Bill Veeck

Mike VeeckBill Veeck, Jr.Bill V. VeckBill Veeck Jr.
William Louis Veeck Jr. (February 9, 1914 – January 2, 1986), also known as "Sport Shirt", was an American Major League Baseball franchise owner and promoter.wikipedia
318 Related Articles

Larry Doby

As owner and team president of the Indians in 1947, Veeck signed Larry Doby, thus beginning the integration of the American League, and the following year won a World Series title as Cleveland's owner/president.
In July 1947—three months after Jackie Robinson made history with the Brooklyn Dodgers—Doby broke the MLB color barrier in the American League when he signed a contract to play with Bill Veeck's Cleveland Indians.

Baltimore Orioles

OriolesBaltimoreSt. Louis Browns
Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.
In 1953, with the Browns unable to afford even stadium upkeep, owner Bill Veeck sold Sportsman's Park to the Cards and attempted to move the club back to Milwaukee, but this was vetoed by the other Major League owners.

1980 Chicago White Sox season

19801980 season
Unable to compete in the new era of salary escalation ignited by arbitration and free agency, Veeck sold his ownership interests after the 1980 Chicago White Sox season.
In 1979 and 1980, Bill Veeck made overtures to Denver interests.

Chicago White Sox

White SoxChicago White StockingsChicago
Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.
The club was later passed down to Grace's children Dorothy and Chuck in 1956, with Dorothy selling a majority share to a group led by Bill Veeck after the 1958 season.

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland NapsIndiansCleveland
Veeck was at various times the owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox. In 1946, Veeck became the owner of a major league team, the Cleveland Indians.
In, Bill Veeck formed an investment group that purchased the Cleveland Indians from Bradley's group for a reported $1.6 million.

Wrigley Field

Cubs ParkWeeghman ParkChicago
Later, in 1937, he came up with the idea of planting ivy on the walls of Wrigley Field.
In 1927, an upper deck was added, and in 1937, Bill Veeck, the son of the club president, planted ivy vines against the outfield walls.

1946 Cleveland Indians season

19461946 seasonCleveland Indians
In 1946, Veeck became the owner of a major league team, the Cleveland Indians.
In 1946, Bill Veeck finally became the owner of a major league team, the Cleveland Indians.

Baseball color line

color linecolor barrierintegration
As owner and team president of the Indians in 1947, Veeck signed Larry Doby, thus beginning the integration of the American League, and the following year won a World Series title as Cleveland's owner/president.
The only serious attempt to break the color line during Landis's tenure came in, when Bill Veeck tried to buy the then-moribund Philadelphia Phillies and stock them with Negro league stars.

Commissioner of Baseball

CommissionerBaseball Commissionerorganized baseball
While on his way to Philadelphia to close on the purchase, Veeck decided to alert MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis of his intentions.
Bill Veeck claimed Landis prevented him from purchasing the Phillies when Landis learned of Veeck's plan to integrate the team.

1947 Cleveland Indians season

19471947 Indians' roster1947 season
He also moved the team to Cleveland Municipal Stadium permanently in 1947.
Doby was signed by the Indians by owner and team president Bill Veeck in July, 11 weeks after Jackie Robinson appeared with the Brooklyn Dodgers in the National League.

Satchel Paige

Leroy "Satchel" PaigeLeroyageless 1940s pitcher
The following year Veeck signed Satchel Paige to a contract, making the hurler the oldest rookie in major league history.
His actual birthdate, July 7, 1906, was determined in 1948 when Cleveland Indians owner Bill Veeck traveled to Mobile, Alabama and accompanied Paige's family to the County Health Department to obtain his birth certificate.

1948 Cleveland Indians season

Cleveland Indians1948Indians
By 1948, led by Boudreau's .355 batting average, Cleveland won its first pennant and World Series since 1920.
In the 1947–48 off-season, owner Bill Veeck signed recent St. Louis Browns manager Muddy Ruel as a coach to join player-manager Lou Boudreau and coach Bill McKechnie, the latter who was also a long-time manager.

Charlie Grimm

Charley GrimmCharlie Grimm (M)
In 1940, Veeck left Chicago and, in a syndicate with former Cubs star and manager Charlie Grimm, purchased the American Association Triple-A Milwaukee Brewers.
He was hired by Bill Veeck to manage his Milwaukee Brewers, then the Cubs' top farm team, during World War II.

