Robert Nelson Hooper (May 30, 1922 – March 17, 1980) was a Canadian-born pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1950 to 1955. A native of Leamington, Ontario, Hooper attended Montclair State University in New Jersey and served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II prior to his major-league career. As a player he threw and batted right-handed, stood 5'11" (180 cm) tall and weighed 195 pounds (88 kg).
Although he was originally signed by the New York Giants, Hooper came to the majors with the 1950 Philadelphia Athletics, and promptly won 15 games (losing only 10) for a last-place outfit that won only 52 games all year — Hooper thus accounting for 28.8 percent of all wins for the 1950 A's. In 1951, he won 12 of 22 decisions for a Philadelphia club that improved to 70 victories. Continuing his "against the grain" career, in 1952, with the A's putting up what would be their final over-.500 season in their Philadelphia history, Hooper won only eight games, losing 15. He was traded to the pennant-contending Cleveland Indians that December 19, and became strictly a relief pitcher, appearing in 43 games in 1953 and only 17 contests in 1954. He did not appear in the 1954 World Series, which Cleveland lost to the Giants in a four-game sweep. In his final season, Hooper appeared briefly with the 1955 Cincinnati Redlegs and lost his only two decisions. He finished his career with 40 victories, 41 defeats, 25 saves and an earned run average of 4.80.
After he retired as a player, he joined the Baltimore Orioles, whose general manager and field manager, Paul Richards, tutored Hooper on the 1949 Buffalo Bisons of the AAA International League, where Hooper posted a 19–3 record and proved himself ready for the major leagues. Hooper managed Oriole farm teams in the low minors from 1957 to 1960. He was a scout for the New York Mets in the early 1960s, and became a physical education teacher in the New Brunswick, New Jersey, public schools, retiring in 1979. Bob Hooper died of a heart attack at age 57 the following year in New Brunswick.
By Dean Hanley
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