Howe was constantly troubled by addictions — he was suspended seven times and became a symbol of the rampant cocaine problem that plagued baseball in the 1980s.
Dodger statement regarding the passing of Steve Howe
Yankees GM Brian Cashman noted, "I wish more people knew Steve Howe the way I knew him. His struggles in life were well documented, but he always tried to fight through them and I will always respect that. My thoughts and prayers go out to Cindy and his family."
Rangers manager Buck Showalter, who managed Howe for four years with the Yankees, had the following to say about his former reliever's passing:
"That's really sad. I don't know all the particulars, but it's sad. He was a talented young man ... a special talent. A special arm. A special competitive fire. The thing people miss about him was how much he loved baseball. Just loved it. He loved his family."