CHICAGO—LaMarr Hoyt, who won the 1983 AL Cy Young Award with the Chicago White Sox, has died. He was 66.
The White Sox announced his death on Wednesday. The team said he died Monday in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, following a lengthy illness.
Hoyt went 98-68 with a 3.99 ERA in eight years in the majors. He also had 48 career complete games, including eight shutouts, and 10 saves.
The 6-foot-3 right-hander was the 1985 All-Star Game MVP, pitching three innings of one-run ball in the National League’s 6-1 victory over the AL. That year with San Diego was the only All-Star selection of his career.
“My first impression of LaMarr was, ‘Here is a pitcher’. He had average stuff but amazing command and tremendous confidence, and he never showed fear,” said White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who returned last season for a second stint in Chicago. “We brought him up to the big leagues in 1979 and nothing bothered him. He had this impressive cool where he believed if he made his pitches, he would get hitters out. He faced teams multiple times in a season but could change up his looks and keep them off balance. What a great competitor.”
Former White Sox pitcher Richard Dotson called Hoyt “a great pitcher and a great teammate.”
“We would sit around and talk pitching for hours,” said Dotson, who won 22 games in 1983 for the Al West champion White Sox. “He really knew how to pitch. His stuff was never great, but he had a great sinker and exceptional command. LaMarr, Britt Burns, Harold Baines and I all came up to the big leagues around the same time and grew up together, which eventually led to that memorable 1983 season. We are all going to miss him.”
Hoyt was selected by the New York Yankees in the fifth round of the 1973 amateur draft, but he never played for them in the majors. He was traded to the White Sox in April 1977 in a multiplayer deal that moved Bucky Dent to New York.
He made his big-league debut two years later with two scoreless relief appearances for the White Sox in September.
Hoyt became a key part of Chicago’s rotation in 1982, leading the AL in wins while going 19–15 with a 3.53 ERA in 39 games, including 32 starts.
He followed that up with the best year of his career. He went 24–10 with a 3.66 ERA in 36 starts in 1983, helping the White Sox win the division title. He led the majors in wins and took home the AL Cy Young Award, beating out Kansas City reliever Dan Quisenberry.
Hoyt then made his only postseason appearance, pitching a five-hitter in a 2-1 victory over Scott McGregor and Baltimore in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series. The Orioles followed with three consecutive wins, eliminating the White Sox.
Hoyt played one more year for Chicago before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal that landed Ozzie Guillen with the White Sox.
In 1985, Hoyt went 16–8 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts. He played one more year for the Padres before retiring.
“He genuinely loved being a part of the White Sox organization, and I can say without a doubt those were the best years of his life,” oldest son Matthew Hoyt said. “All he talked about in his final days was baseball, the White Sox and all of his former teammates.”