Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Apr 24, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
19 Reviews

 

Relying on primary sources, including more than a hundred interviews, Paul Dickson has crafted a richly detailed portrait of an American original: baseball impresario and innovator, independent spirit and unflinching advocate of racial equality, Bill Veeck.

Veeck (1914–1986) was born into baseball. His sportswriter father became president of the Chicago Cubs, and Bill later worked for owner Phil Wrigley, rebuilding Wrigley Field to achieve the famed ambience that exists today. In his late twenties, he bought into his first team, the American Association Milwaukee Brewers. As World War II intensified, Veeck volunteered for combat duty, enduring a leg injury that led to a lifetime of amputations and silent suffering. On returning, he bought the Cleveland Indians in 1946—the first of four midwestern teams he would own, preceding the hapless St. Louis Browns (1951–53) and the Chicago White Sox (twice, 1959–61 and 1975–81).

Though foiled in an earlier plan to bring Negro League players to the majors, in the summer of 1947, Veeck integrated his team on field and off, signing Larry Doby, the American League’s first black player, and hiring the first black public relations officer, trainer, and scout. A year later, he signed the legendary black pitcher Satchel Paige, who helped win the 1948 World Series—Cleveland’s last championship to this day. His promotional genius was second to none, endearing him to fans in every city, while his feel for the game led him to propose innovations way ahead of their time. Veeck’s deep sense of fairness helped usher in free agency, breaking the stranglehold owners had on players; indeed, he was the only owner to testify in support of Curt Flood during his landmark reserve clause challenge.

Bill Veeck brings fully to life a transformational, visionary figure who spent a lifetime challenging baseball’s and society’s well-entrenched status quo. It is essential reading for any fan and anyone with a fascination for twentieth-century America.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
8
4 stars
8
3 stars
2
2 stars
1
1 star
0

Review: Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick

User Review  - Cindy - Goodreads

Before I read this book the only thing I knew about Bill Veeck was that he planted the ivy in Wrigley Field. I had surely been missing out on a lot of baseball history and I'm happy not to be quite so ... Read full review

Review: Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick

User Review  - Tim Basuino - Goodreads

Bio of one of the more interesting baseball owners flows well. Obviously Dickson was a huge fan of Veeck, which works against the book five stars - it could've been at least a tiny bit critical on what didn't work. Read full review

All 2 reviews »

Contents

20949216_ch01_5P
1
20949216_ch02_5P
417
20949216_ch03_5P
435
20949216_ch99_5P
437
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Paul Dickson is the author of several classic baseball books, including The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, The Unwritten Rules of Baseball, The Hidden Language of Baseball, and The Joy of Keeping Score. He is also the author of the classic narrative history Sputnik: The Shock of the Century, and the co-author of the acclaimed The Bonus Army: An American Epic. He lives in Garrett Park, Maryland.

Bibliographic information