Another gift from the Red Sox, the Yankees obtained this right-hander in 1920 in a seven- player deal a year after they purchased Babe Ruth from Boston. The Yankees also were able to steal Hall of Fame hurlers, Herb Pennock and Red Ruffing and five-time 20-game winner Carl Mays from the Red Sox during the same ten-year period.
In his very first season in Pinstripes, Hoyt won nineteen regular season games and then pitched three complete games against the Giants in the 1921 World Series winning two and not allowing an earned run in any of them. He pitched for New York for ten seasons, winning 157 games, which places him in ninth place on the Yankees All-Time victories list. Hoyt pitched a total of twenty seasons in the big leagues including stints with all three of the New York City teams, retiring in 1938. He then became the first ex big-leaguer to make the move into the broadcast booth. He spent 21 years doing Reds’ games and became an institution in Cincinnati.
A huge drinker who beat the habit, the colorful Hoyt was also a great storyteller and had plenty of stories to tell. During the off-season he worked in both a funeral parlor and in Vaudeville. He had one of the closest relationships with the great Ruth of any ballplayer and his stories about the Bambino were considered classics. Hoyt’s ability to entertain Reds’ fans with tales of his past during rain delays were so entertaining, recordings of the sessions became best-selling records. Hoyt died in 1984.
|NYY (10 yrs)||157||98||.616||3.48||365||276||70||156||15||28||2272.1||2405||1035||879||93||631||713||1.336|
|PIT (5 yrs)||35||31||.530||3.08||156||45||69||23||4||18||616.1||635||250||211||25||115||270||1.217|
|BRO (3 yrs)||8||13||.381||3.94||41||24||7||10||1||1||210.0||242||119||92||9||47||54||1.376|
|NYG (2 yrs)||5||7||.417||3.39||19||12||4||3||0||0||98.1||103||43||37||6||25||31||1.302|
|BOS (2 yrs)||10||12||.455||3.85||35||22||12||12||3||1||226.2||222||114||97||3||69||73||1.284|
|DET (2 yrs)||12||16||.429||5.22||42||32||9||13||1||4||227.2||300||159||132||9||79||35||1.665|
|PHA (1 yr)||10||5||.667||4.22||16||14||0||9||2||0||111.0||130||60||52||9||37||30||1.505|
With the exception of starting pitcher, catching is baseball’s most physically demanding position. That’s true today and it was true when the Yankees, then known as the Highlanders, played their first game in the Big Apple during the first decade of the twentieth century. Even back then, most teams carried backup catchers on their roster. The only member of the Yankee’s all-time roster to celebrate his birthday on this date was Fred Jacklitsch, a Brooklyn-born back-up catcher who played close to 500 games in the big leagues but only one of them in a New York uniform and that was during the 1905 season. Jacklitsch may have been the only Yankee born on May 24th but he’s one of several to have been born in Brooklyn. Here’s my list of the five most famous Brooklyn natives to have ever worn the pinstripes:
1 – Phil Rizzuto
2 – Waite Hoyt
3 – Wee Willie Keeler
4 – Joe Torre
5 – Joe Pepitone