Mar 30, 2017

1986 World Champion Mets Coach: Vern Hoscheit (1983-1988)

Vernard Arthur Hoscheit was born April 1st, 1922 in Brunswick, Nebraska. The five foot nine, catcher, outfielder would spend 12 seasons in the AL New York teams minor league system, never getting to play at the big league level. Overall he batted a career .283 in 1155 games. Hoscheit also served three years military service during World War II.

After his playing days ended he began a long career as a coach & minor league manager. He started out managing the AL New York clubs minor leagues in the late forties & through the fifties. He also was a minor league executive in those years. In the sixties he was a scout & in charge of the instructional League staff for the Baltimore Orioles. In 1968 he was a coach on the Orioles staff.

In 1969 he became a coach for the Oakland A's, staying with them through their dynasty tears as the Swingin' A's or the Moustache Gang, if you prefer. He would be on board for all three A's World Series titles from 1972-1974 under manager Dick Williams & Alvin Dark in '74.

His relationship with Dark never went well & he was replaced by Dark's coaching choices the next year. It was Hoscheit who helped Gene Tenace transform into being a successful catcher & Rollie Fingers into becoming one of the best closers the game ever seen.

He moved on to the California Angels in 1976 as coach, once again under manager Dick Williams. After Williams was dismissed he left baseball & returned to Nebraska, coached a team & ran a liquor store.


By 1983 he was back in baseball, in the Mets organization as manager of the Gulf Coast Mets. In 1984 Davey Johnson who was friends with him back in their Orioles days, brought him up to the Mets big league club. Hoscheit spent 1984-1987 there as a bullpen coach & catchers instructor. In his book, Johnson called him the greatest catchers coach he has ever known.

The players affectionately referred to him as "Dad". In Spring Training of 1986, Hoecheit accurately predict the Mets would clinch the NL Eastern title on September 17th. In a classic '86 Mets brawl ignited by Ray Knight with Eric Davis & Dave Parker, Hoscheit was right in the middle of the ruckus, while George Foster sealed his fate as the only person remaining on the bench.

Quotes: Hoscheit in the 1987 Mets Yearbook-  “The bus leaves in ten minutes, be on it or under it.”

Outside of baseball he co-owned a celebrity fishing camp with Davey Johnson. He also owned a kennel of hunting dogs. He retired from baseball in 1991, settling in Plainview Nebraska. After a long illness he passed away in 2001 at age 85. In his career he earned four World Series rings.

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