James Hoyt Wilhelm Statue, Huntersville
The bronze statue on the memorial to Hoyt Wilhelm depicts a right-handed Little League baseball player in the windup motion prior to delivering a pitch. It stands on a granite block with a lectern shaped front holding a plaque with inscriptions for Wilhelm. A photo of Wilhelm wearing a New York Giants uniform is on the front face below the plaque. The plaque has a date of 2007 but the dedication of the baseball complex at Huntersville Athletic Park was held in July 2008.
JAMES HOYT WILHELM / THIS BASEBALL COMPLEX IS NAMED IN HONOR OF / HUNTERSVILLE NATIVE JAMES HOYT WILHELM. / BORN: JULY 26, 1923, IN HUNTERSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA / DIED: AUGUST 23, 2002 IN SARASOTA, FLORIDA / MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CAREER: 1952 TO 1972 / ELECTED IN THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME IN 1985 WITH THE HIGHEST VOTE / TOTAL OF THE YEAR. / PRIMARY POSITION: PITCHER / BATS: R THROWS: R / PLAYED FOR: NEW YORK GIANTS, CLEVELAND INDIANS, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS, BALTIMORE / ORIOLES, CHICAGO WHITE SOX, CALIFORNIA ANGELS, ATLANTA BRAVES, CHICAGO CUBS, AND / THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS.
BIO: HOYT WILHELM BEGAN HIS BASEBALL CAREER IN THE NORTH MECKLENBURG AREA PLAYING AT / CORNELIUS HIGH SCHOOL AND CLASS D BALL WITH THE MOORESVILLE MOORS. HOYT WILHELM / DIDN’T MAKE HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT UNTIL THE AGE OF 28. TWENTY YEARS AND A THEN- / RECORD 1,069 GAMES LATER, HE HAD DISTINGUISHED HIMSELF AS THE GAME’S PREMIER / RELIEVER. THE KNUCKLEBALLER WON 143 GAMES, INCLUDING A RECORD 124 OUT OF THE BULLPEN. / IN A RARE START FOR THE ORIOLES IN 1958, HE NO HIT THE YANKEES. HE HAD A CAREER ERA / OF 2.52 AND AMASSED 227 SAVES. HE WAS ALSO A FIVE-TIME ALL STAR AND PITCHED IN /THE 1954 WORLD SERIES.
HOYT WILHELM ALSO SERVED IN THE ARMY DURING WWII AND WAS AWARDED A PURPLE / HEART FOR INJURIES RECEIVED DURING THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE. 2007
Town of Huntersville
July 14, 2008
35.390380 , -80.844900 View in Geobrowse
Fowler, Scott. “Huntersville’s Wilhelm Was History’s Best Knuckleball Pitcher,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) July 19, 2008
Kevin, Cary. “This Honor Would Give Him Butterflies,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC) July 11, 2008
Mehrtens, Cliff. “Remembering a Huntersville Legend,” The Herald Weekly (Huntersville, NC) July 14, 2011 (accessed August 21, 2022) Link
“Hoyt Wilhelm,” Historic Baseball, historicbaseball.com, (accessed August 21, 2022) Link
In 1985 Wilhelm became the first relief pitcher elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a knuckleball pitcher which is a rarity in major league baseball. At any one time there are seldom more than 1 or 2 pitchers using the pitch as it is very difficult to learn how to throw. It has also been looked upon as a trick pitch which has stigmatized its use.
James H. "Hoyt" Wilhelm was nicknamed the “Old Sarge” after the rank of staff sergeant that he earned while serving in the US Army during World War II.
James Hoyt Wilhelm commemorative statue is located outside Huntersville Athletic Park baseball complex at 11720 Verhoeff Dr. Huntersville, NC 28078.