Hoysradt, by an unknown photographer, as featured at B. Docktor photo blog

Hoysradt, by an unknown photographer, as featured at B. Docktor photo blog

Henry “Pat” Hoysradt, a non-graduate member of the Class of 1941, passed away in August.

It’s unusual for us to profile a non-graduate Eph here at EphBlog, particularly one who withdrew voluntarily, but Hoysradt is one of the handful of professional baseball players who attended Williams College.  Sure, as ably chronicled by Rory Costello ’84 –  nine Ephs in the late 19th century and early 20th century played in the major leagues.  Since that time, notwithstanding the important place of the 1859 Williams-Amherst game in baseball history, only a handful of Ephs have even eked out minor-league careers.

From the Poughkeepsie Journal:

A true Yankee to the core, Pat played four years of professional baseball with the Yankee Organization from 1938-1941. A standout athlete with a promising baseball career ahead of him, as a young man Pat moved on to establish his farm and build a family with his wife, Helen, that has grown to over 25 grandchildren and great-grandchildren today. His love of baseball continued as a dedicated fan of the New York Yankees; Pat could discuss the strengths and weaknesses of their roster in great detail from the days of Maris and Mantle to the final weeks of his life.

After starring for his rural New York state high school squad, Hoysradt enrolled at the Berkshire School as his gateway to Williams.  Arriving in Williamstown in 1937, Hoysradt played in the outfield for a powerful freshman nine for the Ephs in the spring of 1938.

The freshmen squad played Albany Academy, Hotchkiss, Williston, and Deerfield before a pair of Little Three games against Wesleyan and Amherst. Hoysradt received repeated offers from the Yankees to sign with them and join their farm system, and after showcasing his talents at the college level, he finally signed.

By the spring of 1939, Hoysradt was the player-manager for the Class C Amsterdam Rugmakers of the Canadian-American Baseball League (Hoysradt’s Class C time also included a stint with the Akron Yankees), where, in the home opener, he singled, doubled, and homered. It was an important game, because the Yankees chief scout was in attendance, and Hoysradt ultimately led the Rugmakers to the league pennant, batting .351 with 14 home runs and 14 triples. On September 1, 1939 — a day remembered for other things — the Amsterdam Recorder-News announced that Hoysradt had been promoted to Class A Binghamton, and his career looked to be taking off. In fact, Hoysradt earned a picture in Life Magazine in October 1939 as part of a feature on the Yankees minor leagues: “Best Young Baseballers Are Almost All Owned By Yankee Farm System.” Those featured alongside Hoysradt included future Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto.


But it was not to be. In 1940, Hoysradt was instead sent to the Norfolk Tars of the Class B Piedmont League, and by the end of the season, he was back in Class C ball, at the Yankees farm club in Akron. His 1941 season had a promising start, as he was placed with Binghamton in spring training. Then the “slippery ladder” of minor league systems struck. As Hoysradt later explained in an interview with historian David Pietrusza:

They had me batting clean-up all spring and I batted .500, but they sent me down to Norfolk… They wanted to make room for someone who had been up and down with New York and Newark, and now he was going to Binghamton. It took away my desire, and I left after a few weeks. That’s my only regret. I wish I had been given a chance with Binghamton.

Hoysradt’s minor league career statistics can be viewed here.

His obituary also notes the importance of family in shaping the end to his baseball career. Minor league baseball today is a hard environment for a family man.  Imagine it in 1941.

Condolences to Hoysradt’s friends and family.  Pat, we wish Williams had known you better!

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