Posts Tagged ‘The Eddie Gaedel Society’

Gaedel Rocks Spokane! Fiers Lights Houston!

August 22, 2015
Commissioned by the Eddie Gaedel Society,

Commissioned by the Eddie Gaedel Society, “Take A Walk Eddie” is the inspired work af Vancouver, BC artist and devoted Blue Jays fan Jennifer Ettinger – and it was presented August 19th to the roaring approval of the crowd at O’Doherty’s Irish Pub and Grille in Spokane, WA..

Friday night, August 21, 2015, was a night in which everything landed at once at The Pecan Park Eagle. – Beautiful news of the Eddie Gaedel Society annual meeting in Spokane on August 19th came soaring home in droves from Society President Tom Keefe – and at just about the same time all of us in Houston were sitting through, sweating out, and finally celebrating Astros pitcher Mike Fiers, 3-0, no-hit shut out of the Los Angeles Dodgers to handle, At one point, the two stories even crossed paths with each other here for me at home, but we will get to that.

First, to a brief but luminously beautiful report from Spokane about the party in Spokane I had to miss because of the damn shingles that I am still trying to shake. I am no longer totally reptilian in facial appearance, and I’m not contagious, but I am still having trouble opening my right lid as a 1.5 eyed-cat with occasional sensations of ants crawling on my face, just beneath the surface of the skin. My doctor explained that shingles is basically a neurologically attacking virus that causes the brain to misunderstand some of the data it receives – and, as result – I get to live briefly with the same kind of misread brain reports that earned the notorious Bugsy Siegel his nickname on the way to a bitter violent end. I am hopeful of skipping the last part.

At one point late Friday, I broke away from the televised version of the drama at MMP here in Houston to e-mail Tom Keefe with a question about the August 19th meeting. Without either of us saying a prior word about it, Tom shot back this response to my question: “ONE OUT AWAY! Stay tuned!”

Simpatico! Tom just knew what I had been watching in real time!

One windmill swinging strikeout later, I replied to Keene’s Houston/no-hitter supportive urging:

“Destiny Done Pumped our tires,

 Flying in as Michael Fiers,

 Houston Couldn’t Get Much Higher,

 C’mon, Astros, Light Our Fires!”

Once the game was over and the Astros 11th no-hitter in history was in the bag. Keefe responded to my question about the first performance of “The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel” as the Eddie Gaedel’s new Anthem for the Ages:

“The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel was a big hit. The crowd went wild, much like tonight’s crowd in Houston!”

The digital video of the August 19th performance of the Anthem is still being prepped for distribution. Once we receive our copy from Tom Keefe, we will all be able to watch it here together for the first time. I’m just pleased to hear that it was so well received.

Artist Jennifer and Gaedel Society President Mike Keene unveiling

Artist Jennifer and Gaedel Society President Tom Keefe unveiling “Take A Walk Eddie” on August 19, 2015 at O’Doherty’s Irish Pub and Grille in Spokane at the 4th Annual Meeting of The Eddie Gaedel Society.

Here’s a link to how the Spokane Spokesman-Review covered the story of The Gaedel Society meeting:

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/clarksville/2015/aug/20/weird-celebrations-downtown-spokane/

There are now four chapter sites for The Eddie Gaedel Society: Chapter # 1 is located in Spokane, WA; Chapter # 2 is at the Eddie Gaedel Pub in Elburn, IL;  Chapter # 3 in LA held its first annual meeting at Griffin of Kinsale’s in Pasadena; and  Chapter # 4 was only recently designated in Evergreen Park, IL, where Eddie Gaedel is buried, and it operates under the stewardship of Rich Bird.

Broadly stated, the goal of The Eddie Gaedel Society’s is getting Eddie Gaedel inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The first two problems are these: (1) There currently are no provisions for inducting anyone into the Baseball Hall Fame whose only official connection to organized baseball has been one time at bat in the big leagues; and (2) The Baseball Hall of Fame doesn’t respond very well to battering ram approaches at the front door.

As an invited member of The Eddie Gaedel Society, I certainly do not presume to speak for the organization, but I do think that there is a step that the Society should consider, and maybe they already have. I am new, however, – and too far removed from Spokane to presently know the Society’s plan, but I will offer this notion as a suggestion.

The Case for a Unique Case Induction or Honors Qualification

There are some people who have made exceptional unique contributions to the history and lore of baseball that we think are deserving of the Hall of Fame’s honor – and no one deserves to be at the top of that list more than Eddie Gaedel.

