Stanley Anthony Coveleski (born Stanislaus Kowalewski, July 13, 1889 – March 20, 1984) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher during the 1910s and 1920s who primarily threw the spitball. In 14 seasons in the American League (AL), Coveleski pitched for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators and New York Yankees. In 450 career games, Coveleski pitched 3,082 innings and posted a win–loss record of 215–142, with 224 complete games, 38 shutouts, and a 2.89 earned run average (ERA). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Born in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, Coveleski began playing professional baseball in 1908, following in the footsteps of his brother, Harry Coveleski. He played mostly for the Lancaster Red Roses until he made his major league debut with the Athletics in 1912. Following three more seasons in the minor leagues, he stayed in the major leagues after signing with the Indians in 1916. During his nine seasons with the Indians, his accomplishments included winning three games during the 1920 World Series.
After his time with the Indians ended, Coveleski spent three seasons with the Senators and one with the Yankees before retiring after the 1928 season. He retired to South Bend, Indiana, where he died in 1984. A starting pitcher, Coveleski specialized in throwing the spitball, a pitch where the ball is altered with a foreign substance such as chewing tobacco. It was legal when his career began and outlawed in 1920, but he was one of 17 pitchers permitted to continue throwing the pitch.
By Dean Hanley
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