By Rashad Milligan The Clarion-Ledger
JACKSON – David “D.M.” Howie dedicated his life to baseball.
“He lived baseball. He didn’t have any hobbies really,” said his son, Chris. “He didn’t fish, he didn’t golf. He liked to work on the field. He loved baseball practices. A lot of coaches didn’t like that, but he loved it because then he could teach.”
Howie died on Monday, July 20. He was 90 years old.
Howie began coaching high school baseball in 1967 at St. Joseph. At St. Joseph, he built his first baseball field, the Bobby Jacquith Field. The venue, constructed by the help of parents and Howie’s friends, was one of the first fields in the Jackson-area to have lights.
In 1982, he became the first baseball coach in Northwest Rankin’s history. At Northwest Rankin, he also built the program’s first baseball field – the original Wesley Scarborough Field.
Howie also coached at Madison Ridgeland, before it consolidated into Madison Central, Tougaloo and had a second stint at St. Joseph. The current field at St. Joseph, is named in his honor. He had a career record of 495-231.
He was the first coach in the Mississippi High School All-Star Baseball Game in 1975. The all-star exhibition is now named after him. In 2011, the Mississippi Association of Coaches inducted Howie into its Coaches Hall of Fame.
“He was a well-respected baseball coach,” Johnny Mims, MAC executive director, said. “He was just a great person, and a big baseball fan. He loved baseball, that was his life.”
In retirement, he volunteered his services being an assistant coach and umpire. In 2016, Howie released his autobiography Rock & Fire: The Autobiography of the Coach Who Made a Difference in Mississippi High School Baseball.
“It was a life well lived,” Chris Howie said. “He was 90 years old. He worked two-thirds of those years. He took it seriously.”
No funeral service is planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 22, 2020 in The Clarion-Ledger and is reprinted with permission.)