Midget Baseball - True Story

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The Star: Eddie Gaedel, a 3'7" midget.

The Headline: "Small Man in Big Leagues: A Veeck Stunt."

What Happened: It was a Sunday doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers on August 19, 1951, and the St. Louis Browns were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the American League. Between games, Brown owner Bill Veeck wheeled a huge cake out onto the field, and out popped Eddie Gaedel, wearing a Browns uniform with the number 1/8 on it. During the first inning of the next game, Gaedel popped out of the dugout and informed the umpire he was pitch hitting.

Challenged, Veeck produced a valid contract. Pitching is difficult as it is, but a 3'7" person has a strike zone of about 18 inches. Gaedel walked on four straight pitches. He then left for a pitch runner.

Aftermath: Gaedel made a quick 100 dollars for his appearance, and American League president Will Harridge issued a solemn declaration barring midgets from baseball, and warning Veeck not to try any similar stunts.


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C3OHJ_Midget Baseball - True Story

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