An early spitballer, Howell was the workhorse of the 1904-08 Browns pitching staff,
averaging 308 innings and 15 wins a season. In three of those years, his ERA was
1.98 or less. He lost his job as a Browns scout when he tried to pressure the St.
Louis official scorer to give an extra hit to Cleveland's Nap Lajoie
on the last
day of the 1910 season. Lajoie and Ty Cobb
were in a tight race for the batting title;
Lajoie had eight hits against the Browns that day, but Cobb took the title by a point.
Howell became a minor league umpire.