A Yankees Legend I Never Appreciated… Until Now (Guest Post from Robert Skead)
by Robert Skead
Special for Start Spreading the News
Stories. We all love them. That’s the interesting thing about collecting baseball cards and being a Yankees fan—there are great stories and moments we all know about—and the people behind them we know as legends. That’s why I was excited to recently learn more about a Yankees legend whose name is hardly mentioned in Yankees lore in recent years. Perhaps he is a forgotten great Yankee.
How did this forgotten star get on my radar? You see… It happens to me every spring as the snow melts around my yard and baseball beckons. My glove comes out. I watch Pride of the Yankees —and I start looking more at baseball cards. I’ve always been enamored with the 1933 and 1934 Goudey set. Unfortunately, I can’t afford my dream cards of Gehrig and Ruth, so I enjoy the reprints. But it was while investigating some of the other “cool but underrated” cards in this series that I became enamored with the look of two particular cards. One being that of Waite Hoyt.
So, I started researching Mr. Hoyt… only to discover… Wait? Waite Hoyt was a Yankees legend? He’s barely talked about. Is there even a Yankeography on him? I’ve certainly heard his name but I have to admit I knew nothing about him.
Here’s what I was surprised to learn:
He was one of the most successful pitchers for the Yankee during the 1920s, playing for the team from 1921-1930;
He was a three-time World Series champion (1923, 1927, 1928);
He won six American league pennants with the Yankees;
He once told a teammate that he didn’t room with Babe Ruth, he roomed with Ruth’s suitcase;
He became a Hall of Famer in 1969;
He tossed four no hitters for various amateur teams in 1915.
His nickname from reporters was Schoolboy because he was the youngest boy (age 15) to sign an option contract (co-signed by his father) in 1916 with the Giants, and entered the minors;
After three years, he made his big-league debut for the Red Sox (who had acquired his contract) at age 18, throwing 12 innings to defeat Detroit, 2 to 1, at Fenway.
He was a singer and vaudevillian, appearing on-stage with Jack Benny, George Burns and Jimmy Durante; and
He became one of the first players to become a successful broadcaster.
As a broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds, Hoyt was well-known for his impromptu anecdotes about his favorite teammate Babe Ruth, which he delivered during many rain delays. You can listen to many of them here.
As you can imagine, my appreciation for Waite Hoyt skyrocketed, so I purchased his 1933 Goudey card, which depicts him as a Pirate, and the card is one I could actually afford. And, best of all, he’s now a not forgotten Yankee legend in my heart and collection.
Robert Skead and his 1933 Waite Hoyt Goudey card.
Waite Hoyt Quotes:
“Babe had a side of him that many would suppose be shocking in some respects. But I say this in conclusion in speaking about Ruth… that If there is a judgement day, when judgement day comes I rather suspect that whoever does the judging is going to find more pluses on the side of Ruth than minuses.”
“The secret of success in pitching lies in getting a job with the Yankees.”
Robert Skead is the author of several popular children’s books about baseball, sports and the American Revolution. Discover more at www.robertskead.com. Signed copies of his books can be obtained directly from the author by contacting him through his website.