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Waite Hoyt

Waite Hoyt
Born: (1899-09-09)September 9, 1899
Brooklyn, New York
Died: August 25, 1984(1984-08-25) (aged 84)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 24, 1918 for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
May 15, 1938 for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Career statistics
Win–loss record 237–182
Earned run average 3.59
Strikeouts 1,206
Saves 52
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Career highlights and awards
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Election Method Veteran's Committee

Waite Charles Hoyt (September 9, 1899 – August 25, 1984) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, one of the dominant pitchers of the 1920s, and the winningest pitcher for the New York Yankees during that decade. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in

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Early life

Hoyt was born in Brooklyn, New York to Addison and Louise Benedum Hoyt and attended Erasmus Hall High School.[1]


Despite being a Dodgers fan, he was signed to a professional contract by New York Giants manager John McGraw when he was but 15. Because of his extreme youth, he was immediately nicknamed "The Schoolboy Wonder".

After a brief stint with the Giants, McGraw sent the young pitcher to the minors for seasoning. Hoyt soon returned to the majors, this time with the Boston Red Sox. His performance there attracted the attention of the Yankees, who acquired him in

  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. In his first season as a Yankee, he won 19 games and pitched three complete games in the World Series without allowing an earned run — over his career, he would win six American League pennants with the Yankees and one with the Philadelphia Athletics. In his finest years with the Yankees,
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Hoyt finished his career with a win-loss record of 237–182 and an ERA of 3.59. By the time he retired in

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In addition to the "Schoolboy" moniker appearing on his Hall of Fame plaque, Hoyt was also known as "The Merry Mortician", for when he was not playing baseball, he spent days working as a funeral director and nights appearing on vaudeville. As a vaudevillian, he appeared with many of the most well-known performers of the day, including Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, George Burns, and others. He kept in shape during the off-season by playing semi-pro basketball. He added to his repertoire by becoming an accomplished painter and writer.

On August 16,

  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year, Hoyt paid tribute to Babe Ruth, speaking on the air without notes for two hours upon learning of his death after a game. He was well known as the pre-eminent authority on Babe Ruth, who was his teammate for almost 10 years. Robert Creamer, author of the definitive Ruth biography Babe, indicated in that book's introduction that the novella-length memoir written by Hoyt shortly after Ruth's death was "by far the most revealing and rewarding work on Ruth".

A longtime member of Alcoholics Anonymous, during the

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As a broadcaster

After retiring as a player, Hoyt went into broadcasting. During a stint as the host of "Grandstand and Bandstand" on WMCA, he tried to audition for the Yankees, but sponsor Wheaties vetoed him out of hand. The common view at the time was that former players did not have enough of a vocabulary to be successful broadcasters. However, Hoyt was well known for dressing down umpire George Moriarty when he missed a call by saying, "You're out of your element. You should be a traffic cop so you could stand in the middle of the street with a badge on your chest and insult people with impunity!"

Dodgers' voice Red Barber, however, thought more of Hoyt's abilities and hired him as color commentator and host of the pre- and post-game shows in

  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. After two years, he became the play-by-play voice of the Cincinnati Reds, a post he held for 24 years. He became as much a celebrity with the Reds as he was while a player. He was well known for calling games exclusively in past tense, which was and still is unusual for sportscasting. Where most baseball announcers would say, "Here's the pitch!" Hoyt would say, "There was the pitch!" He told author Curt Smith that he felt using past tense was accurate because "as I speak to you, what happened a moment ago is gone."

Hoyt shared radio play-by-play duties for the 1953 All-Star Game on the Mutual Network and the second 1960 All-Star Game on NBC.[2] He called the 1961 World Series for NBC Radio, during a time when it was common for the primary broadcasters for participating teams to be used in network broadcasts of the Fall Classic. 1961 was the only World Series during his tenure, leading Hoyt to call himself "a bad news broadcaster."

He retired from full-time broadcasting work in 1965, though he later made appearances on both radio and television, including the color commentary for the Reds telecasts in 1972. Hoyt was known for entertaining radio audiences with anecdotes during rain delays. A selection of these stories is collected on two record albums "The Best of Waite Hoyt in the Rain" and "Waite Hoyt Talks Babe Ruth". Hoyt was one of the first professional athletes to develop a successful career in broadcasting and his name frequently appears on "all-time best" broadcaster lists.

On June 10, 2007, the Reds honored Hoyt, Marty Brennaman, and Joe Nuxhall with replica microphones that are hung below the radio broadcast booth at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Later life

An eternal optimist, Hoyt married his third wife, Betty Dearie in 1982. Dearie, a longtime fan, was an associate of Warren Giles, first President of the Reds and subsequently of the National League. Betty still lives in Cincinnati and was interviewed extensively in the video biography "Waite's World". The bio was released on VHS in 1997 and includes interviews with his son Chris, the late hall of fame broadcaster Joe Nuxhall, reporter and television personality Nick Clooney, and retired Reds pitcher Jim O'Toole.

The aging Hoyt died of heart failure while preparing for what he realized would be his final visit to the Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York. Hoyt is interred in Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "The Rumble: AN OFF-THE-BALL LOOK AT YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS CELEBRITIES", New York Post, December 31, 2006. Accessed December 13, 2007. "The five Erasmus Hall of Fame legends include Raiders owner Al Davis, Bears quarterback Sid Luckman, Yankee pitching great Waite Hoyt, Billy Cunningham and Knicks founder Ned Irish."
  2. ^ Smith, Curt (2005). Voices of Summer. New York City: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1446-8. 
  3. ^ Cook, William A. (2004). Waite Hoyt: A Biography of the Yankees' Schoolboy Wonder. McFarland. p. 209. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 

External links

Preceded by
Jack Quinn
Brooklyn Dodgers Opening Day
Starting pitcher

Succeeded by
Watty Clark

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