The Untold Journey of a Yankees Hero

Waite Hoyt with Tim Manners
Foreword by Bob Costas

260 pages
21 photographs


April 2024


$34.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

April 2024


$34.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

April 2024


$34.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Waite “Schoolboy” Hoyt’s improbable baseball journey began when the 1915 New York Giants signed him as a high school junior, for no pay and a five-dollar bonus. After nearly having both his hands amputated and cavorting with men twice his age in the hardscrabble Minor Leagues, he somehow ended up the best pitcher for the New York Yankees in the 1920s.

Based on a trove of Hoyt’s writings and interview transcripts, Tim Manners has reanimated the baseball legend’s untold story, entirely in Hoyt’s own words. Schoolboy dives straight into early twentieth-century America and the birth of modern-day baseball, as well as Hoyt’s defining conflict: Should he have pursued something more respectable than being the best pitcher on the 1927 New York Yankees, arguably the greatest baseball team of all time?

Over his twenty-three-year professional baseball career, Hoyt won 237 big league games across 3,845 ⅔ innings—and one locker room brawl with Babe Ruth. He also became a vaudeville star who swapped dirty jokes with Mae West and drank champagne with Al Capone, a philosophizer who bonded with Lou Gehrig over the meaning of life, and a funeral director who left a body chilling in his trunk while pitching an afternoon game at Yankee Stadium.

Hoyt shares his thoughts on famous moments in the golden age of baseball history; assesses baseball legends, including Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, and Pete Rose; and describes the strategies of baseball managers John McGraw, Miller Huggins, and Connie Mack. He writes at length about the art of pitching and how the game and its players changed—and didn’t—over his lifetime. After retiring from baseball at thirty-eight and coming to terms with his alcoholism, Hoyt found some happiness as a family man and a beloved, pioneering Cincinnati Reds radio sportscaster with a Websterian vocabulary spiked with a Brooklyn accent.

When Hoyt died in 1984 his foremost legacy may have been as a raconteur who punctuated his life story with awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping anecdotes. In Schoolboy he never flinches from an unsparing account of his remarkable and paradoxical eighty-four-year odyssey.

Author Bio

Waite Hoyt (1899–1984) pitched twenty-one seasons in the Major Leagues, most notably with the Yankees’ first dynasty, leading them to three World Series championships in the 1920s. He played for a total of seven clubs before retiring in 1938. Hoyt became a popular broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. Tim Manners is a writer, communications consultant, and baseball fan. Bob Costas was a broadcaster for NBC Sports television for four decades and now does play-by-play and commentary work for MLB, MLB Network, and CNN.


"Blindsidingly fantastic. . . . Could be the most entertaining and don’t-put-down baseball book for the '24 season."—Tom Hoffarth,

"A fascinating read. . . . Wonderful job. . . . Highly recommended!"—Chris Russo, Mad Dog Radio, Sirius XM

“Guided by the deft hand of Tim Manners, Waite Hoyt shares rollicking stories and sharp insights from a Hall of Fame career fashioned at the dawning of a dynasty unrivaled in sports: the New York Yankees. Manners takes us back to the days of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig—and well beyond—through the eyes of an early mound master whose story can finally be told.”—Tyler Kepner, baseball columnist for the New York Times and best-selling author of K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches

“From the trove of writings left behind by Hall of Fame pitcher Waite Hoyt, Tim Manners has woven together a warm, intensely candid, and very human story of the highest realms of success as well as the coldest moments of the ultimate realities. Very few baseball biographies have the range of triumph and anguish, of poignance and redemption, as this self-told tale of the ace of the legendary 1927 Yankees.”—Donald Honig, author of Baseball When the Grass Was Real

“What a great find to tell the story in Hoyt’s own words.”—David Maraniss, author of Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe

“Nearly forty years after his passing, baseball’s greatest storyteller finally tells his own story in his own words. From baseball to vaudeville to broadcasting, and just about anything and everything in between, Waite Hoyt led baseball’s most unique and eclectic life. Tim Manners painstakingly pieces together moments and memories to reveal fascinating insight into not just Hoyt but also the times he lived in. Hoyt’s story needed to be told, and like his legendary rain delay stories, Schoolboy makes it worth the wait. . . . What a wonderful read!”—Lance McAlister, host of 700WLW Sports, Cincinnati

“For baseball fans, the University of Nebraska Press is a perennial MVP—most valuable publisher. This biography shows why. Waite Hoyt, an underappreciated cog in a great Yankee machine, had a two-decade Major League career that illuminates the game a century ago.”—George F. Will, author of Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball

“The Yankees famed ‘Murderers’ Row’ era wasn’t just about the power of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. There were Hall of Fame–bound pitchers on that great team as well, none more prominent than the colorful local star Waite Hoyt, whose life story continues to fascinate students of the game’s history.”—Marty Appel, Yankees historian and author of Pinstripe Empire

“Manners’s skillfully edited and seamless narrative, compiled from Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt’s lifetime of memories, is a real baseball treasure. Success, failure, doubts, and achievements, in baseball and Hoyt’s personal life, are all here in his own words. This book will enhance Hoyt’s status as a baseball star, as well as a man.”—Alan D. Gaff, author of Lou Gehrig: The Lost Memoir

“A great read! Manners makes the Waite Hoyt story—especially ‘you-are-there’ material about Babe Ruth and other Yankee legends—spring to life.”—Rick Burton, David B. Falk Professor of Sport Management at Syracuse University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Bob Costas 
Preface by Tim Manners
Prologue: Brick by Brick
Part 1
1. The Family Web
2. There Goes Our Boy
3. Odyssey of Oddities
4. In the Bag
5. Great Big Fellas
6. When Schoolboys Cry
7. The Joy Clubs
8. Miss Scoville’s Advice
9. A Bath in Badness
Part 2
10. Industrial Strength
11. Red Sox Hop
12. Me and the Babe
13. Turn of the Twenties
14. Art of Baseball
15. Young and a Yankee
16. The Merry Mortician
17. The Roaring Yankees
18. Little Big Hug
Part 3
19. Skating with Lou
20. Dear Ellen
21. The Unartful Dodger
22. Radio Days
23. The Last Drink
24. Then and Now
Epilogue: Christopher’s Question

Also of Interest