LaMarr Hoyt
Pitcher
Born: (1955-01-01)January 1, 1955
Columbia, South Carolina
Died: November 29, 2021(2021-11-29) (aged 66)
Columbia, South Carolina
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1979, for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1986, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
Win–loss record98–68
Earned run average3.99
Strikeouts681
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Dewey LaMarr Hoyt Jr. (January 1, 1955 – November 29, 2021) was an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres from 1979 to 1986. He won the 1983 American League Cy Young Award and was an All-Star in 1985.

Early career

Hoyt graduated from Keenan High School in Columbia, South Carolina.[1] The New York Yankees selected Hoyt in the fifth round of the 1973 Major League Baseball draft. In 1977, the Yankees traded Hoyt with fellow pitching prospect Bob Polinsky, outfielder Oscar Gamble, and $200,000 to the Chicago White Sox for shortstop Bucky Dent.[2]

Chicago White Sox

Hoyt was promoted to the major leagues for the first time in September 1979.[3] A relief pitcher when he made the White Sox to stay in 1980, Hoyt was switched to the starting rotation in 1982 and tied a club record by winning his first nine decisions. The record was first set by Lefty Williams in 1917 and equaled by Orval Grove in 1943. Hoyt ended up leading the American League with 19 wins.[4]

In 1983, Hoyt won the American League Cy Young Award.[5] He had a 24–10 won-lost record, 3.66 earned run average and 11 complete games while allowing only 31 walks in 260+23 innings. Hoyt finished the season with a 15–2 record and 3.16 ERA in his final 18 starts of the season.[6] He pitched a complete game victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of the 1983 American League Championship Series, giving up only one run on five hits with no walks.[7][8]

The White Sox faltered in 1984, as Hoyt's record fell to 13–18 with a 4.47 ERA. He went from winning the most games in the American League in 1983 to losing the most games the following year.[4]

San Diego Padres

After the 1984 season, the San Diego Padres traded Ozzie Guillén, Tim Lollar, Bill Long, and Luis Salazar to the White Sox for Hoyt, Kevin Kristan, and Todd Simmons.[9] He was targeted by Padres general manager Jack McKeon to bolster their starting rotation, which struggled in the 1984 World Series. Hoyt made the National League's All-Star team his first season in the league, and was named the starting pitcher for the game.[4] He gave up one run in three innings of work to earn the win and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. For the season, he went 16–8 with a 3.47 ERA. Baseball writer Bill James said Hoyt had the best control of any National League pitcher at this time.[10]

Following the 1985 season, he was arrested twice within a month (between January and February 1986) on drug-possession charges, checking into a rehabilitation program nine days after the second arrest.[11] This prevented him from playing most of spring training. He pitched through an injury to his rotator cuff rather than risk a surgery that could end his career, and he logged an 8–11 won-loss record with a 5.15 ERA.[4]

Barely a month after the season ended, Hoyt was arrested again for drug possession when he tried to bring 500 pills through the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the U.S.–Mexico border.[4][12] He was sentenced to 45 days in jail on December 16, 1986, and suspended by then-Commissioner Peter Ueberroth on February 25, 1987. An arbitrator reduced his suspension to sixty days in mid-June and ordered the Padres to reinstate him. Though the Padres still owed Hoyt $3 million under the terms of his contract, the team gave him his unconditional release the following day.[4]

Later career

The White Sox gave him a second chance, signing him after his San Diego release and giving him time to get back into shape. A fourth arrest on drug charges in December 1987 ended his return.[13] He was sentenced to one year in federal prison in January 1988.[14] He began to serve his sentence at Federal Correctional Complex, Allenwood,[15] and was transferred in July to a halfway house in Columbia, South Carolina.[16]

Career stats

W L Pct. ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB K WP HBP BAA Fld% Avg. WHIP
98 68 .590 3.99 244 172 48 8 10 1311.1 1313 637 582 140 279 681 13 18 .260 .968 .091 1.214

A poor hitter, even by pitchers' standards, Hoyt had just ten hits in 110 career at-bats. The only extra-base hit of his career was an RBI double on July 13, 1986, against Tim Conroy of the St. Louis Cardinals.[17]

Personal life

Hoyt's parents divorced when he was six months old, and he was raised by an aunt. Hoyt and his wife, Sylvia, married in 1980. They divorced after the 1985 season.[18]

Hoyt died of cancer on November 29, 2021, at the age of 66.[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Columbia's Starting Nine – Columbia Metropolitan Magazine". Columbiametro.com. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  2. ^ "Yankees Finally Land Bucky Dent". Wilmington Morning Star. April 6, 1977.
  3. ^ "LaMarr Hoyt : He Found Himself Again When He Lost That Belly". Los Angeles Times. July 16, 1985.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Padres history (June 17): Parting with LaMarr Hoyt". San Diego Union-Tribune. June 17, 2020.
  5. ^ "Undoubtedly, Hoyt is Best". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. October 26, 1983.
  6. ^ Merkin, Scott (December 1, 2021). "The 5 best seasons by White Sox pitchers". MLB.com. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
  7. ^ "1983 American League Championship Series, Game One". Baseball-Reference.com. October 5, 1983.
  8. ^ "Tony La Russa stings from White Sox 1983 playoff loss, but focused on 2021 | RSN". Nbcsports.com. March 22, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  9. ^ "Hoyt Traded to Padres In a Seven-Player Deal". The Washington Post. December 7, 1984. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  10. ^ James, Bill (1986). The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1986. Ballantine Books. p. 296.
  11. ^ "Sports People; Disclosure on Hoyt". The New York Times. March 1, 1986.
  12. ^ "Padres' Hoyt Arrested by U.S. Customs". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. October 29, 1986.
  13. ^ "Hoyt Arrested On Drug Charges". The New York Times. December 7, 1987.
  14. ^ "LaMarr Hoyt Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison". Los Angeles Times. January 16, 1988.
  15. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE; Hoyt to Allenwood". The New York Times. January 17, 1988. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  16. ^ "Hoyt Is Halfway Home from Prison". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  17. ^ "San Diego Padres 13, St. Louis Cardinals 6". Baseball-Reference.com. July 13, 1986.
  18. ^ Falkner, David (June 27, 1988). "Imprisoned Hoyt Can't Escape Past". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
  19. ^ Pope, Lamond (December 2, 2021). "LaMarr Hoyt, the 1983 AL Cy Young winner for the Chicago White Sox, dies at 66: 'What a great competitor'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 1, 2021.