William Veeck Sr.

William Veeck, Sr.Bill Veeck, Sr.William Veeck
While Veeck was growing up in Hinsdale, Illinois, his father, William Veeck Sr., became president of the Chicago Cubs.
Veeck was also the father of Bill Veeck, who is best known for his time at the reins of the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians, and for sending the midget Eddie Gaedel to bat while owning the St. Louis Browns.

History of the St. Louis Browns

St. Louis BrownsSt Louis BrownsBrowns
Although Veeck had become extremely popular, an attempt in 1947 to trade Boudreau to the St. Louis Browns led to mass protests and petitions supporting Boudreau.
In 1951, Bill Veeck, the colorful former owner of the Cleveland Indians, purchased the Browns from DeWitt.

Cleveland Stadium

Cleveland Municipal StadiumMunicipal StadiumCleveland
He also moved the team to Cleveland Municipal Stadium permanently in 1947.
According to his autobiography, Veeck – As in Wreck, Indians owner Bill Veeck would move the fence in or out, varying by as much as 15 feet, depending on how it would favor the Indians, a practice that ended when the American League specifically legislated against moving fences during the course of a given season.

Eddie Gaedel

pinch-hitting midget Eddie Gaedel
Some of Veeck's most memorable publicity stunts occurred during his tenure with the Browns, including the appearance on August 19, 1951, by Eddie Gaedel, who stood 3 ft tall and is the shortest person to appear in a Major League Baseball game.
St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck, in his 1962 autobiography Veeck – As in Wreck, said of Gaedel, "He was, by golly, the best darn midget who ever played big-league ball. He was also the only one."

William D. Cox

William B. CoxWilliam CoxBill Cox
However, when Veeck arrived in Philadelphia, he was surprised to discover that the National League had taken over the Phillies and was seeking a new owner (the Phillies were ultimately sold to lumber baron William D. Cox).
Realizing there was no way he could operate the team in 1943, he initially planned to sell it to Bill Veeck, only to have those plans derailed by Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis when word got out that Veeck planned to stock the team with Negro League stars.

Negro league baseball

Negro LeaguesNegro LeagueNegro baseball league
Veeck had been a fan of the Negro Leagues since his early teens.
A popular story has it that in, Bill Veeck planned to buy the moribund Philadelphia Phillies and stock them with Negro League stars.

Gerald Nugent

Gerald P. NugentGerry Nugent
In the fall of 1942, Veeck met with Gerry Nugent, president of the Philadelphia Phillies, to discuss the possibility of buying the struggling National League team.
Realizing that there was no way he could operate the team in 1943, he reached an agreement in principle that February to sell the team to Bill Veeck, who planned to bring in Negro League stars in an effort to turn the moribund franchise around.

Guaranteed Rate Field

U.S. Cellular FieldComiskey ParkNew Comiskey Park
The "exploding scoreboard" itself was carried over to the "new" Comiskey Park (now Guaranteed Rate Field) when it opened in 1991.
Most notable is the "exploding scoreboard" which pays homage to the original installed by Bill Veeck at the old park in 1960.

Max Patkin

Clown Prince of Baseball
As in Milwaukee, Veeck took a unique approach to promotions, hiring Max Patkin, the "Clown Prince of Baseball", as a coach.
Later in the 1940s, Patkin was hired as a coach by Bill Veeck and the Cleveland Indians.

Lou Boudreau

All Future and No PastBoudreau, Lou
Doby's first game was on July 5 and before the game, Doby was introduced to his teammates by player-manager Lou Boudreau.
When he bought the Indians in 1947, Bill Veeck, after being approached by Boudreau, renewed the player-manager agreement with mixed feelings on both sides.

1952 St. Louis Browns season

19521952 season
After the 1952 season, Veeck suggested that the American League clubs share radio and television revenue with visiting clubs, a proposal anathema to the powerful Yankees, whose broadcasting revenues dwarfed all the other AL franchises.
Paige was so effective that when Hornsby was fired by Browns owner Bill Veeck, his successor Marty Marion seemed not to want to risk going more than three games without using Paige in some form.

1975 Chicago White Sox season

197575Chicago
Veeck was not heard from again in baseball ownership circles until 1975, when he repurchased the White Sox from John Allyn (sole owner since 1969).
In the end, White Sox owner Arthur Allyn sold to Bill Veeck, who kept the White Sox in Chicago.