Softball Legend Stan Harvey has passed
Former Howard’s slugger Stan Harvey passes away at 69
By Bill Plummer III
There wasn’t any doubt after you saw David Stanley (Stan) Harvey play slow pitch softball. He had one of the smoothest swings the game has ever known.
On January 5, the 69-year-old Harvey, who helped put Howard’s Furniture and Howard’s Western Steer on the softball map nationally, passed away at his home, in Alexis in Gaston County, NC.
Harvey, who was born August 19, 1942 in Tennessee and was the son of the late Obie and Goldie Herd Harvey, started playing softball at age 14 for teams in Tennessee, including Eclipse Lookout Boiler Shop, VFW Rebels, Kobax, Thurman-Bryant and Golden Gallon.
It wasn’t until 1973, however, when Harvey joined Howard’s Furniture of Denver, NC, and became one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He helped Howard’s win championship after championship including five ASA National titles: 1973-74, 1981 and 1983-84.
The 6-foot-5 Harvey, who played first base and the outfield, earned his first of nine All-America selections in 1970 playing for Golden Gallon. He batted .587 in the ASA Men’s Major Slow Pitch National Championship, driving in 19 runs to lead his team to a fourth place finish.
After joining Howard’s in 1973, Harvey proceeded to earn All-America honors from 1973-1976, 1978, 1980, 1982 and 1984 playing in 16 ASA National Championships. In 1975, Harvey hit seven homers to co-share the home run award in the 1975 ASA Major National Championship; in 1977 he hit a then record 290 homers; in 1978 he smashed 23 homers in the ASA Men’s Major National Championship and in 1980 he batted .789 to lead all hitters in the ASA Major National Championship.
Harvey smashed more than 3,000 homers and drove in more than 4,000 runs between 1973-1989 for Howard’s with 1985 his best season with 320 homers and a .721 batting average.
Randy Gorrell, one of Howard’s former managers, said,”Stan had the smoothest swing the game has ever known. The quietest, gentlest giant until it’s time to win a ball game. I used to call him Clutch because in a game-winning situation he batted 1.000. Nicest man off the field. I wish there could be ten of him.”
Harvey was inducted into the ASA Hall of Fame in 1996 and is one of nine former Howard’s players enshrined.
Harvey was from a by-gone era of slow pitch. Unlike some of today’s players who need steroids (or the juice) to play softball, Harvey relied on his ability. There was nothing fake about him and his ability. And that ability was considerable. Years of batting practice honed his skills so he was one of the best for more than two decades. At 6-foot-5 and 240-plus pounds, Harvey was a giant in the game of men’s slow pitch for more than two decades helping Howard’s become a household name among the softball world. He was quiet, led by example and when the chips were down he was one of the players Richard Howard could count on to deliver. And he delivered more often than not. He also had a respect and reverence for his sport and fellow players. When players were jumping to other teams at the drop of a hat, Harvey stayed with Howard’s throughout his career. He was loyal to the end, not only to his sport but to his many friends and family members. Harvey was one of a kind and those who knew him or played against him knew that well.
Harvey was preceded in death by two sisters, Dianne Harvey and Betty Smith..
He is survived by his wife, Janet Watts Harvey; children, Bryan Harvey and wife Lisa, Dwayne Harvey and wife Patsy, Darla Street and husband Jody, all of Catawba, N.C., Chad Watts and his wife Annette of Mount Holly, Becky Kuhn and husband Danny of Iron Station, Sandi Bradley and husband Scott of Mount Holly, and Brandon Harvey of the home; one sister, Linda Harvey of Bakewell, Tenn.; three brothers, Osbon Harvey of Arkansas, Leslie Harvey of Bakewell, Tenn. and Ken Harvey of Spencer, Tenn.; 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Stan Harvey, the legendary slugger for the famed Howard's Furniture teams of the 1970's (The Steele's, Ritch's, and Resmondo of their era) passed away on January 5, 2012 after a period of diminishing health.
Visitation at Woodlawn Funeral Home is being held at 3:00 on Sunday, January 8th with funeral immediately following.
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