Dick Hotton was a highly principled man who literally enriched thousands of lives during his various sports careers. Hotton began to attract his first real athletic notoriety as a player on the Pratt Book Store AAU basketball team, which three times represented Colorado in the National AAU tournament.
At DU, Hotton was a basketball and baseball perennial all-star, and played one year of football. Upon graduation, Hotton signed with the Pueblo Braves of the Class A Western League. His brief career as a pro baseball player ended abruptly when the Western League dropped Denver and Pueblo at the end of the 1932 season. Hotton then spent over 35 years teaching and coaching, mostly at West High, before retiring in 1969.
In 1967, he received the Teacher of the Year Award, one of seven in Denver. Hotton spent almost every waking hour outside classroom playing semi-pro baseball, basketball and softball, and coaching and managing baseball teams. He was an all-star everywhere he played, receiving perhaps the highest honor when he was picked as the all-star third baseman when he helped lead the Coors team to second place in the National Semi-pro Tournament in Wichita.
He accumulated a caseful of trophies and medals as he moved along in his athletic endeavors.
In 1937, Hotton got a tryout with the New York Giants during the heat of the National League pennant race. Hotton’s ill-fated two-day tryout ended when he suffered a fractured thumb in pre-game practice before a Giants-Chicago Cubs game.
For all of his prowess in many years of sports competition and coaching, it is significant that he is remembered best by his peers for his personal qualities and contributions to the lives of others. Typical is the testimonial written in 1983 by Carle E. Stenmark, Deputy Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools:
“Dick Hotton never sought fame or notoriety and certainly not fortune. He sought only one quality in life, that of instilling a values system in those with whom he played and taught. This was a system of giving more to a teammate, a pupil, the community of which he was such a part, and indeed, even the opposition, more than he took from them….”
Dick Hotton by precept and example has been the exemplar of what the real contribution of athletics and sports is all about. Dick Hotton never sought a headline.
Dick Hotton never sought fame or notoriety and certainly not fortune. He sought only one quality in life, that of instilling a values system in those with whom he played and taught.