Most Famous Walk in Baseball History

Eddie Gaedel
St. Louis Browns
Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis
August 19, 1951

 

August 19, 1951. If you don’t know the story, and you’re in the LA area neighborhood today, try to drop in and check out how the Los Angeles Chapter of the The Eddie Gaedel Society and The Baseball Reliquary are commemorating the walk that little Eddie Gaedel took as a member of the St. Louis Browns back on August 19, 1951. It was the vertically challenged little baseball hero’s only time at bat in baseball, but it made quite a splash then – and it has since rippled into the 21st century as an even longer shift in the tides of baseball history.

https://bill37mccurdy.com/2017/08/18/socal-celebrates-gaedel-tommorow-aug-19/

Thereafter the happening, we’ve always been led to believe that American League President Will Harridge forbade the return of the little man – and others like him – from further serious participation in organized professional baseball. If he or the Commissioner ever expressed this mandate in writing, we’ve never seen the evidence of it. If it did exist, however, we doubt it would have the the lighter than air capacity to fly very far in 2017. Besides, when you look at what Jose Altuve (.362 BA) of the Houston Astros is doing today, it makes you wonder what else Mr. Gaedel had in him that he could only then take to the bars and then to his grave after his banishment from further playing time beyond that now famous date in August of 1951.

What’s that? You say that Jose Altuve is too tall to be brought into the picture here? OK. That’s fine. But then, how short does one have to be before he or she isn’t big enough to play major league baseball?

Don’t know the story of Eddie Gaedel? Google it. It won’t be hard to find. Everybody and his mother has been continuously writing about it for 66 years.

Here are the lyrics to the official anthem of The Eddie Gaedel Society, as written by yours truly and adopted and approved by Eddie Gaedel Society President Tom Keefe of the Spokane, Washington Chapter One in 2015:

The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel

(Verse, Melody and Chorus: to the tune of

“Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer”)

By Bill McCurdy, 1999. (Minor Revisions, 03/15/2015)

Verse:

You know Pee Wee and Scooter and short guys named Patek,

And Wee Willie Keeler – as small as a flyspeck,

All little people who drew baseball paychecks,

But, do you recall,

The most famous baseball short guy of them all?

Melody:

Bill Veeck, the Brownie owner,

Wore some very shiny clothes!

And if you saw his sport shirt,

You would even say, “It glows!”

 

All of the other owners,

Used to laugh and call him names!

They wouldn’t let poor Bill Veeck,

Join in any owner games!

Chorus:

Then one humid summer day,

Veeck signed a tiny man.

He smiled like a kid in a Panama suit,

Squeaking, “Play me – when you can!”

Melody:

His name was Eddie Gae-del,

Inches short of four feet tall!

He never played much baseball;

He was always just too small!

 

He wasn’t small on courage,

Eddie saw the larger plan.

Took his heart out of storage,

Making him the bigger man!

Chorus:


Then one day in Sportsman’s Park,

Eddie went to bat!

Took four balls and walked to first,

Then retired – just like that!

Melody:

Oh, how the purists hated,

Adding little Eddie’s name,

To the big book of records,

“ Gaedel” bore a blush of shame!

 

Now when you look up records,

Look up Eddie’s O.B.P.!

It reads a cool One Thousand,

Safe for all eternity!

Hail, Eddie!

********************

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST STANDINGS

THRU GAMES OF FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017

RANK AL WEST W L PCT. GB
1 ASTROS 75 47 .615  
2 ANGELS 62 60 .508 13.0
3 MARINERS 62 61 .504 13.5
4 RANGERS 60 61 .496 14.5
5 ATHLETICS 53 69 .434 22.0

********************

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST GAME SCORES

THRU GAMES OF FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017 

ASTROS 3 – ATHLETICS 1.

WHITE SOX 4RANGERS 3. 

MARINERS 7 – RAYS 1.

ORIOLES 9ANGELS 7.

 ********************

AMERICAN LEAGUE BATTING AVERAGE LEADERS 

THRU GAMES OF FRIDAY, AUGUST 18, 2017

RANK PLAYER TEAM AB H 2B 3B HR BA
1 JOSE ALTUVE HOU 467 169 35 3 19 .362
NR * CARLOS CORREA HOU 325 104 18 1 20 .320
2 JEAN SEGURA SEA 386 123 22 1 7 .319
3 ERIC HOSMER KC 463 146 23 1 20 .315
4 MARWIN GONZALEZ HOU 338 104 22 0 20 .308
5 JOSE RAMERIZ CLE 452 139 38 5 18 .308
6 DIDI GREGORIUS NYY 384 118 19 0 18 .307
7 AVISAIL GARCIA CWS 368 113 21 3 13 .307
8 GEORGE SPRINGER HOU 405 123 23 0 28 .304
9 DUSTIN PEDROIA BOS 340 103 17 0 6 .303
10 EDDIE ROSARIO MIN 385 116 27 2 16 .301
Other Top 40 Astros
14 JOSH REDDICK HOU 376 112 25 3 12 .298
17 YULI GURRIEL HOU 422 125 33 1 15 .296
37 ALEX BREGMAN HOU 405 110 29 5 14 .272

NR * LOST TIME ON THE DL HAS TEMPORARILY REMOVED CORREA FROM AN OFFICIAL QUALIFYING PLACE IN THE RANKING OF TOP 40 HITTERS.

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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One Response to “Most Famous Walk in Baseball History”

  1. David Munger Says:

    Another blast from the past is Albie Pearson, Senator/Angel, 5ft 5in and weighing in at 140 lbs. I loved Bill Veeck, other than the Disco Inferno Fiasco, he was quite the innovator….The exploding score board, nickel beer night, and of course Minnie Minoso pinch hitting every decade among other attractions. Minoso singled at age 53, them were the days.

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