Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick
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.
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BILL VEECK: Baseball's Greatest MaverickUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
Dickson (The Unwritten Rules of Baseball, 2009, etc.) delivers an engaging biography of Bill Veeck (1914-1986), an innovative, irascible and progressive gadfly within the staid world of baseball.For ... Read full review
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Abe Saperstein American League announced April asked August ballpark Baltimore baseball baseball’s batting Bill Veeck bleachers Boston Boudreau Brewers Browns called Charlie Grimm Chicago Cubs Chicago Tribune Cleveland Indians Comiskey Park Cubs December doubleheader fans February Feller ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁnished ﬁrst ﬁve football Gaedel going Hank Greenberg home run Hornsby January July June Landis Larry Doby later Linn Lou Boudreau Louis MacPhail Major League manager March Mary Frances Mike Veeck Milwaukee journal move National League Negro leagues never night November October ofﬁce ofﬁcial oﬂer ofthe outﬁelder owners pennant Phil Wrigley Phillies pitch pitcher Pittsburgh Plain Dealer played players president Press recalled Red Sox reported Saperstein Satchel Paige season Senators September signed Sporting spring training stadium Stengel story Veeck told Veeck—as in Wreck wanted Washington Post weeks White Sox World Series Wrigley Field wrote Yankees York