Monday, October 7, 2013

#777 Hoyt Whilhem

It's something to pitch nearly over the span of 30 years… incredible longevity, which is a signature of the Knuckleballer, if done right…and probably the greatest Knuckleballer of all tiem...  From 1966 to 1972 he was the oldest player in MLB…Also the premier knuckleball reliever of all time.  Hoyt had brief foray as a starter in 1959 and although highly successful (15 wins and the ERA champion he returned to the bullpen within a year…Hoyt is also 5th in all time game played as a pitcher. ..even at age 45 he second in AL games… Started in 1942 and his career was derailed by WW2....Was wounded in the battle of the Bulge and received a Purple Heart…Returned to the minors after the war and won 107 games before major league debut....Started as a New York Giant....Had his only major league home run in his first AB....431 AB later never had another HR...After NY he then had short stints with the Cardinals, Indians...Career regain momentum wtih the Orioles, White Sox....Was selected in 1969 expansion by KC who dealt him to Angels prior to the 1969 season....This started three consecutive years with two or more teams, including the Braves twice, Cubs, and season appeared in 16 games with the Dodgers in 1972...That year he also pitched in 8 games for the Dodger's AAA affiliate, the Spokane Indians, where got his last two professional wins....The time elapsed from minor league debut to minor league finale was 29 years.....Almost played until age 50....Holds the all time record for most relief wins (124) and innings (1871) as a relief pitcher...In today's game these records will most likely not ever be broken....  now departed his life a born in 1922, debuted 1952 at age 30, last game in 1972, and died in 2002....HOF

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