Hoey was born in Boston, but raised in Saxonville, Massachusetts. At the age of 12, Hoey saw his first baseball game during the 1897 Temple Cup. Hoey would later play semipro baseball and work as an usher at the Huntington Avenue Grounds.
In 1903, Hoey was hired as a sportswriter, writing about high school sports, baseball, and hockey. In 1924, he became the first publicity director of the Boston Bruins. Hoey began broadcasting Braves games in 1925 and Red Sox games in 1927, becoming the first full-time announcer for both teams.
In 1933, Hoey was hired by CBS Radio to call Games 1 and 5 of the World Series after commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis declared that Ted Husing and Graham McNamee could not call World Series games because they did not call any regular season games. Hoey was removed from the CBS broadcasting booth during the fourth inning of game one after his voice went out. Although reported as a cold, Hoey's garbled and incoherent words led many to think that Hoey was drunk. After this incident, Hoey never went to the broadcast booth without a tin of throat lozenges. His only other national assignment was calling the 1936 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, played in Boston, for Mutual.
After the 1936 season, Hoey was fired by the head of the Yankee Network, John Shepard III. Baseball fans, including Franklin D. Roosevelt rallied to his defense. After the 1938 season, Hoey demanded a raise, but the sponsors, despite public pressure, replaced Hoey with former player and manager Frankie Frisch. After leaving the booth, Hoey covered the Red Sox and Braves in Boston newspapers until 1946.