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Bloops: Waite Hoyt

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 9, 2011

It's Waite Hoyt's birthday today.

He was born on 9-9-99. How cool is that?

68 Responses to “Bloops: Waite Hoyt”

  1. Pat D Says:

    That's interesting. My dad was born exactly 50 years later on 9/9/49.

  2. bluejaysstatsgeek Says:

    Wow! Now that makes sense! I was wondering who this young phenom was that I'd never heard of!

  3. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Hank Greenberg was born on 1-1-11.

  4. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Hoyt was not only a HOF pitcher, but a longtime play-by-play broadcaster for the Reds, from 1942 to 1965. There were two LPs of his chatter released by KIng Records (based in Cincinnati), "The Best of Waite Hoyt in the Rain" and "The Best of Waite Hoyt in the Rain, Volume 2".

    He was one of the first professional athletes to have a successful broadcasting career. Two questions:
    - anyone remember hearing him as a broadcaster?
    - anyone ever hear these two LPs? or even see them?

  5. bluejaysstatsgeek Says:

    There are only 6 players born on n-n-n dates, depending on how you define them, and as pointed out, two are HOFers:

    1-1-11 Hank Greenberg (HOF)
    2-2-22 Sheldon Jones
    3-3-33 none
    4-4-44 none
    5-5-55 none
    6-6-66 none
    7-7-77 Andy Green
    8-8-88 none
    9-9-99 Waite Hoyt (HOF)
    10-10-10 none
    11-11-11 none
    12-12-12 none

    If we view the single digit ones a bit differently:

    01-01-01 none
    02-02-02 none
    03-03-03 none
    04-04-04 none
    05-05-05 Jack Ryan
    06-06-06 none
    07-07-07 none
    08-08-08 none
    09-09-09 Johnny Marcum

  6. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Interesting trivia item about Hoyt: Although he had 425 career starts (tied for 95th all time), the only three times he pitched on his birthday were in relief (1924, 1928 and 1933 2nd game).

    Also, a few weeks back we had a blog entry about pitchers for one team ending a game with very similar ERAs. Take a look at the ending ERAs for the pitchers on both teams in the second game of the 9/9/33 doubleheader.

  7. Marc Says:

    There's a story that a broadcaster said in his NYC pronunciation "Hurt is Hoyt."

  8. Cheese Says:

    Class is in session!

  9. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    #5: Many years back I read through the birthdates of The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball and found two players who were born on January 1, 1900: Al Stokes and Ted Kearns.

  10. Dan Says:

    @7 - I heard that was Dizzy Dean what said that.

  11. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    There are only 6 players born on n-n-n dates, depending on how you define them

    BJSG, let's define them to include the birthdates 1-11-11 (to pick up Roy Hughes) and 2-22-22 (to pick up George Genovese and Frankie Zak).

  12. John Autin Says:

    Not a bad birthday for HOFers. Besides Hoyt (who won 7 pennants and 3 WS titles), we have:
    -- Frank Chance (the Peerless Leader), born on 9/9 in America's Centennial year, won 4 pennants and 2 WS titles.
    -- Frankie Frisch, born 9/9/1898, won 8 pennants and 4 WS titles.

    Oh, and Brett (2 HRs in 2 games) Pill turns 27 today.

    But my favorite has to be Johnny "Footsie" Marcum, born 9/9/9, who had a solid 7-year pitching career (102 ERA+ in over 1,000 IP) and held his own at the plate (.265 BA in 533 ABs).

  13. Steve Says:

    I remember listening to Waite Hoyt broadcast Reds games on WKCY in the early/mid 1960s. I was able to pick up the signal from NY at night and I really enjoyed listening to the games: Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Deron Johnson, Joey Jay, Bob Purkey, etc. were on the Reds at that time and I remember listening to them playing against the Dodgers of that era (Koufax, Drysdale, Wills, etc.). Waite Hoyt had a very distinctive broadcasting style - everything he said to describe a play (as I recall) was in the past tense, as in "He hit a slow grounder down the third base line and was thrown out." Waite was a great pitcher on the Yankees in their glorious 1920s.

  14. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @13/ Steve - thanks much. WKCY must have been a very powerful clear-channel station - did you live in western New York?

