New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: H

Ott Heller

Ott Heller  (Hockey.  Born, Kitchener, Ont., June 2, 1910; died, Kitchener, Ont., June 16, 1980.) Ehrhardt Henry Heller was a defenseman who played 647 regular-season games for the Rangers (1931-46) and was a member of the 1933 and 1940 Stanley Cup champions.  Heller had a long career in the minors, notably in the A.H.L., playing until 1956, often as a playing coach.  He scored 231 points for the Rangers, with 55 goals (eight in 1943-44).

Tom Hyer

Tom Hyer (Boxing.  Born, New York, NY, Jan. 1, 1819; died, New York, NY, June 26, 1864.)  As the first generally-recognized U.S. heavyweight champion, Thomas Hyer gained recognition in 1849 after a series of victories.  Among Hyer’s most famous fights was Sept. 9, 1841, at Caldwell’s Landing, N.Y., when he defeated George McChester in 101 rounds.  On Feb. 2, 1849, Hyer knocked out Yankee Sullivan in 16 rounds at Rock Point, Md., and claimed the title.  He subsequently lost the championship and when he challenged champion William Perry, the English champion declined the challenge and Hyer retired.

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson (Sportswriter.  Born, Washington, DC, Oct. 27, 1957.)  Joining the staff of the Star-Ledger of Newark in 1994, David Lynn Hutchinson covered a wide range of sports.  When Don Williams announced his retirement, Hutchinson moved to the Jets beat in 1996 and remained there as the lead writer.  He also covers other sports, including major league baseball, in the off-season.  Hutchinson came to The Star-Ledger after nearly seven years with The Washington Times (1987-94), having started his career in 1983 with the Journal in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Ted Husing

Ted Husing (Sportscaster.  Born, The Bronx, NY, Nov. 27, 1901; died, Pasadena, CA, Aug. 10, 1962.)  After becoming an announcer at NBC’s WJZ in 1924, Edward Britt Husing became an unofficial understudy to sportscaster Graham McNamee.  In 1927, Husing moved to the new Columbia Broadcasting System as director of sports and chief sportscaster.  CBS quickly lined up several important sports events, including the Kentucky Derby and major college football, all featuring Husing at the mike.  In later years, he developed a series of daily radio features, including the “Sports Thrills Series” and “Grantland Rice’s Sportlight,” written by the fabled sportswriter.  Husing left CBS in 1947, having already started a career as a disc jockey at New York’s WHN (1946-54).  When the station was sold to MGM, he moved to California.

Tim Hurst

Tim Hurst (Baseball.  Born, Ashland, PA, June 30, 1865; died, Pottsville, PA, June 4, 1915.)  It was his voice that got him his job and his temper that lost it for him.  In the days before public address systems, umpires had to announce lineups and changes.  Timothy Carroll Hurst was a famed boxing ring announcer.  An umpire famous for his combative approach to his job, Hurst once knocked out Highlanders manager Clark Griffith when he tired of a lengthy argument.  Hurst worked in the N.L. for 11 seasons (1891-98, 1900, 1903-04) and switched to the A.L. for five more tumultuous seasons.  In between, he managed the St. Louis Cardinals in 1898, but they were 39-111.  Hurst’s umpiring career finally ended when he spit in the eye of the Philadelphia A’s Eddie Collins on Aug. 4, 1909, during an argument that then degenerated into a riot.  He was dismissed two weeks later and became a boxing referee.

Marcus Hurley

Marcus Hurley (Basketball, bicycle racing.  Born, New York, NY, Dec. 22, 1883; died, New York, NY, Mar. 28, 1941.)  Marcus L. Hurley was one of the most celebrated and versatile athletes of his time.  Hurley was an outstanding basketball player in the game’s primitive years, earning what was considered all-America recognition three times (1905-07) while playing at Columbia.  In 1904, Hurley won the world amateur sprint cycling championship at London.  The same year, a chaotic Olympiad was held at St. Louis, where it became a sideshow spread out over nearly five months for the World’s Fair held there that summer.  While there were no official cycling events, Hurley won three gold medals in various exhibition events, which some considered part of the Olympics, although they are not now recognized by the I.O.C.

Ed Hurley

Ed Hurley (Baseball.  Born, Holyoke, MA, Sept. 20, 1908; died, Boston, MA, Nov. 12, 1969.)  An A.L. umpire for 19 years (1947-65), Edwin Henry Hurley was the umpire who called the four pitches balls in 1951 when Eddie Gaedel, the midget hired by Bill Veeck, batted for the St. Louis Browns.

