Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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Hooks Iott


Date and Place of Birth: December 3, 1919 Mountain Grove, Missouri

Died: August 17, 1980 St Petersburg, Florida

Baseball Experience: Major League
Military Unit:
US Army Air Force

Area Served: United States

Major League Stats: Hooks Iott on Baseball-Almanac


Hooks Iott with San Antonio in 1946

Clarence E “Hooks” Iott was born on December 3, 1919 in Mountain Grove, Missouri. He began his professional baseball career with the Siloam Springs Travelers of the Class D Arkansas-Missouri League in 1938. The 17-year-old left-hander was 5-8 with a 5.93 ERA as he attempted to find his feet in organized ball.


The following season Iott blossomed. Pitching for the Paragould Browns of the Class D Northeast Arkansas League he was 17-8 with a 2.26 ERA and earned a late-season promotion to the Topeka Owls of the Class C Western Association.


Iott pitched for Youngstown of the Middle-Atlantic League in 1940 and was back with Paragould in 1941, but got a late-season call-up to the major leagues with the St Louis Browns. Iott made his big league debut on September 6 in a one-inning relief appearance.


Iott was with the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League in 1942 and entered military service at Camp Blanding, Florida on November 4, 1942. He initially attended the 1146th Technical Training School at Miami Beach, Florida and was then assigned to Kearns Army Air Base in Utah.


Iott regularly pitched for the Kearns AAB Eagles and drew rave reviews at the National Semi-Pro tournament in August 1944. In one game he held the powerful 20th Armored Division of Camp Campbell, Kentucky to just four hits and struck out 14. Two days later he threw an 8-0 one-hitter against the Jamestown, New York, Boosters - striking out 15.


Iott returned from military service at the end of 1945 and joined the St Louis Browns at spring training. He failed to make the club and was sent to the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association. However, Iott complained that he was not being used as a starter with the Mud Hens and was sent to San Antonio of the Texas League where he had played back in 1942.


Iott got his first post-war start with the Missions on June 12, 1946, and beat the Tulsa Oilers 2-1 on three hits. He finished the season with a 10-6 record, 2.78 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 178 innings.


Iott began the 1947 season with the Browns. After making four unmemorable relief appearances he was selected off waivers by the New York Giants. Given a chance to pitch with the New York club, Iott made 20 appearances including nine starts. He finished the season with a 3-8 record and 5.93 ERA.


Iott returned to the minor leagues in 1948. He pitched for Hollywood of the Pacific Coast League and spent time in the Texas and Big State Leagues. In 1951 he joined the St Petersburg Saints of the Class B Florida International League and enjoyed his best seasons in the minors. He was 22-12 in 1951 with an ERA of 2.00. In 1952 he topped that with a 24-9 record and 1.83 ERA, and was 15-6 with a 1.99 ERA in 1953, earning him an invite to spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates although he didn't make the club.


Iott rose to the Class AAA International League in 1954 when he joined the Havana Sugar Kings. His minor league career ended when he returned to St Petersburg in 1957.


Hooks Iott suffered a fatal heart attack on August 17, 1980 in St Petersburg, Florida. He was 60 years old and is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery.


Created January 30, 2008.


Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.