From the Clubhouse:
Veeck brought fun to the game
Bill Veeck, the man who sent a midget to bat and sat in the bleachers with the fans, wasn't your ordinary owner.
Originally Published: August 17, 2001By Alan Schwarz | Special to ESPN.com
To appreciate just how much Bill Veeck differed from his fellow owners, consider this: After his death in 1986, the trumpeter at his funeral played Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." Veeck was no old-money, country-club magnate like Walter O'Malley or Calvin Griffith. He despised the stuffed shirts who posed as caretakers of the game. (In fonder moments, he called them "fossils.") As owner of the Cleveland Indians (1946-49), St. Louis Browns (1951-53) and the Chicago White Sox (twice, from 1959-61 and 1975-80), he had one and only one mantra: "To get the whole city in a frame of mind where they are asking, 'What's that screwball going to do next?' " Of course, his most famous stunt came 50 years ago this Sunday, when sending midget Eddie Gaedel up to the plate cast him forever as baseball's Barnum. Other antics included exploding scoreboards, allowing bleacherites to make managerial decisions, and giving one lucky fan at home plate a dozen live lobsters. He delighted the audience with his taste for gleeful incongruity.
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