The BASEBALL RELIQUARY Inc.
epitaph is inescapable. It will read ‘He sent a midget
up to bat.’” ~ Bill Veeck, Jr.
A self-proclaimed “hustler” and a baseball owner who
was decidedly antiestablishment, Bill Veeck, Jr. was the
greatest promotional genius and innovator the game has
ever seen. Baseball’s version of P.T. Barnum was in
the historic first class of electees to the Baseball
Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals in 1999. Although
Veeck gave us Wrigley Field’s ivy-covered walls and
Comiskey Park’s exploding scoreboard, he is perhaps
best remembered as the mastermind behind one of
baseball’s most famous stunts, when he sent 3’7”
midget Edward Carl Gaedel to the plate as a pinch-hitter
for the woebegone St. Louis Browns in 1951. The date was
August 19 and the place was Sportsman’s Park in St.
Louis, where Gaedel stepped up to the plate, and into
baseball immortality, during the second game of a
doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers.