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  • Waite Hoyt

    I have a burning question. Today, I went to www.baseball-reference.com. I realized that Hoyt was a hall of famer, but I never really thought of him as one. The evidence that I found was utterly shocking! Hoyt pitched on the greatest offensive collection of players ever for the prime of his career, yet ended up with a less than hall worthy win percentage. I realize that this is because he played on some lackluster teams later in his career, but his other stats don't hold up, either. Hoyt never led the league in strikeouts, and was only as high as sixth, once. He was only in the top 10 in ERA 5 times, although those finishes were impressive. Hoyt never stood out as a HOFer to me, and perhaps voters overrated his prime seasons, although he wasn't really the main factor of those Murderer's Row teams. In fact, Hoyt only led the league in any stat three total times in his career. One time was wins, obviously helped by the fact that he had Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth at his side. The second was saves, and the third was Hits plus walks per nine. Three lead leagues in a whole career? Hoyt was a very good pitcher, but not a hall of famer, in my eyes.

    Why is Waite Hoyt in the hall of fame? Do you think he should be?

    Pumpsie

  • #2
    He was a fine pitcher but he just got in under the radar.

    He is not worthy but what can ya do.

    Hoyt was a name asscociated with greatness and someone on the Vets Com. thought a little rubbed off on him....

    Blyleven and Kaat were both much better on much much worst teams.......

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    • #3
      Re: Waite Hoyt

      Originally posted by PumpsieGreen
      Why is Waite Hoyt in the hall of fame?
      Hoyt was the best pitcher on the greatest team in history.

      Do you think he should be?
      Probably not. Too many better pitchers not in and no compelling arguments to elevate him above that group.
      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

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      • #4
        Hoyt's very, very far from the best pitcher in the Hall, and he's definitely below the median -- almost certainly in the bottom quartile. But he's far from the worst pitcher either.

        He had very little black ink, as you note, but in gray ink he is exactly at the HOF average. He was never great, but he was a very good, extremely durable pitcher for a long (21 year) career, running from 1918-1938 -- possibly the most grueling era in history to take the mound. (Except perhaps now, but then again now we have 5-man rotations and relief specialists.)

        If you've got a real high standard for the Hall, maybe he doesn't belong, but as it's currently constituted, Hoyt doesn't seem terribly out of place in Cooperstown to me.

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        • #5
          Someone probably decided the great Yankee team needed a pitcher in the Hall as well.
          I share pictures from my collection of baseball photographs on twitter @PastimeClassics

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          • #6
            While I agree that Hoyt may not be the worst pitcher in the hall, he is not as good as a number of non-elected players on the ballot, including the aforementioned Bert Blyleven and Jim Kaat, and probably Jim Morris and Doc Gooden, as well. Hoyt was the best pitcher on the best team ever, true, but it's sort of like those Big Red Machine team pitchers(besides Seaver): they didn't really affect their team's overall performance. How much worse do you think those Yankees teams would've done without Hoyt?

            Pumpsie

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            • #7
              I'm going to say they would have lost at least one pennant they otherwise won.

              In 1922 the Yankees only beat the Browns by one game. Hoyt went 19-12 in 265 innings. I'm willing to bet there's at least two games that season that he won that a lesser pitcher would have lost.

              There were a couple other seasons where they only won by 2.5 or 3 games, but I think I've made my point.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Cougar
                I'm going to say they would have lost at least one pennant they otherwise won.

                In 1922 the Yankees only beat the Browns by one game. Hoyt went 19-12 in 265 innings. I'm willing to bet there's at least two games that season that he won that a lesser pitcher would have lost.

                There were a couple other seasons where they only won by 2.5 or 3 games, but I think I've made my point.
                I'd definitely agree with Cougar's evaluation here.

                There are a couple of other factors to consider:
                1) His career win total of 237 is a lot,folks. Once you get up that high, there has to be some major flaw in certain aspects of your game to prevent your election. Compare his ERA vs. the league's to those players with higher win totals who are not in the Hall. Playes such as Tanana and Dennis Martinez both have higher ERAs despite lower league ERAs. If we're going to say that hitting totals were inflated during that era and that therefore certain batters were not worthy, then shouldn't an excellent pitcher be given more credit?

                2) The guy was clutch. Keep in mind this was that inflated hitting era that everybody loves to mention. Despite that, while hurling for the Yankees the guy had a 1.62 World Series ERA in 77 2/3 innings pitched. You can give Ruth and Gehrig all the credit in the world that you want, but he made a huge difference in those games. Also keep in mind that for many years he held or shared a great number of WS pitching records.

                3) Several of his numbers have been taken out of context. Yes, he only had one season leading the league in wins and one leading it in saves. Yet that one year that he led in saves he was also third in wins only one behind the leaders of Grove and Pipgras. When you add his save totals, he factored in on 31 wins for the Yankees that year.

                Overall he was a huge factor in helping one of the greatest dynasties to win titles. Combine that with his individual accomplishments and he is definitely Hall worthy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Whether Hoyt would be in the HOF if he were with a non-marquee team is open to question.

                  If Hoyt posted the same record with the St. Louis Browns, he well may not be in the HOF, although a case could be made under those circumstances that he was a better pitcher than racking up the same record with the Yankees.

                  If Hoyt won one less game in 1927 and added to his 1921 totals and one less game in 1928 and added it to his 1922 totals, he'd be a four-time 20 game winner, and without anything else changing, a lot of the discussion of his unworthiness for the Hall would cease.

                  Hoyt isn't someone I would advocate for if he were not in the HOF, but he's not someone whose plaque I want to rip out of Cooperstown, either.

                  Much of the arguments about Hoyt can apply to Herb Pennock. Both of these guys are in the HOF because they won over 200 games. Bill James once wrote an essay about how Pennock and Hoyt are in the HOF while Bob Shawkey and Urban Shocker are not. The reason, James speculates, is that Shawkey and Shocker finished just under the 200 win mark, while Hoyt and Pennock exceeded it. Shocker, especially, has a much more impressive record; his FOUR 20 win seasons came with the Browns, and his ERA vs. league is the most impressive of the four. Shocker died late into his career, in 1928, just short of 200 wins. His case is significantly better than Hoyt's and Pennock's
                  "I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."

                  NL President Ford Frick, 1947

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                  • #10
                    Hoyt wasn't really a Hall of Famer, but he announced for the Reds for many years, was famous for his great stories about Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the 1920s Yankees during rain delays. It kept his name alive, and eventually the Veteran's Committee put him in.

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                    • #11
                      I have Hoyt ranked # 84 all-time and Pennock ranked #86, both relativley close, but neither good enough for my Hall of Fame (my cut-off number at this point is 74 pitchers)
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                      The Top 100 Pitchers In MLB History
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                      • #12
                        Waite Hoyt's grave site, Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH

                        http://www.tokyoroserecords.com/mp3s&jpgs/WaiteHoyt.MP4

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                          Waite Hoyt's grave site, Spring Grove Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH

                          http://www.tokyoroserecords.com/mp3s&jpgs/WaiteHoyt.MP4
                          Did you go to visit the site and film that yourself?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Commissioner View Post
                            Did you go to visit the site and film that yourself?
                            Yes, I did.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Too cool. That's a nice touch leaving the baseball.

                              Comment

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