Eddie Gaedel was catapulted
into baseball immortality in 1951 by
imaginative manager Bill Veeck of the
St. Louis Browns. Veeck signed Eddie
Gaedel to a major league contract for
$100. In the ninth inning of a tied
game, Veeck sent Gaedel in as a pinch
hitter. Being just 3'7" tall, Gaedel
was walked unintentionally on four pitches.
Gaedel was subsequently replaced by
a pinch runner.
Some interesting aspects of this event:
The umpire would
not let Gaedel bat until Veeck showed
the umpire Gaedel's contract.
- There was no height requirement
in major league baseball in 1951.
One day after
the Eddie Gaedel event, a minimum
height requirement was enacted in
major league baseball.
reported instructions to Eddie Gaedel
included: "I will be on the
roof of the dugout with a rifle.
If you even think about swinging,
I will shoot you."
Several St. Louis
Browns players were interviewed
after the event. The consensus was
that upon arriving in the dugout
they noticed a dwarf in a uniform
with number #1/8 and a toy souvenir
bat. Since Bill Veeck was noted
for creativity, the presence of
a dwarf was regarded as a normal
unnoteworthy Veeck occurrence.
Eddie Gaedel holds
at least two all-time major league baseball
records. Some statistics:
Eddie Gaedel (Edward
Height 3' 7"***
Weight 65 lb.
Debut August 19, 1951
Final Game August 19, 1951
Base on balls 1
On Base Percentage 1.000***
*** All time professional
major league baseball records.