Stanley Coveleskie, a native of Shamokin whose spitball helped make him one of the American League’s greatest pitchers, has been elected to the baseball hall of fame.
The gates of the hall swung open for the second time in two weeks to welcome him and Waite Hoyt, star righthander of the 1920s.
Two weeks ago Stan Musial and Roy Campanella topped the ballot in the Baseball Writers Association of America’s yearly poll.
When notified at his home in South Bend, Ind., of his election, Coveleskie, who recently turned 78, said, “I should have been in that quite a long time ago. I figured I’d get in sooner or later, and just kept hoping each year would be the one.”
Coveleskie’s greatest fame came in 1920 when he pitched the Cleveland Indians to the World Series championship over the Brooklyn Dodgers. “Covey” hurled three complete games and won each in spectacular fashion.
The native of Shamokin, who is of Polish extraction, was honored during Shamokin’s Centennial celebration in 1964 when he was selected one of the community’s Most Distinguished Sons and appeared at the dinner honoring the “sons” and was presented with a plaque.
Coveleskie and Hoyt were elected to Cooperstown, N.Y., shrine yesterday by unanimous vote of a 12-man veteran committee headed by former Baseball Commissioner Ford C. Frick.
“Covey,” whose brother, Harry Coveleskie, pitched in the major leagues, also, hurled in the American League for 14 seasons. He appeared in 448 games winning 215 and losing 141.
He began his baseball history with a Pennsylvania team and in 1912 had a brief period with the Philadelphia Athletics. He appeared in three contests, winning two and losing one. He went back to the minors for four years and then in 1916 was called to the Cleveland Indians. He twirled for that club nine years, was traded to Washington, with whom he pitched three years and finished his career in 1928 as a member of the New York Yankees. He retired during the season when his great iron arm became rusty.
In his first year with Cleveland, Coveleskie had a 15-12 record and in 1917, was 19-14. His remaining record with the Indians included, 1918, 22-13; 1919, 24-14; 1920 (World Series time), 24-14; 1921, 23-13; 1922, 17-14; 1923, 13-14, and 1924, 15-16.
Covelsekie was traded to Washington Senators for the 1925 season and staged a remarkable comeback by winning 20 games and losing five. He teamed up with the great Walter Johnson to pitch the Senators to the American League championship.
The Senators lost to Pittsburgh in the World Series.