Jenks: The tragic spectacle of Eddie Gaedel

From Jayson Jenks at The Athletic on June 5, 2019:

Maybe you’ve heard of Eddie Gaedel.

Maybe you know that Gaedel stood 3 feet, 7 inches tall and weighed between 50 and 65 pounds; that Bill Veeck, the zany owner of the St. Louis Browns, signed Gaedel to a secret contract; and, most of all, that Veeck sent Gaedel to the plate in the first inning of a major-league baseball game.

He walked on four pitches, all high.

The story of Eddie Gaedel is one of the most infamous and outrageous stories in the vast history of baseball. But do you know that Gaedel was terrified that day? That he didn’t want to go through with the gag? That the American League immediately banned “midgets,” and three weeks later Gaedel was arrested for one of the saddest reasons I’ve ever heard?

Maybe you’ve smiled at the Eddie Gaedel story before. I know I have.

I won’t anymore.

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Originally published: June 5, 2019. Last Updated: June 5, 2019.