Summer Premier Auction 2020


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

There was a never a dull moment for Bill Veeck, the eccentric baseball executive who had ownership stints with the Indians, Browns and White Sox during his Hall of Fame career. In baseball's most memorable publicity stunt, Veeck, then in charge of the St. Louis Browns, sent 3' 7" dwarf Eddie Gaedel to the plate against the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1951. It went just as Veeck planned. Starting pitcher Bob Cain, trying to hold back laughter, walked the little 26-year-old man on four straight pitches to the amusement of the 18,639 fans at Sportman's Park.

Veeck had found Gaedel from a local booking agency and issued him the bat boy's uniform with the number "1/8" on the back. Said Veeck in his critically-acclaimed autobiography, Veeck – As in Wreck, "He was, by golly, the best darn midget who ever played big-league ball. He was also the only one." More esteemed accomplishments include signing Larry Doby to the Indians in 1947 to integrate the American League, Cleveland's 1948 World Series championship, and the ChiSox's 1959 AL pennant (after a 40-year drought). He is the Godfather of the fan experience at all sporting events, inspiring just about every stadium promotion that exists today. It was Veeck who first asked Harry Caray in the late 70's to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch at Comiskey Park, the hallowed Wrigley Field ritual that no Cubbies fan can live without.

Single signed baseballs from the wacky Veeck are quite scarce. He lived to be 71 in spite of lifelong health issues, not to mention the loss of half his right leg in World War II. This moderately toned "All-Star League Baseball" his is cleanly autographed on north panel in 6/10 blue pen. (As a nice bonus, bid on a Gaedel cut in Lot 130.) Includes full LOA from JSA (Z97723).

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300
Final prices include buyers premium.: $480
Number Bids: 4
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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