Sunday, November 22, 2009

#6 Waite Hoyt

Waite Hoyt is proboably the most famous pitcher from the legendary Yankee teams of Ruth and Gehrig. It's safe to say that he got a large portion of his wins thanks in part to the offense of the Yanks, but the really shouldn't diminish the effect he had as a pitcher.
Hoyt came up with the New York Giants in 1918, and was traded to the Red Sox the next season. He wound up following the Babe to New York, and was Ruth's teammate for over a decade. Despite all those years of being teammates, Ruth always thought his name was "Walt"
He won 237 games in his career, but Hoyt always maintained that he would have had a more successful career had he stayed away from the bottle. Like many players of the day, the pursuit of alcohol was as strong as the pursuit for a pennant.
Hoyt followed his playing career with a popular career as a broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds from 1942 to 1965. His stories and anecdotes were legendary, and he even recorded two albums of his tales, "Waite Hoyt In The Rain" and "Waite Hoyt and Babe Ruth."
Hoyt was still visible after his broadcast career, regularly attending old-timer games. He also was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969, his candidacy no doubt buoyed by his high profile career as an orator.

In 1977, he recorded a series of interviews that appeared on Cincinnati Public Television. Parts 5-8 can be seen here.

Hoyt died in 1984 just 2 weeks shy of his 85th birthday.

The Autograph: I got this card signed through the mail, not more than a few months before his death. Hoyt's autograph is in high supply, even 25 years after death.

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