    Andy, would it be presumptuous of me to suggest a possible future thread on our favorite baseball announcers of our youth(es)? I remember Ken Coleman well, starting with the "Impossible Dream" 1967 season..

  15. Steve Says:

    Lawrence, I lived in NY City, but the signal still came through at night.

  16. stan cook Says:

    #14. Who remembers Loel Passe? Not a favorite exactly but memorable. He had done Houston minor league games and was brought in to work with Elston and Helfer as I recall when they got an NL team. What a rube.

  17. Mike L Says:

    Mark @7, that would have been "Hoyt is Hoit"

    Then the trainer would have come out. Followed by a speech pathologist for the announcer.

  18. stan cook Says:

    Speaking of birthdays, I was born on the same day as the immortal Tim Foli. Who can top that?

  19. wboenig Says:

    I share a birthday with Stan Jefferson. Does that compare?

  20. stan cook Says:

    I admit I had forgotten Stan Jefferson.

  21. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Following up on my post #11 . . . Frankie Zak, All-Star? He had 240 career plate appearances! What was that about?

    Short answer: Zak played for the Pirates, and the 1944 All-Star Game was played in Pittsburgh. Zak had never even started a major-league game until June 1, 1944, when he took over at short for struggling Pirates starter Frankie Gustine (.180 BA at the AS break). Between June 1 and July 9 Zak started 30 games at shortstop and was something of a revelation in his 97 plate appearances, going 25 for 82 (.305) and scoring 14 runs, although he had only one extra-base hit and five RBI. Zak was the third shortstop on the NL squad, behind the Cardinals' Marty Marion and the Reds' Eddie Miller, and he did not play in the game.

    The other candidates for #3 NL shortstop were few and far between in that war season. The Cubs' Lennie Merullo was batting .192 and was coming off a minor injury. The Giants' Buddy Kerr, batting .273 as a virtual rookie, certainly was a more deserving candidate. The Braves' Whitey Wietelmann was batting .216; the Dodgers were splitting time at SS between utilityman Bobby Bragan and newly acquired journeyman 2B/SS Eddie Stanky; and Phillies starter Ray Hamrick, batting .205, had just played his final game before going into the military.

    So that's the story on Eddie Zak, born 2-22-22 and an All-Star reserve for five weeks of good play in the war-ravaged 1944 NL.

  22. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I was born on the same day as the immortal Tim Foli. Who can top that?

    I share a birthday with Stan Jefferson. Does that compare?

    Hey, take 'em where you can get 'em. I was born exactly 100 years after a player whose nickname is nearly as aquatic as my screen name: Toad Ramsey.

  23. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @15/Steve - Wow! - that's over 600 miles... AM signals really do "skip"

    @18/ Stan Cook "... I was born on the same day as the immortal Tim Foli. Who can top that?"

    Hozwabout Lou Brock, Sandy Alomar, and the "Big Cat" (Andres Garalarraga)?

  24. Jason Says:

    @4 Lawrence-I wonder if those can still be purchased. I have read in the
    past that Hoyt would talk about the Yankees of the 20's during these rain
    delays. He would also tell stories about Babe Ruth of course.

    It would be so cool to hear these stories. I love picking up your namesake,
    Lawrence Ritter's Glory of their times, these tapes would be like that

    @14 Lawrence-Back in 1986 I spent the summer in Indiana. At night driving in my car I could listen to games from Chicago, Detroit, Cinci, Phi, Pitt, Hou and Stl. Clear channel AM at night was the best. I would sit in
    my car and see how many cities I could tune in.

    I also like your idea of a future thread in regards to announcers of our youth.

    I will submit the Yankees radio team of Bill White, Frank Messer and Phil Rizzuto. Great memories. Listening via clock radio hidden under my pillow. Growing up with the Yankees in the late 70's I wouldn't go to sleep
    until the scoreboard show was over. I couldn't sleep until I knew what
    Boston and Baltimore did, this in the days before cable TV.

    As for birthdays, I have always enjoyed Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas being born on May 6, 1968. Reason being is that my wife has the same birthday.

  25. Phil Gaskill Says:

    Tim Raines.

  26. kevin Says:

    Even though it was post-Hoyt, I could pick up Reds broadcasts in Toronto, only at night though. There was a lot of static, but definitely tolerable. Back then, listening to a *live* National League game was like peeking into another universe.

  27. kevin Says:

    I should have provided a date with my previous comment. It was in the mid to late 80s.

  28. Jason Says:

    I just found out that I share a birthday with Eddie Murray and Honus Wagner. As I mentioned before my wife has the same birthday and
    year as Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas.

    Between the two of us, that is quite the murderers row.

    Can any of you other married men (or women??) top that?

  29. Ken D. Says:

    Born on 9/9/99, Hoyt lived exactly 3 weeks too long to pass away on 8/4/84, at age 84.

  30. stan cook Says:

    I meant the same date and year.

  31. Steve Lombardi Says:

    I share an exact birthday - day, month and year, with a former big leaguer. But, if I told you, then you would have TMI. 🙂

  32. Max Says:

    Wrong sport, but Danilo Gallinari wore #8 with the Knicks and now with the Nuggets because he was born on 8/8/88

  33. Spindlebrook Says:

    I was born on the same day as two big leaguers: Andy Barkett and Calvin Maduro. It was also the day of Fred Lynn's ML debut, the only player to debut on that date.

  34. John Autin Says:

    Whitey Ford, Zack Greinke, Bill Lee (that's Big Bill Lee from Plaquemine, LA, the 1938 NL MVP runner-up), Bill Bevens -- plus Juan Eichelberger *and* Tim Spooneybarger!

    (Not to mention -- as one of my old Strat-O buddies used to call him -- Keith "Strike the Percussion Instrument Properly.")

  35. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @24/ Jason - Thanks so much for sharing your memories of listening to baseball on AM radio. Houston to Indiana is almost 1000 miles - amazing...

    As for the vinyl LPs of Waite Hoyt - I doubt they are readily available, as they were probably only sold locally around Cincy, and sold a few thousand copies (if that) - definitely a collector's item.

    @24/ @28 - When you wrote that both Thomas and Bagwell had a common birthday on May 6th, I thought - "how could you not mention one of the very greatest players ever, Willie Mays??". So I looked it up, and it turns out - Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were born on May _27th_ ,not May 6th.

    It got me to thinking about what the greatest pairs of players born on the same day are, so I checked a few of the all-time greatest players. Nothing equaled Bagwell and Thomas, though. Ty Cobb and Zoilo Versalles don't have quite the same impact...

    @30/ Stan Cook - I misunderstood, I got nothing.

  36. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Very cool, John! You also have Finners Quinlan; Jerry Garvin, my favorite 1977 Blue Jay; and the only big-league player with the first name Marquette.

  37. kingcrab Says:

    anyone born on 2/29?

  38. Spartan Bill Says:

    He was almost born on 9-8-99 but the midwife noticed it was almost midnight as his head began to appear, The entire family hoping for a 9/9/99 birth began shouting "wait, wait".

    The name stuck.

  39. Richard Chester Says:


    Here they are:
    Ed Appleton, 1892
    Al Autry, 1952
    Jerry Fry,1956
    Paul Giel, 1932
    Bill Long, 1960
    Terence Long, 1976
    Pepper Martin, 1904
    Ralph Miller, 1896
    Steve Mingori, 1944
    Roy Parker, 1896
    Dickey Pearce, 1836
    Al Rosen, 1924

  40. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The Cardinals grew a big fanbase because not only were they the southern-most team for many years (making them a default choice for southern fans), but their games were carried on KMOX, which could be heard over almost the entire country.

    I could hear bits of 880 WCBS (which has carried the Yankees for the past decade or so) into North Carolina earlier this year. That was during the day; don't know if it would be further at night.

  41. Spartan Bill Says:

    @ 18

    'll see your Tim Foli and raise you a Dickie Noles

  42. bluejaysstatsgeek Says:

    @37, Kingcrab:

    Yes, 11.

    There's an odd coincidence with these 11 guys. All their birth years are divisible by 4!

  43. John Autin Says:

    @37 -- 2/29 birthdays include (among others):
    -- Al Rosen, the 1953 AL MVP;
    -- Pepper Martin (The Wild Horse of the Osage), who hit .418 with a 1.103 OPS across 3 World Series;
    -- Al Autry, one of 14 modern pitchers to start and win the only game of their MLB career (gotta love a list with Earl Huckleberry, Katsy Keifer, Skel Roach and Billy Ging!);
    -- Steve Mingori, the undersized and underrated contributor to KC's 1976-78 division titles (earned the first postseason save in Royals history); and
    -- former Oakland fan favorite Terence Long, who hit 2 HRs in game 1 of the 2001 ALDS.

  44. Spartan Bill Says:

    Johnnie Chambers was born 9-10-11
    Wayne Osborne was born 10-11-12
    Gene Lillard was born 11-12-13
    Greg Smith was born 4-5-67

    I never heard of any of them either.

  45. stan cook Says:

    Does anyone remember radio game of the day in the late 50s?

  46. stan cook Says:

    Does anyone remember Duane Decker's baseball novels? I don't know why I just remembered them.

  47. Richard Chester Says:


    The first former player to do play-by-play broadcasting was Jack Graney, for the Cleveland Indians.


    Dean used the word "slud" instead of slid. I believe he was the first former player to broadcast for the Yankees.

  48. Richard Chester Says:


    Bluejays..........: Your list is missing Paul Giel, see my post 39. He was better as a college football player than as a MLer. He played for the University of Minnesota, was an All-American and finished second to John Lattner for the 1953 Heisman Trophy.

  49. Richard Chester Says:


    I just did some more research Paul Giel and his birthday is listed as 2/29/32 or 9/29/32 depending on where you look. B-R has 9/29/32.

  50. PhilM Says:

    I'm the same exact age as Robert Perez, who apparently is STILL playing baseball in Italy, at the ripe old age of, well, me.

  51. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    @43/ John Autin - you left out Dickey Pearce, a pre-MLB superstar who basically created the position of shortstop with the Brooklyn Atlantics from 1856 to 1870, and was considered one of the best players in baseball in that period, becoming one of the first professionals in the early 1860s.

    Although he wasn't much of a hitter, he played regularly in MLB in 1871-76, at ages 35-40.

  52. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Johnnie Chambers . . . Wayne Osborne . . . Gene Lillard . . . Greg Smith . . . I never heard of any of them either.

    Never heard of Gene Lillard?!! Actually, I never had either; turns out Lillard played a few games at short for the 1936 Cubs, went to the minors to convert to pitcher, came back up to the Cubs in 1939, and was traded the following offseason to the Cardinals for pitching prospect Ken Raffensberger. Lillard appeared in a few games for the 1940 Cardinals and then disappeared from the big-league scene.

    Ken Raffensberger I know a little bit about, though — lefty pitcher born on my birthday, provided some solid starting pitching for the late-'40s Phillies and early-'50s Reds, lost a lot more often than he won. In fact, Raffensberger, Jerry Koosman and Steve Carlton are the three pitchers who appear on one of my favorite lists: left-handed pitchers who led their league in losses twice with different teams.

  53. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Lon {#4}

    I -- like a LOT of Redlegs fans -- spent many rainy afternoons listening to Hoyt while the umpires were deciding whether or not to call games, or when delays gave him a chance to expound on his playing days. And, somewhere in my attic, is the first of the two LPs -- I didn't even know that he had released a second one.

    And to Stan Cook {45}: Until we got our first television -- I was married by then -- radio broadcasts were all we had, except the dozen or so times we trekked down to Crosley to see them in person.

  54. Steve Says:

    @21 - RE: Frankie Zak & the AS Game. I believe I read somewhere not too long ago that in the early days of the AS Game when train travel was the norm, injury reserves were often chosen from the closest team to the game rather than from a team farther away. Given that the NL had a couple more players than the AL and that the other reserve SS didn't play (Eddie Miller), I wonder if Zak wasn't just an injury replacement? (Of course, Miller didn't miss any regular games so, I don't know. . . .)

    Actually, kind of interesting: the AL didn't even have a backup 2B for that game.

  55. Don Mattingly's Disembodied Moustache Says:

    Waite for it...Waite for it...Waite for it...Sorry, I got nothing!!

  56. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I agree with most of what you say, Steve, and I'd add that wartime travel restrictions further limited the selection of All-Star reserves. The AL team played seven of its eight position-player starters for the whole game. They really did send a bare-bones team.

