Veeck, Bill(William Louis Veeck, Jr.), 1914–86, American baseball executive, b. Chicago. The son of an owner of the Chicago Cubs, Veeck began his executive career with the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, then owned the Cleveland Indians (1947–49), St. Louis Browns (1951–53), and Chicago White Sox (1959–61, 1976–80) of the American League. He became famous for crowd-increasing gimmicks like the "exploding" scoreboard, assorted giveaways, and the appearance at bat of the midget Eddie Gaedel (1952). Veeck also integrated the American League by hiring Larry Doby in 1947, weeks after Jackie RobinsonRobinson, Jackie
(Jack Roosevelt Robinson), 1919–72, American baseball player, the first African-American player in the modern major leagues, b. Cairo, Ga. He grew up in Pasadena, Calif., where he became an outstanding athlete in high school and junior college.
..... Click the link for more information. joined the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League.
See his Veeck—As in Wreck (with E. Linn; 1962, repr. 2001) and The Hustler's Handbook (with E. Linn; 1965, repr. 1989); biography by G. Eskenazi (1988).
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Veeck, (William Louis, Jr.) Bill(1914–86) baseball executive; born in Chicago. He was the son of William Veeck who owned the Chicago Cubs (1919–33). He lost a leg in an injury in World War II. He was the owner of the Cleveland Indians (1947–49), St. Louis Browns (1951–53), and Chicago White Sox (1959–61, 1976–80). In 1947 he signed Larry Doby as the first African-American to play in the American League. An unabashed promoter, he was responsible for the "exploding" scoreboard at Comiskey Park in Chicago, and in 1952 he sent a midget, Eddie Gaedel, to bat in a game for the Browns. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1991.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.