LaMarr Hoyt, pitcher whose star shone bright but briefly, dies at the age of 66

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NYT > Sports

LaMarr Hoyt, the Chicago White Sox right-handed man who combined superb control with a fine sinkerball to win the 1983 Cy Young Award for Leading American League Pitcher, died on Monday in Columbia, SC. He was 66 years old.

The cause was cancer, said his son Matthew in a statement on the team’s website.

Hoyt was a pitching student.

“What I learned, and it took seven years in the minors, was to make the most of the limited talent I had,” he told the New York Times in 1988. but I could put a ball where I wanted, a quarter of an inch, a sixteenth of an inch, and I could move the ball. I knew how to attack the corners of the plate. “

But despite his success, Hoyt’s pitching career ended prematurely. He was afflicted with a shoulder injury and began to abuse drugs, including pain relievers. He was arrested multiple times, spent time in jail, and didn’t play baseball in 1987.

Hoyt led the American League with 19 wins in 1982, his third full season in the Major League. The next year, his Cy Young season, he set a 24-10 record with a earned running average of 3.66 and 11 full games while running just 31 batters over 260 ⅔ innings.

He beat an entire game in Chicago’s 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the 1983 American League Championship Series kick-off. After that game, Times sports columnist Dave Anderson wrote that although Hoyt was listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 220 pounds , but admitted to weighing over 240 and “on the hill, with his beard and belly” looking like “a Sunday” softball pitcher who should be more in a beer commercial than a Cy Young Award nominee in the American League Championship Series. “

The Orioles won the next three ALCS games to reach the World Series, where they beat the Philadelphia Phillies.

After the 1984 season, in which the White Sox finished fifth in the American League West and Hoyt’s record dropped to 13-18, he was traded to the San Diego Padres. He recovered in 1985 and was the starting pitcher and most valuable player for the National League in their victory over the American League in the All-Star Game. But he felt a pain in his shoulder, and it was later found that the rotator cuff was torn.

He finished the 1985 season with a 16-8 record, but he was still in pain. He became addicted to drugs and started a rehabilitation program in early 1986. He missed most of the Padres’ spring training and went 8-11 that season.

His drug problems continued. After several arrests for drug possession, the Padres renounced him in January 1987. Major League Baseball then suspended him for 60 days. The White Sox later re-signed him, but he was arrested again in December and did not surrender for them.

In eight major league seasons, Hoyt had a record of 98-68 with an average of 3.99 runs earned.

Dewey LaMarr Hoyt Jr. was born in Colombia on January 1, 1955. His parents divorced when he was one year old. He was an all-round high school athlete, but as he told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2001, he started using marijuana and “drinking beer with the boys” as a teenager.

The Yankees selected him in the 1973 amateur draft of the Major League and exchanged him in April 1977 in a multiplayer deal to the White Sox system that brought shortstop Bucky Dent to Yankee Stadium.

Hoyt and his second wife, Leslie, had two sons, Matthew and Josh, and a daughter, Alexandra. His first marriage ended in divorce. A full list of survivors was not immediately available.

After Hoyt’s baseball career ended, he sold sporting goods and household appliances.

“I’m not happy about the way I left things behind in baseball,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2001 when he and his second wife raised three children and life was good. “I have to make amends for the injustice I have caused. Everyone who knew me will understand when I say that I will never give up. “

Tony LaRussa, who headed the White Sox for Hoyt’s years and is now in his second stint on the team, said in a statement on Hoyt’s death: “My first impression of LaMarr was, ‘Here’s a mug.’ He had average stuff, but amazing control and confidence, and he never showed fear. What a great competitor. “

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