Cleveland Indians: Meet man Corey Kluber tied for consecutive Opening Day starts

Cleveland Indians Corey Kluber (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Cleveland Indians Corey Kluber (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

A trip back in time, after Corey Kluber’s recent Opening Day start against the Minnesota Twins evoke the name of Tribe Hall of Famers Stan Coveleski.

In this Cleveland Indians’ history lesson, Corey Kluber‘s start on Opening Day against the Minnesota tied the Tribe’s franchise record, originally set by Stan Coveleski between 1917-2021.

Kluber’s added another bright spot to his resume, a full century after Coveleski accomplished the fete.

The 1969 Hall of Fame inductee made six Opening Day starts in his career, which is one behind Bob Feller for the most all time in Indian’s lore. Bob Lemon and C.C. Sabathia also made five Opening Day starts, but they did not make those outings in consecutive seasons.

The string of consecutive Opening Day starts is an interesting statistic because it just goes to show how good you have to be over a five-year period. Five years doesn’t seem like all that long, but you besides being good, you’ve also got to be healthy.

Coveleski was 215-142 in his big league career with a 2.89 ERA. He was 24-14 with a 2.49 ERA for the 1920 Indians, a club that went onto win the World Series. In that Fall Classic, good ole’ Stan was 3-0 with 0.69 ERA against the Brooklyn Robins…and oh yeah, he threw 27 innings.  The World series was played as a best-of-nine back then, and the Indians beat the Robins, 5 games to 2.

• Coveleski was known as a spitball pitcher, and that pitch was banned before the 1920 season. But because he was already using it, he was allowed to keep throwing spitballs until his retirement.

• In the “They don’t make ’em like they used to” department, Coveleski appeared in 450 games and made 385 starts. Of those 385 starts, 224 were complete games!

• He wasn’t known as a strikeout pitcher, but his control was impeccable. He could usually get through a nine-inning game with 95 or fewer pitches, according to SABR.

• And in the can you imagine if he had said that today item, Coveleski wasn’t a fan of Cleveland and made it known, via SABR.

"“I never did like Cleveland,” he later explained, via SABR. “Don’t know why. Didn’t like the town. Now the people are all right, but I just didn’t like the town.”"

Apparently, the Forest City even affected his play!

"“You know I got to a point where I wouldn’t hustle no more. See, a player get to be with a club too long. Gets lazy, you know.”"

• You can’t help but laugh. Imagine Kluber saying those things! Except on the days he pitched, Coveleski was regarded as someone with a good sense of humor, according to SABR.

• The Indians traded him to the Washington Senators following the 1924 season, when he went 15-16 with a  4.04 ERA.

• Following retirement, Coveleski made his home in South Bend, Ind, where he gave pitching lessons to local kids.