At nearly every turn in Howie Spira's tangled and antagonistic history, there was a phone call. And on the phone calls, he had his tape recorder. Howie's cassettes captured his rift with Dave Winfield, his conniving with George Steinbrenner, and his turn against Steinbrenner. They captured threats from the mob. Here's a sampling of his audio archive.
On Dec. 16, 1986, an increasingly desperate Howie calls Dave Winfield to ask if they can have a "reinvolvement." Winfield brushes Howie off and threatens to hang up on him. Howie beats him to it:
Howie calls George Steinbrenner the next day, telling the Yankees owner that he has the information to damage Winfield and the player's agent, Al Frohman. Steinbrenner is open to meeting Howie and invites him to Tampa:
Unsatisfied with the $40,000 Steinbrenner paid him in early 1990, Howie calls Steinbrenner again to plead for more cash. By now, Steinbrenner has had enough. Tempers flare:
A runner for the mob tells Howie he better scare up some dough or face dire consequences. But Howie threatens back and says he might snitch. "You won't see the light of day," the runner responds: