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Dick Hoover

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Richard Lloyd Hoover

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Left-hander Dick Hoover, a seventeen-year-old pitcher from Columbus, OH, was signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Giants before the 1943 season. The Giants hustled Dick to their class D club in the Appalachian League and the young lefty went 11-1 in just 13 games for the Bristol Twins. His .917 winning percentage led the league and helped the Twins to a 74-35 pennant-winning record. Hoover would spend the next two years (1944-1945) with the United States Navy during World War II.

Back from the Military Service in 1946, Dick spent the year with the Jersey City Giants of the International League where he toughed out a 8-11 season with a 3.71 ERA, then fell to a 4-10 number with three different clubs in 1947. Dick spent the next four seasons in the high minors and late in the 1948 season was traded by the New York Giants, along with Lloyd Gearhart and $60,000, to the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association for Davey Williams.

Dick would have two good years with the Crackers in 1949 and 1950, winning a total of 27 games and losing but 18. He spent 1951 with the AAA Milwaukee Brewers at 5-4 with a 3.14 ERA. He was then invited by the Boston Braves to Braves Field for the opening of the 1952 season. Hoover's major league time was short, lasting just one week, but he had time to make two appearances, pitching 4+ innings with no decisions. He did leave his mark however, serving up the home run ball hit by future Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm in his first big league at bat, the only homer Wilhelm would hit in his 20 years in the majors.

Dick returned to Milwaukee after his short stay in Boston in 1952 and had his best record of 10-5 with a 2.60 ERA in the few seasons he remained in the game. Hoover pitched until 1955, spending the season with the Columbus Jets. On August 14 he pitched a no-hitter against the Richmond Virginians. At the completion of the 1955 season he ended his eleven-year minor league career at the age of 29 with a 89-72 record and a 3.15 ERA having appeared in 313 games. Hoover had just recenly retired as a police sergeant in his native Columbus, when he was killed in an automobile accident on April 12, 1981, at age 55 in Lake Placid, FL, while traveling on vacation.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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