Howard became a star after fixing a hole in his swing

Everybody's always tinkering in baseball. Even today's brightest stars, like Ryan Howard, don't come fully formed. Sometimes it takes years for the light to go on.

Originally Published: March 28, 2007
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

Editor's Note: This story appears in the April 9 edition of ESPN The Magazine.

The next sound you hear could be a bat splintering against concrete, or maybe a door crumpled by a size-16 foot. Ryan Howard has just left the Phillies' clubhouse in a noiseless rage. Outfielder Shane Victorino glances over his shoulder at the door through which Howard exited.

"The Big Man," he says, "is hot."

Howard tends to internalize. The Silent Assassin, his older brother calls him. There is no explosion ...

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