Coveleski, Hoyt cross paths again in Class of 1969
Stan Coveleski closed out his career in 1928 as a teammate of Waite Hoyt on the New York Yankees.
Little did either know then that four decades later, they would be reunited – this time as Hall of Fame teammates.
On Feb. 2, 1969, Coveleski and Hoyt were elected to the Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the 12-person Veterans Committee, headed by former commissioner Ford C. Frick. The pair would join Roy Campanella and Stan Musial, who had been elected by the BBWAA a month earlier, in the Class of 1969.
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“We’re going in with some good company in Stan Musial and Roy Campanella and I’m very happy about that, too,” Hoyt told the Akron Beacon-Journal.
Coveleski, a native of Shamokin, Pa., pitched 14 years in the big leagues, going 215-142 with a 2.89 ERA. After a brief stint with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912, he spent the bulk of his career with the Indians, going 173-132 and posting a 2.80 ERA with Cleveland. His crowning moment came in 1920, when he contributed three complete game victories in Cleveland’s World Series win over the Brooklyn Robins.
In December 1924, his nine-year tenure in Cleveland came to an end, as he was dealt to the Washington Senators. Coveleski would appear in one more World Series with the Senators in 1925, as Washington fell to the Pirates in seven games. In his final major league season and sole campaign as Hoyt’s teammate, Coveleski went 5-1 with a 5.74 ERA in 12 games for the Yankees.
Hoyt broke into the big leagues with the New York Giants in 1918, then spent two seasons with the Red Sox before landing with the Yankees in 1921. The Brooklyn native would remain with New York for a decade, winning World Series titles in 1923, 1927 and 1928. His best season came in 1927, when he led the league with 22 victories and posted a 2.63 ERA.
Following his departure from the Yankees, Hoyt spent time with the Tigers, Athletics, Dodgers, Giants and Pirates before retiring in 1938. Over 21 seasons, he went 237-182 with a 3.59 ERA.
Hoyt went on to a storied broadcasting career after his retirement from playing, serving as the play-by-play voice of the Cincinnati Reds from 1941-65.
The 69-year-old was vacationing in Clearwater, Fla., when he learned of his election to the Hall of Fame.
“I didn’t anticipate anything like this and it comes as a heck of a surprise,” Hoyt said. “It strikes me that a lot of other fellows haven’t gotten there that are more deserving, but at any rate, I’m very happy about it.”
Coveleski, meanwhile, was 79 years old and living in South Bend, Ind.
“I should have been in that quite a long time ago,” Coveleski said. “I figured I’d get in sooner or later, and just kept hoping each year would be the one.”
The pair would join Campanella and Musial in Cooperstown on July 28, 1969, as the Hall of Fame’s membership grew to 114 with the induction of the Class of 1969.
Janey Murray is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum