Westport man pens biography about Yankees great Waite Hoyt

Tim Manners is friends with Hoyt's son, Chris, who told Manners a few years ago it troubled him that his dad never finished a memoir.

Mark Sudol

May 9, 2024, 4:22 PM

Updated 12 days ago

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He was the best pitcher on arguably the greatest baseball team of all time. Tim Manners from Westport has written a book about the life of Baseball Hall of Famer and 1927 Yankees ace pitcher Waite Hoyt called "Schoolboy."
Hoyt lived a crazy life beyond the game. He was signed by the New York Giants when he was 15.
"It's so useless to tell any old ball player, 'Well, you had your day,'" Manners read from his book.
Manners learned that Hoyt had days that most people could only dream of. Manners is friends with Hoyt's son, Chris, who told Manners a few years ago it troubled him that his dad never finished a memoir.
"The next thing I know there are eight boxes of Waite Hoyt's papers sitting on my front porch," said Manners.
And so Manners began to type away. He learned Waite Hoyt was good friends with Babe Ruth when they played together in the Roaring '20s. But they went a year without speaking to each other because they were dating the same showgirl.
"It was an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium, and Waite was pitching, and there was a pop-up ball, and Ruth just let it drop. And that was very intentional, and words were exchanged, and they got back to the locker room, and fists began to fly," said Manners.
Hoyt in his letters said he wasn't great friends with teammate Lou Gehrig until later in his career.
"He went skating, ice skating at Rye Playland at the rink, there where Gehrig also liked to work out. They both liked to go ice skating, and that is where they connected on a more mature adult level," said Manners.
Manners said Hoyt lived an interesting life outside of baseball. He was in vaudeville and rubbed elbows with some big names.
"He was crossing paths with people like Mae West, the Marx Brothers and Jimmy Durante - and also Al Capone and J. Edgar Hoover if you can reconcile all that," said Manners.
While Hoyt was pitching for the Yankees, he was also an undertaker.
"There was this afternoon game where he had to deliver a body to Brooklyn, and so he loaded the body into basically a car, a car trunk, drove it to Yankee Stadium and parked it in the Yankee Stadium parking lot, pitched the afternoon game and then carried on and delivered the body," said Manners.
Manners said Hoyt was conflicted in life about his choices and wanted people to learn from him.
"He hoped that younger people, people who came after him, people maybe who read this book, would learn from him in a way that he did not learn from others," said Manners.
Later in life, Hoyt became a popular broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds. He died in 1984.
The book has a forward by legendary broadcaster Bob Costas and is available on Amazon.


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