Grand Cards: Former Tigers Lefty Billy Hoeft Dies at 77

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Former Tigers Lefty Billy Hoeft Dies at 77

File this one under "players you young whippersnappers don't know anything about until they die," which is sad. Cue the info from the Free Press
Hoeft, from Oshkosh, Wis., once struck out all 27 batters in a high school game. He began his Tigers career in 1952 and was an All-Star in 1955.

The Tigers traded Hoeft to the Boston Red Sox in 1959. He also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs before retiring after the 1966 season with a 97-101 career mark and 3.94 ERA in 15 seasons.
Of career highlights--Hoeft won 20 games for the 1956 Detroit Tigers, not bad for an 82-72 5th place team.

Also to my liking, Hoeft played in that wonderful era where baseball cards were just fabulous looking. Thanks to the magic of Topps' Million Card Giveaway database, I was able to snag images of Hoeft's cardboard immortality as a Tiger. All the best to his family and friends, and I encourage you to consult the cards to learn more about Hoeft's place in Tiger History.  Cue the music...

1953


1956--I don't know why he didn't have cards in 54 and 55. Anybody?


1957

1958

1959

2 comments:

  1. I know who Billy Hoeft is, and I have the 1956 card to thank. I also have the kick-ass 1958 card.

    Post on its way.

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  2. I'm one of his nephews, he was a down to earth, great to be around type of guy. Easy to get along with, a great role model, not to mention, an Oshkosh legend. I have many of his cards, I will look for the pre 56 cards.......

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