Nominated by: Grant Rainsley
Why did Grant Rainsley nominate Billy Hoeft for the HOM?
Billy was the inspiration for the Hall of Mediocrity. When I started collecting cards again, I found his variation card from '62 tough to find. Later, I realized he had three variation cards in '58, and two more in '56. Not to mention three Dixie Lids. Who else in the history of baseball cards has that many variations? I looked into Billy's history, with a lot of help from OBC along the way. In high school, Billy not only pitched a perfect game, but struck out all 27 batters he faced. Don Larsen, eat your heart out. Refused to take a bonus for signing, more interested in developing a long term strategy for his future. (Like that happens a lot today.) Billy hit two dingers in one game. Career B.A. over the Mendoza Line...(.202), All Star in '55, and the next year he won 20. "Grooved" a pitch to Harmon Killebrew, who was suffering in his rookie year, for his first big league dinger. Led the A.L. in E.R.A. in '61, but fell a few innings short of qualifying for the title. I've tried to write to Billy a couple of times, no luck. Just a natural for the HOM....Billy deserved a lot better than he got, but I bet he enjoyed every minute.
1952 Topps #370 1953 Bowman #18 1953 Topps #165 1953 Glendale Hot Dogs Tigers #15 1954 Bowman #167 1954 Dixie Lids #4 1956 Topps #152 1957 Topps #60 1958 Topps #13a 1958 Topps #13b 1959 Topps #343 1959 Graphic Arts Tigers postcard 1960 Leaf #90 1960 Topps #369 1961 Topps #256 1962 Topps #134a 1962 Topps #134b 1962 Topps #134 Venezuelan 1963 Topps #346 1964 Topps #551 1965 Topps #471 1966 Topps #409 1979 TCMA 195019s #37 1981 Detroit News Tigers Centennial #32 1983 Topps 1952 Reprint #370 1991 Crown/Coke Orioles #197 1991 Topps '53 Archives #165
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