It was on this day in 1987 that Major League Baseball lost a shining star, a player whose very presence made the league more enjoyable to follow. Now, before you begin mourning, understand that no one died on February 25, 1987, rather it was that day when commissioner Peter Ueberroth officially banned pitcher LaMarr Hoyt from the league as punishment for Hoyt’s three arrest for drug charges in 1986.
After an arbitrator cut down the ban to a 60-day suspension, Hoyt was reinstated and signed by the White Sox (with whom he had won the Cy Young in 1983) only to be arrested on drug charges for a fourth time in December 1987, effectively ending his playing career.
Thankfully, Hoyt’s story has a happy ending. Today, he is drug-free and working as a roving instructor in the White Sox system. Perhaps more importantly, his past exploits have created an entertaining character in JSF’s lineup with the recurring “Talkin’ Sports with Luz and LaMarr”. If nothing else, it gives us an excuse to post fictional stories such as this:
“LaMarr: This one time when I was pitching, an umpire called me for 26 straight balls. Finally when skipper came out to see me, he told me that I had been throwing the ball lefthanded the whole inning for some reason. When he mentioned it, I thought my glove had felt weird on my right hand. Skipper thought it was on account of my being high on peyote and forgetting which arm I threw with, but I got a pretty good idea that umpire had used some mind control on me.”
Today seems like as good a day as any to enjoy the entire catalog of Luz and LaMarr…