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View Full Version : 59 years ago - Now batting for St Louis - Number 1/8


Fenway
08-19-2010, 09:06 AM
Bill Veeck's greatest stunt

http://www.yorkblog.com/revs/EddieGaedel.jpg

Now remember Eddie - if you swing, I have a guy on the roof with a rifle....

Railsplitter
08-19-2010, 09:45 AM
I first read about the Gaedel stunt when I was ten years old and quite frankly, I thought it was silly. Less than a year after I first read about it, Bill Veeck bought the Sox for a second time, and I wasn't too happy about it.

I know I'm speaking what some here would consider blasphemy, but believe Veeck was more interested in self-promotion than winning.

VeeckAsInWreck
08-19-2010, 10:23 AM
I know I'm speaking what some here would consider blasphemy, but believe Veeck was more interested in self-promotion than winning.

Veeck wanted to win too. Hence the rent a player plan in '77. However, he wanted to entertain as well, which he succeeded to do but it also helped lead to one of the most embarrassing moments in Sox history with Disco Demolition.

gogosox675
08-19-2010, 12:09 PM
I know I'm speaking what some here would consider blasphemy, but believe Veeck was more interested in self-promotion than winning.

I know Veeck wanted to win when he was with the Sox, but those Browns teams were hopeless. Stunts like this were the only way to draw interest in them in St. Louis.

tebman
08-19-2010, 12:37 PM
I know I'm speaking what some here would consider blasphemy, but believe Veeck was more interested in self-promotion than winning.

Veeck wanted to win too. Hence the rent a player plan in '77. However, he wanted to entertain as well, which he succeeded to do but it also helped lead to one of the most embarrassing moments in Sox history with Disco Demolition.

Veeck was a hustler and said so himself. He loved baseball but didn't treat it as a sacrament. He saw it as the special form of entertainment that it is and cooked up his stunts to add a few laughs and draw bigger crowds.

Obviously he whiffed sometimes with his stunts -- disco demolition is the clearest example -- but he really was a forward-thinking and creative guy. He argued for the abolition of the reserve clause years before it happened, tried very early to bring more Negro League players into MLB, put names of the backs of uniforms, and was a pioneer in the game-promotion business. Those are a few of his contributions I can think of off the top of my head.

Eddie Gaedel's at-bat was a stunt that can be argued was tasteless, but it got people talking about baseball who might not have otherwise, and that's a good thing. I remember how mesmerized I was as a kid seeing his original exploding scoreboard. That's probably what cemented my commitment as a fan to the White Sox and I can thank Bill Veeck for that.

Moses_Scurry
08-19-2010, 01:09 PM
Veeck was a hustler and said so himself. He loved baseball but didn't treat it as a sacrament. He saw it as the special form of entertainment that it is and cooked up his stunts to add a few laughs and draw bigger crowds.

Obviously he whiffed sometimes with his stunts -- disco demolition is the clearest example -- but he really was a forward-thinking and creative guy. He argued for the abolition of the reserve clause years before it happened, tried very early to bring more Negro League players into MLB, put names of the backs of uniforms, and was a pioneer in the game-promotion business. Those are a few of his contributions I can think of off the top of my head.

Eddie Gaedel's at-bat was a stunt that can be argued was tasteless, but it got people talking about baseball who might not have otherwise, and that's a good thing. I remember how mesmerized I was as a kid seeing his original exploding scoreboard. That's probably what cemented my commitment as a fan to the White Sox and I can thank Bill Veeck for that.

That's exactly right. Fireworks + cartoons on the screen = me a fan as an 8 year old.

LITTLE NELL
08-19-2010, 01:19 PM
To this day I don't know how Veeck didn't get suspended for the Gaedel stunt.
I was never a Veeck fan from his first tenure with the Sox. I felt he took too much credit for the 59 team which was built by Frank Lane and Chuck Comiskey. Of course while he painted the ballpark white and installed the exploding scoreboard he traded away some very good young talent like Norm Cash, Johnny Callison, Earl Battey and Don Mincher for some aging players.
I will never forget however that he saved the Sox from moving to Seattle in the winter of 75. I also wrote him a letter in 78 about free agency and how it was ruining baseball and he took the time to answer the letter.