Monday, October 5, 2009
#27) JAY HOOK
Original 1962 Met, Jay Hook was born in Waukegan, Illinois. He was drafted by the New York Mets from the Cincinnati Reds in the 1961 expansion draft. He threw a five-hit, 9 - 1 complete game victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 23, 1962 at Forbes Field. Thus becoming the first Mets pitcher to post a win in franchise history. "The media wanted to talk with me afterward, and Casey Stengel said take all the time you need we will wait for you." Jay shared with me in 2012. "The interviews lasted so long that when I got to the showers there was no hot water left. I had to clean off in the whirlpool."
The veteran would only appear in three games during his final season with New York. None of which were actually game appearances at Shea Stadium. Jay retired after being traded with Adrian Garrett to the Milwaukee Brewers for Roy McMillan on May 8, 1964.
Upon baseball retirement Hook used his mechanical engineering degree from Northwestern and joined the Chrysler Corporation. "I was 28, an average player, and our oldest was just starting school, so the family wouldn't be able to travel with me," Hook remembered to sportswriter Robert Lipsyte. "Also, we didn't make the kind of money current players do, so I thought I better start a career in business. It was the right decision." He went on to spend four years there before leaving to pursue a position at Rockwell International. At Rockwell he would oversee business operations that included production of heavy-duty truck parts and undercarriages for the New York and Atlanta subway systems. Masco Corporation then recruited Hook to initially manage six of it's companies. Before leaving in 1992, Jay was supervising 20 companies and Masco had grown it's revenue of $600 million in sales to a whopping $10-12 billion a year. Work revenues and stock options have allowed Hook to retire again. Occasionally teaching while operating his 170 acre farm, and spending quality time with his 13 grandchildren in northern Michigan. Certainly a true success story in every sense.
Jay Hook graciously honored my autograph request sent to his home on October 25, 2008.