Catfish Hunter

Catfish Hunter (Baseball.  Born, Hertford, NC, Apr. 18, 1946; died, Hertford, NC, Sept. 9, 1999.)  The very first of the big money free agents in modern baseball history, James Augustus Hunter spent the last five years of his illustrious career with the Yankees.  Because of a breach of contract found to have been committed by Oakland owner Charles O. Finley, Hunter was declared a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz on Dec. 13, 1974.  The biggest auction in baseball history up to then ensued.  The righthander had compiled a 161-123 record in 10 seasons with the Athletics, thrown a perfect game in 1968, won a Cy Young Award, and was 25-12 for the 1974 World Series champions.  On New Year’s Eve, he accepted the Yankees’ five-year, $3.75 million offer that included a $1 million signing bonus.  It was astronomical money for the time and set a pattern for free agency that has continously escalated.  In his first year, with the Yankees playing at Shea Stadium while Yankee Stadium was being refurbished, Hunter was 23-14 with an astonishing 30 complete games in 39 starts.  He threw a career-high 328 innings and was never the same pitcher.  In 1976, with the Yankees back home in The Bronx, he was 17-15 as the Yankees won their first A.L. pennant in 12 years.  Hunter was 23-24 over the last three years of his contract and underwent special shoulder massages regularly.  But the Yankees wouldn’t have won their third pennant in a row in 1978 without his 12-6 record.  Hunter went 10-3 in the last 2 1/2 months of the season after Dr. Maurice Cowen, the Yankees orthopedist in 1977 and 1978, broke adhesions that were impairing his right shoulder movement.  He also won the last game of the 1978 World Series.  As he had promised when he signed, Hunter retired after the five-year contract expired.  Among the reasons he chose the Yankees from among his 15 suitors in free agency was the presence of Clyde Kluttz, the Yankees scout who originally signed Hunter for the A’s after Hunter had lost a toe in a hunting accident.  Hunter was diagnosed with amyotropic lateral sclerosis (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) in 1998 and died a year later.

Ron Hunt

Ron Hunt (Baseball.  Born, St. Louis, MO, Feb. 23, 1941.)  Celebrated as the first homegrown member of the Mets to make the All-Star team, Ronald Kenneth Hunt was a scrappy second baseman who came up in 1963 when the team was still in the Polo Grounds.  Hunt was purchased from the Milwaukee Braves organization in Oct. 1962 and immediately became the regular second baseman.  Hunt was chosen for the All-Star team (every club must be represented) in 1964 and 1966.  Hunt was second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1963 and the Most Valuable Met in each of his first two seasons.  His best year with the Mets was 1964, when he hit .303 in 127 games.  Hunt was traded to Los Angeles (Nov. 29, 1966) with Jim Hickman for Tommy Davis and a prospect named Derrell Griffith.  He later played with San Francisco, Montreal, and St. Louis.  Hunt was a righthanded hitter who crowded the plate and made a specialty of being hit by pitches.  Hunt held the N.L. hit-by-pitch record for a career (243) and a season (50 in 1971).  He led the N.L. seven times in that category (six years in a row, 1968-73) after he left the Mets.

Todd Hundley

Todd Hundley (Baseball.  Born, Martinsville, VA, May 27, 1969.)  A career distinguished by a superb 1996 season enabled Todd Randolph Hundley to leave a mark on Mets history.  After five seasons in the minors, Hundley came up to the Mets to stay in September 1991, starting 17 times in 21 games.  He was the regular catcher for most of the next six seasons.  In 1996, Hundley hit 41 home runs, surpassing Roy Campanella’s major league record (40) for a catcher and setting an N.L. record for a switch-hitter.  He also caught 150 games, only the 18th big leaguer to reach that total.  His father, Randy, did it three times for the Cubs.  Hundley drove in 112 runs in 1996, then a Mets record for a catcher.  In 1997, he hit 30 homers in 132 games, but the next season ran afoul of Bobby Valentine, who told reporters that Hundley “didn’t get enough sleep.”  It was a veiled reference to drinking problems that eventually led to Hundley’s being traded to Los Angeles after the 1998 season.  That year, Hundley made two trips to the disabled list, endured a disastrous in-season shift to leftfield, and played just 53 games for the Mets.  He had 24-homer seasons in Los Angeles in 1999 and 2000 but wasn’t re-signed, moving as a free agent to the Cubs, where he finished his career.

About This Dictionary

The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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About Bill Shannon

A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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