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 Hall of Fame baseball executive who had ownership stints with the Indians, Browns and White Sox. 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.

Gaedel been signed two days earlier from a local booking agency and was issued the bat boy's uniform with the number "1/8" on the back. Said Veeck in his 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." Browns manager Zack Taylor promptly removed Gaedel for a pinch-runner, who was left stranded at third base. The Tigers would win the game, 6-2, but the lone at-bat by the shortest player in MLB history went in the record books as one that will never be topped.

Autographs from the legendary little person are among the rarest in the hobby. His life ended tragically and much too early in 1961 when he was essentially beaten to death walking home from a bowling alley at the age of 36. Bob Cain was the only major leaguer to attend the funeral. This offered Gaedel cut signature is neatly done in 7/10 pencil affixed to a 3x5 index card. Definitely one of the most desirable vintage baseball autographs to own. (As a nice bonus, bid on a Veeck single signed ball in Lot 129.) Encapsulated by PSA/DNA in an Authentic holder.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $750
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,426
Number Bids: 10
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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