Betty Hoyt, widow of long-time Reds radio announcer Waite Hoyt, died Christmas night.
Those who knew her will remember her infectious laugh when telling wonderful stories about her husband, the New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher who played with Babe Ruth in the 1920s before broadcasting Reds games 1942-65. She also had vivid memories about her beloved Cincinnati Reds, and going to games at old Crosley Field and Riverfront Stadium. She was 90.
Betty Hoyt appeared on several WVXU-FM baseball-themed shows, including a “Baseball Wives” special with Eleanor Kluszewski, Jo McMillan, Joyce Bell-Dolle and Priscilla Stowe. Here's a link to that special: Baseball Wives
A huge baseball fan, Betty
Dearie Derie met Waite while working for Warren Giles, the former Cincinnati Reds president when Giles was National League president here. (Giles brought the league office to Cincinnati during his tenure. )
Betty and Waite married after Hoyt had retired from the Reds radio booth in 1965, when Burger Beer lost the team’s radio sponsorship. He died in 1984.
Betty’s mother introduced her baseball, taking her to games at Crosley Field when she was a young girl. Waite and Betty often would finish dinner and then pull out some baseball books – from their mountains of books – and spend hours discussing baseball stats, recalls longtime friend and neighbor Angelo Mancini, husband of WVXU Vice President Sherri Mancini.
The Hoyts also bonded over their love of art. Waite was a talented artist who spent much of his later years painting; Betty’s father was an artist who had studied under Frank Duveneck, Angelo tells me.
“Betty was a warm, thoughtful woman and she will be missed,” he said.
After his passing, Betty helped a writer working on a Waite Hoyt biography which was never published (to my knowledge), and a 1997 "Waite's World - The Life & Times of Waite Hoyt" VHS video biography produced by former WKRC-TV sports anchor Donn Burrows.
In recent years, Betty had battled cancer. Friends tell me that she recently fell and broke her hip, and doctors believed her cancer her weakened her bones.
On Saturday, Reds fans also lost 1960s pitching star Jim O’Toole to cancer.
When I get information about her services or memorial contributions, I’ll post on my blog. A memorial funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Thursday Jan. 14, 2016, at St. Louis Catholic Church, 29 E. 8th St., in downtown Cincinnati. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the City Gospel Mission. Here is a link to her obituary.