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, said Dalyn Backes of the Riverside County coroner's office. The accident occurred about 130 miles east of Los Angeles.
Howe was the 1980 NL Rookie of the Year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and helped them win the World Series the next year.
But for all of Howe's success on the field, the hard-throwing lefty 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.
"Steve played for me for five years and I thought the world of him," former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda said. "I am truly sorry to hear about his passing and my deepest sympathies go out to his family."