Hooton acquired the ironic nickname Happy from Tommy Lasorda for never looking the part. After going 35-3 for the University of Texas, he signed with the Cubs for $50,000 in 1971 and went straight to Tacoma, where his 19-strikeout game tied a 66-year-old Pacific Coast League record. In his first three ML games, in September of that year, he held opposing hitters to a .111 average and struck out 15 in one game. The following April 16, he no-hit the Phillies in his fourth ML start. His performance steadily declined with the Cubs, but he responded to a 1975 trade to the Dodgers by winning his final 12 decisions, finishing 18-9. His unusual knuckle curve made him a mainstay of baseball’s best rotation through nine seasons and three pennants. He peaked at 19-10 in 1978. During the prolonged 1981 postseason, he went 4-1 with a 0.82 ERA and defeated the Yankees in the final game of the WS.