|Born: January 1, 1955|
Columbia, South Carolina
|September 14, 1979, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1986, for the San Diego Padres|
|Earned run average||3.99|
|Career highlights and awards|
Chicago White Sox
Originally signed by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 1973 Major League Baseball draft, Hoyt was traded with fellow pitching prospect Bob Polinsky, outfielder Oscar Gamble and $200,000 to the Chicago White Sox in a 1977 season-opening deal that sent the Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent. A relief pitcher when he made the White Sox to stay in 1980, Hoyt was switched to the starting rotation in 1982 and tied a club record by winning his first nine decisions. The record was first set by Lefty Williams in 1917 and equaled by Orval Grove in 1943. Hoyt ended up leading the American League with nineteen wins and showed devastating control on the mound; he walked a mere 48 batters in 239.2 innings.
Hoyt was even better in 1983, winning the American League Cy Young Award. His 24-10 won-lost record, 3.66 earned run average and even better control than the previous season, (walking 31 batters in 260.2 innings, and leading the league in fewest walks per nine innings for the first of three straight seasons), helped the White Sox capture the American League West title.
He pitched a complete game victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of the 1983 American League Championship Series, giving up only one run on five hits with no walks. This was the only game the ChiSox won in the series.
The White Sox faltered in 1984, as Hoyt's record fell to 13-18 with a 4.47 ERA. He went from winning the most games in the American League in 1983 to losing the most games the following year. Hoping for a rebound from the former Cy Young Award winner, the San Diego Padres traded Ozzie Guillén, Tim Lollar, Bill Long and Luis Salazar to the White Sox for Hoyt, Kevin Kristan and Todd Simmons during the 1984-1985 off-season. Guillen would win the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1985.
San Diego Padres
Hoyt began his National League career promisingly enough, making the NL's All-Star team his first season in the league (though named by his own manager Dick Williams over fellow Padre Andy Hawkins who started the year 11-0) and winning the game's Most Valuable Player award, giving up one run in three innings of work to earn the win. For the season, he went 16-8 with a 3.47 ERA. Baseball writer Bill James said Hoyt had the best control of any National League pitcher at this time.
Following the 1985 season, he was arrested twice within a month (between January and February 1986) on drug-possession charges, checking into a rehabilitation program nine days after the second arrest. This prevented him from playing most of spring training, and he logged a disappointing 8-11 won-loss record with a 5.15 ERA.
More off the field problems
Barely a month after the season ended Hoyt was arrested again for drug possession, this time on the U.S.-Mexico border. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail on December 16, 1986, and suspended by then-Commissioner Peter Ueberroth on February 25, 1987. An arbitrator reduced his suspension to sixty days in mid-June and ordered the Padres to reinstate him, but the team gave him his unconditional release the following day.
The White Sox gave him a second chance, signing him after his San Diego release and giving him time to get back into shape, but a fourth arrest on drug charges in December 1987 ended that.
A poor hitter, even by pitchers' standards, Hoyt had just ten hits in 110 career at-bats. The only extra-base hit of his career was an RBI double on July 13, 1986 against Tim Conroy of the St. Louis Cardinals.
- "Yankees Finally Land Bucky Dent". Wilmington Morning Star. April 6, 1977.
- "Undoubtedly, Hoyt is Best". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. October 26, 1983.
- "1983 American League Championship Series, Game One". Baseball-Reference.com. October 5, 1983.
- James, Bill (1986). The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1986. Ballantine Books. p. 296.
- "Sports People; Disclosure on Hoyt". The New York Times. March 1, 1986.
- "Padres' Hoyt Arrested by U.S. Customs". St. Petersburg Evening Independent. October 29, 1986.
- "Hoyt Arrested On Drug Charges". The New York Times. December 7, 1987.
- "San Diego Padres 13, St. Louis Cardinals 6". Baseball-Reference.com. July 13, 1986.