Jay Hook

James Wesley (Jay) Hook (born November 18, 1936 in Waukegan, Illinois, United States) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1957 through 1964, Hook played for the Cincinnati Reds (1957–61) and New York Mets (1962–64). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

In an eight-season career, Hook posted a 29–62 record with 394 strikeouts and a 5.23 ERA in 752.2 innings pitched.

Jay attended high school at Grayslake Community High School (now Grayslake Central High School).

A bonus baby signed by the Cincinnati Reds out of Northwestern University, Hook made his major league debut with Cincinnati in 1957. He joined the Reds regular pitching rotation in 1960 and had an 11–18 mark, including a two-hit shutout against the Milwaukee Braves.

Ineffective in 1961, Hook was acquired by the New York Mets in the 1961 MLB Expansion Draft, along with Hobie Landrith, Elio Chacón, Roger Craig, Gil Hodges, Don Zimmer and Gus Bell, among others.

Hook won the first game in Mets franchise history. On April 23, 1962, he pitched a five-hit 9–1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field, giving his team their first regular-season victory after nine defeats. In that season he compiled an 8–19 mark for the Mets, and led the team in complete games (13) and games started (34).

After receiving a master's degree in thermodynamics, Hook retired in 1964 at age 28 to take a job with Chrysler Corporation.

Jay Hook and his wife Joan now reside in Maple City, Michigan.

  1. ^ a b c d Career statistics and history at Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ September 20, 1960 Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Braves Play by Play and Box Score
  3. ^ First victory propelled Hook into Mets' lore

By Dean Hanley

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