Dick Howser was remembered yesterday as a man whose battle against brain cancer reflected the qualities he brought to baseball as a player, coach and the manager of the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees.
"Dick Howser was a winner," said the Rev. Jim Wells, pastor of Oakwood Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo. "And, contrary to what the world says today, good guys do finish in first place."
About 400 people, including team officials, family and friends, paid final respects to Howser during a 50-minute service at Fellowship Baptist Church in his adopted hometown of Tallahassee, Fla.
Burial followed in Tallahassee Memory Gardens during an afternoon thunderstorm that cleared as the service was ending.
Howser, who managed Kansas City to the World Series championship in 1985, was eulogized by Royals President Joe Burke as a man whose faith in God never wavered during his 11-month fight to overcome the illness that struck him last July. He died Wednesday in Kansas City.
"In life, as in baseball, the thing that really counts is that we reach home safely," Burke said. "Dick Howser has reached his final goal. He has met his God."
Howser made his last public appearance when the Royals opened their home season April 6. He was hospitalized for the last time on June 3, and died there with his wife, Nancy, at his bedside.