Hoeft was a mainstay in the Tigers starting rotation in the 1950s, then embarked
on a second career as an itinerant lefthanded reliever, changing teams six times
between 1959 and 1966. He spent most of his rookie season in the Detroit bullpen,
then struggled as a starter in 1953-54, winning only 16 games over the two seasons.
In 1955 Hoeft was still only Detroit's third starter in terms of starts and innings,
but he led the AL with seven shutouts on his way to a 16-7, 2.99 record and a spot
on the AL All-Star team. In 1956 Hoeft became the first Tiger lefthander since Hal
Newhouser to win 20 games, posting a 20-14(N-h)h)h)mark, but after mediocre seasons
in 1957-58, Hoeft returned to the bullpen for the balance of his career.
traded to the Red Sox for Ted Lepcio and Dave Sisler in May, 1959, then shipped to
Baltimore for Jack Harshman six weeks later. Hoeft enjoyed his best seasons in relief
with the Orioles, recording a 2.02 ERA in 1961 and four wins plus seven saves in
1962, then was traded to the Giants and later to the Braves, spending single seasons
with each club. On July 14, 1957 Hoeft hit two of his three career home runs.