    Still, Zak's selection to the NL squad seems to go beyond simply choosing an injury reserve from the geographically closest team. Eddie Miller, from all that I can tell, came to the game and was available to play. The Giants' Buddy Kerr was healthy at game time and was having a better season than Zak. The Pirates were represented by only four players: starting 3B Bob Elliott, reserve outfielder Vince DiMaggio, reserve pitcher Rip Sewell, and Zak, so it's not as if the NL economized on reserves by naming all the Pirates' regulars. I think Zak may have been a kind of "local kid" pick who would appeal to the hometown fans and cost nothing to bring to the game.

  57. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    To tie together a couple of ends I've left waving loose in the breeze, Ken Raffensberger was the winning pitcher for the NL in the 1944 All-Star Game, and when Raffensberger pitched for the Reds from 1947 to 1954 Waite Hoyt was broadcasting Cincinnati's games.

  58. Charles Says:

    @2 Young phenom is right.

    August 31, 1915
    McGRAW SIGNS BOY FIFTEEN YEARS OLD. McGraw has just signed the youngest pitcher ever placed under contract by a major league club, and while he may be two or three years before the lad appears in a championship game, the exceptional promise he has displayed caused the Giant leader to take him on now. Waite Hoyt of Brooklyn is the youngster. He is 15 years old, but weighs around 165 pounds. McGraw was so struck with the general work of the boy that he drew up an agreement with his father whereby the Giants are to have the services of the lad when he is old enough to be used. Young Hoyt appears in a Giant uniform every day at the Polo grounds and practices. He will continue to do so until school opens.

  59. ajnrules Says:

    Hoyt was born 100 years before the death of Jim "Catfish" Hunter. While he is a mediocre Hall of Famer at best, there's no denying the tragedy of a former player taken from us far too early. RIP, Catfish.

    And I share a birthday with one who also died far too soon.
    RIP Vern Ruhle (1951-2007)

  60. Adrian Says:

    The same day that born my brother but diferent year 9/09/85, well happy birthday Waite Hoyt.

  61. steven Says:

    I share a birthday with Bobby Knoop and Lee Harvey Oswald.

  62. nightfly Says:

    re: Best birthdays...

    I can't match Jason/28 or his lovely lady, but my birthday does have a legit Hall of Famer, and a suspect one: Napoleon Lajoie and Bill Mazeroski. I also get to share a cake with Candy Maldonado, Jeff Brantley, Ryan Spilborghs, and Rod Barajas.

  63. Jeff Says:

    I don't have any great ballplayers on my birthday (25 years to the day after the original Tony Peña), but I do share my birthday with Dr. Ruth (54 years later), so I got that going for me.

  64. Nash Bruce Says:

    my b-day just passed last week- I share a birthday with Mike Piazza- drafted in the 62nd(?!) round, only as a favor- "oh he'll never make it", yet in true Virgo (non)style, he must have worked worked worked worked his arse off, until he figured it out.
    (Looking at his stats just now, did you know that he was actually 5th in CS%, in his rookie year of '93?? I never would have guessed. Never.)
    Also, Doyle Alexander, who was just kind.....of......there. Until the last 6 weeks of '87. Wow.
    I guess that my b-day isn't so bad after all 😀

  65. pauley Says:

    While I'd rather debate the supposed mediocrity of Catfish Hunter- the greatest nine-toed, diabetic baseball player ever, I guess I'll just throw out my all star birthday outfield of Chick Hafey, Chet Lemon and Dom DiMaggio. Brandon Allen finally making it would help the lineup. And of course there are the not baseball players but maybe you've heard of them- Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.

  66. Jason Says:

    @35 Lawrence-Thanks for setting me straight on Thomas and Bagwell.
    As I am positive that my wife's birthday is indeed May 6, I have to say
    that I would take Mays over Thomas AND Bagwell any time.

  67. Rico petrocelli Says:

    For free Waite Hoyt in the rain downloads......get em while they're hot

    My birthdate exactly is shared by Kelly Downs....immortalized on cover of SI during the SF-Oakland earthquake

    My hero was also born that day but not my year ....Pedro Martinez

    Same day is Smokey Joe Wood who had a .679 career pct compared to Pedro's .687, helped a lot by going 34-5 in 1912 (.872) -- topping Pedro's 23-4 in 1999 (.852)

    Both smoking for the sox

  68. Rico petrocelli Says:

    Both won exactly 117 games for the sox in seven seasons