Jared Howton had three tremendous seasons in the Frontier League. After playing at the University of Texas-San Antonio, Howton—a left-handed pitcher—was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and played in their organization during the 2001 season. Despite being released by the Reds after that season, he was contacted by a number of independent leagues, including the Frontier League. Jared quickly developed a connection with coach Jeff Isom and decided to sign with the Washington Wild Things.
“Washington seemed like the right fit. It was a fresh start for me at that point in my career,” said Howton.
Howton went on to pitch for the Wild Things for two seasons. In 2002, his greatest season, he led the league with a 1.89 ERA and tied the league lead with 11 wins. He had 89 strikeouts and only 38 walks in 109 innings of work. After the 2002 season, he was named the Pitcher of the Year for that season as well as being named a Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. In his second season with Washington in 2003, he suffered a shoulder injury that required major surgery and forced him to miss the 2004 season. He worked his way back from the injury but was then traded to the Richmond Roosters, where he pitched in 2005 and also served as a Pitching Coach. The following season he then served as Pitching Coach with Traverse City. In both years he served as Pitching Coach, his team had a Frontier League Pitcher of the Year on their staff.
“Winning the Brian Tollberg Most Valuable Pitcher Award and being named an All-Star in the 2002 season were definitely some of my proudest moments as a player,” said Howton, “but coming back from major shoulder surgery is something I’m really proud of as well.”
Besides what he was able to do in his playing career, Howton says he was able to take a lot of lessons from the game with him after his playing days were over.
“The game taught me a lot about being resilient, especially after the injury. I also learned a lot about developing a good work ethic, staying humble and being competitive—principles that can be applied to both baseball and life.”
Looking back on his time in the Frontier League, Jared recalls how enjoyable his time in Washington was.
“Washington was a special place. Those were definitely my two most enjoyable seasons in baseball and there are a handful of guys I’m still friends with from those teams. Everyone, from the team to the front office to the fans really made it a memorable experience for me.”
When asked about his recognition as a Frontier League Hall of Famer, Howton noted:
“It is an honor when you look at all the other names that have received the same recognition and it is truly humbling. It blows my mind that it has been almost twenty years.”
After baseball, Howton spent six years in the oil and gas industry and is currently working in sales in the forest products industry. He is now married to his wife Ashley and is the father of two children.
You can watch Jared Howton and other inductees give their Hall of Fame speeches at the ceremony in Washington right here: https://frontierleague.vhx.tv/videos/flhofceremony