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Former Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt dies at 66

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Jul 17, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of Chicago White Sox gloves and cap, prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports
Jul 17, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of Chicago White Sox gloves and cap, prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

Former American League Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt has died. He was 66.

The Chicago White Sox announced Hoyt’s death on Wednesday. The club said he died in his hometown of Columbia, S.C., on Monday after a lengthy illness.

The right-handed Hoyt won the Cy Young Award in 1983 when he went 24-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 11 complete games in 36 starts.

Hoyt spent six of his eight big league seasons (1979-84) with the White Sox. He spent his final two seasons with the San Diego Padres and finished his career with a 98-68 record and 3.99 ERA in 244 appearances (172 starts).

“My dad passed away from cancer with me by his side early in the morning of the 29th,” Mathew Hoyt, LaMarr’s oldest son, said through the White Sox. “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. All he talked about in his final days was baseball, the White Sox and all of his former teammates.”

Hoyt emerged as a star by winning 19 games in 1982, one season before his Cy Young Award-winning season. He was 74-49 with a 3.92 ERA with Chicago before being traded to San Diego in a deal that brought then minor-league shortstop Ozzie Guillen to the White Sox.

Current Chicago manager Tony La Russa managed Hoyt during his first stint with the team.

“My first impression of LaMarr was, ‘Here is a pitcher,'” La Russa said. “He had average stuff but amazing command and tremendous confidence, and he never showed fear.

“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.”

Hoyt was an All-Star in 1985 for the lone time in his career with the Padres. He started the game and picked up the win by allowing one unearned run in three innings and earned All-Star MVP honors.

Hoyt went 16-8 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts that season but things fell apart badly in 1986. Hoyt went 8-11 with a 5.15 ERA and was demoted from the starting rotation.

Shortly after the season ended, Hoyt was arrested trying to smuggle pills across the nearby Mexico border. The Padres released Hoyt.

The White Sox brought Hoyt back to the organization in the summer of 1987 but he was arrested the following December on charges of possession and intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. He never pitched in the majors again.

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