Here is a link to the original story on the team's website.
In celebration of Black History Month, throughout February, teams across Minor League Baseball are looking back at some of the best Black players to suit up for their club.
While some of these standout performers from across the sport went on to long and illustrious Major League careers, others simply had great Minor League careers or, in some cases, just one incredible season that went down as “a year for the ages.”
Over the month, we will highlight some of the best Black baseball players to ever suit up for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Philadelphia Phillies tabbed Ryan Howard in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Missouri State University. After 85 home runs in over his first three and a half seasons, including 37 for the Reading Phillies over 102 games in 2004, Howard was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He closed 2004 with nine more home runs and his first call to Philadelphia.
After capturing the Joe Baumann Award in 2004 with 46 home runs to lead all Minor Leaguers, Howard began 2005 in Moosic. He hit four home runs and drove in 14 over his first 23 games of the year and carried a .316 average to a second MLB call. After three weeks up with the Phillies, he returned to the Red Barons and mashed. In June, Howard hit .420 with six home runs and 27 batted in. He was recalled in early July and never looked back. All told, he batted .336 over 90 games in two years with the Red Barons with 25 home runs and 83 runs batted in. Howard closed 2005 with 22 home runs in the Majors and drove in 63 over 88 games with Philadelphia, claiming the National League Rookie of the Year award.
Howard was a staple at first base for the Phillies over the next decade. “The Big Piece” won the 2006 NL MVP Award with a Phillies franchise-record 58 home runs, a .313 average and 149 runs batted in. In addition, Howard was a three-time MLB All-Star, a Silver Slugger and claimed NLCS MVP honors in 2008 before the Phillies won the World Series. He closed his career with 382 home runs and 1,194 runs batted in during his 13-year Major League career.
In 2019, Howard was tabbed for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s All-Time Team as part of their 30th Anniversary Season celebration.