OSSINING, N.Y. -- An Ossining resident who lived to the remarkable age of 107 holds the distinction of being the longest-lived Caucasian Major League baseball player in history. When Red Hoff began playing for the Yankees, they weren’t even called the Yankees.
Chester ‘Red’ Hoff was born in what was then the Village of Sing Sing on May 8, 1891. He broke into the majors at age 20, as a left-handed pitcher for the New York Highlanders. His first appearance on the pitcher’s mound was against the legendary Ty Cobb, whom he struck out in three pitches.
Hoff pitched 83 innings over 23 major league games, compiling a 2.49 ERA. He played for the Highlanders in 1911 and 1912, at Hilltop Park in upper Manhattan. He appeared with the renamed Yankees in 1913. Hoff went on to play for a minor league baseball team in Rochester in 1914 and with the St. Louis Browns in 1915.
After his professional baseball career ended, he worked for 40 years as a paper cutter with Rand McNally in Ossining. With baseball still in his blood, Hoff starred for an Ossining semi-pro club. His team often played exhibition games against the inmates at Sing Sing Prison. Hoff said he didn’t mind playing inside the infamous landmark as long as they let him out when the game was over.
Chet Hoff died on Sept. 17, 1998 in Daytona, Fla. and is buried in Ossining’s historic Dale Cemetery. Hoff's career statistics are online.
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