LaMarr Hoyt Makes Stunning Admission about Pete Rose Record-Breaker

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Pete Rose was back in the news this past week, well, what qualifies as sports news these days anyway, as social media debated his legacy once again. The debut of “Long Gone Summer,” a yawn-inducing de facto St. Louis Cardinals propaganda film stirred up the industry standard “should the steroid cheaters get in the hall of fame” debate.

The “should Pete Rose then get in?” argument soon ensued, because that train is simply never late. Coincidentally, I found a very interesting factoid about Pete Rose this same week, and what happened when he broke Ty Cobb’s record for all-time career hits.

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And I found it, hiding in plain sight, in the midst of a video posted six years ago on YouTube. LaMarr Hoyt, who led the American League in wins in both 1982 and 1983, and claimed the Cy Young award in the latter season made a couple stunning admissions in this Billy Staples “Before the Glory” interview, posted online in 2013.

Here Hoyt (who looks about as different now as he did during his playing days) admits that he really wanted to get his place in the history books, as the pitcher who gave up Rose’s 4,192nd hit  so he just kept throwing easy meatballs right down the plate to Charlie Hustle. Hoyt, then with the San Diego Padres, even says that he told his catcher, Terry Kennedy, to ask Rose if he wanted to know what pitch was coming.

Rose apparently declined, and drew the collar that night, breaking the record the following evening against Eric Show.

Whether he’s kidding or not, well, he looks and sounds rather convincing. The second big reveal might be more of a joke, but then again if you watch the video, and you see the 1985 All-Star Game MVP’s delivery, it’s not one of goofing around.

During his Cy Young campaign of ’83, he finished with just 31 walks in 36 games and 260 innings. Hoyt had just 27 as he entered the final stretch of the season, which according to him, prompted reporters to ask him why he “walked those last four guys.”

His answer was because then he would have finished the season with a BB total that matches his jersey number. The Columbia, S.C. native was also unaware that had he finished with 27 free passes to first base, it would have match Cy Young himself for fewest allowed in a season, minimum 200 innings pitched.

Again, if he’s joking then it really is a weird thing to joke about. However, it does explain why he was so motivated to get into the annals of baseball history in 1985 via Pete Rose, having had just missed his opportunity two years prior.

At the time, Hoyt was the best control pitcher the White Sox had seen since Claude “Lefty” Williams. Coincidentally, Williams is in the baseball history books, having recorded more losses, three, than anyone else in a single World Series. However, he got there by intentionally losing, as he was one of the eight players banned for throwing the World Series in 1919. 

Finally, although the two part interview posted above is close to 20 minutes long it never touches upon: what Hoyt does these days, what he’s done with his life once baseball was done with him or how he has made piece with all the crimes he committed that prematurely ended his baseball career.

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So if you watch these interviews the whole way through, just letting you know now, prepare to be disappointed.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.com, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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