This is a time to establish a dialogue path with the Hall of Fame that begins with broad thinking about the unique candidates category. What hopefully follows from amicable talk, in which people give each other the broad right to disagree, is some kind of sane plan for making sure that people like Eddie Gaedel are duly honored with the Hall’s official commitment to their perpetual memory.

It’s a place to start. And it takes into account that there presently is no path for unique contributors like Gaedel – and that he is not alone in this regard. And obviously, as The Eddie Gaedel Society grows, the more the chance grows that the Hall of Fame will listen to our “cries from the wilderness” and consider a forum for substantive discussion – one that, without which, nothing will ever happen.

We have to work for the possible over a plan of action that is dedicated to the long haul of substantive change at the Hall itself.

If we are not willing to do that, than any kind of lighted torch approach at the gate will only lighten the sky – and not enlighten the minds of those we may be trying to reach.

All I know from my brief long-range exposure to Tom Keefe is that he is a man of great passion and caring for the game, a fellow of action who kicks up the dust of baseball history for the sake of bringing a higher level of equity to those he feels have been ignored far too long by the game’s hallowed institution of honor, the Hall of Fame.

Maybe it’s the populist lawyer in him, maybe it’s part of being the son of a judge, maybe it’s growing up in the west, or maybe it’s just the basic decency that exudes from him – even by electronic long distance – that makes him convey a certain Lone Ranger archetype searcher quality about his efforts. Whatever it is, Tom Keefe’s got it, and he is not going to give up on his pursuit of justice for Eddie Gaedel until equity prevails.

Stay tuned!

As for Mike Fiers, I can’t say much that already hasn’t been covered beautifully by this morning’s Houston Chronicle, but I will close with one more note to the man himself:

 “Dear Mike – Congratulations on becoming the 5th MLB no-hit pitcher in 2015; thanks for throwing the 11th no-hit game performance in franchise history; great job on your first career complete game, and, wow, what a way to land your first official win as an Astro. – Everyone in the Houston baseball family is both proud of you and happy for you. Thank you for bringing your great talents to the side of our good guys!” – The Pecan Park Eagle

When I signed off with Tom Keefe last night, I left him this note about our wonderful Houston Friday night:

“Yes, Tom, the stars tonight – are big and bright,

Deep in the Heart of Houston!”

 Hail, Eddie!

 Hail, Astros!

______________________________

eagle logo

Aug. 19, 1951: Eddie Gaedel Walks into History

August 16, 2015

EDDIE-8-01Eddie-8-02Eddie-8-03eddie-8-04

The Pecan Park Eagle will be there in spirit in Spokane too on August 19th – even if we cannot be there in person, as planned.

Go, Eddie, Go!

In case you have not yet heard it yet, which is probably a safe guess, the new anthem of the Eddie Gaedel Society, verse and chorus, is presented below – hopefully for your amusement and edification. It’s simply one of our little pieces of pure joy indulgence in the game of baseball and a modest ode to one of my personal favorite characters in the game’s history.

We are hoping to receive a digital transcription of the choral video that performs it for its first official performance at O’Doherty’s  Irish Grille & Pub in Spokane, Washington this coming Wednesday, August 19, 2015, the 64th anniversary of Eddie Gaedel’s singular appearance as an MLB pinch hitter for the St. Louis Browns against pitcher Bob Cain of the Detroit Tigers as the lead-off man in the bottom of the 1st inning of an afternoon game at Sportsman’s Park.

Gaedel Society Founder and annual banquet organizer Tom Keefe is responsible for initiating the entire tsunami of energy  that has risen from the deep as a monster wave of love in honor of the one and only Eddie Gaedel.

Thanks, Tom! – Faith moves mountains a lot faster when someone shows up to lead the effort with a shovel. And you are the living proof of that truth.

Addendum: Here’s a link also to  how how the new Los Angeles Chapter of The Eddie Gaedel Society plans to celebrate o August 19, 2015. If you live in that area, you may want to check out their contact information or simply join them in the fun.

http://www.baseballreliquary.org/2015/08/eddie-gaedel-day-celebration-august-19-2015/

Hail, Eddie!

______________________________

The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel

The Now Official Anthem of The Eddie Gaedel Society

(Verse, Melody and Chorus: All may be sung 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!

______________________________ (c)

“HAIL, EDDIE!”

Congratulations, Eddie Gaedel!

August 28, 2014
Eddie Gaedel St. Louis Browns Sportsman's Park August 19, 1951

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

Great News for You, Mr. Eddie Gaedel!

The Pecan Park Eagle has just received an unsolicited comment from Mr. Tom Keefe, the founder and President of The Eddie Gaedel Society. President Keefe discovered your modest ballad while perusing the archives of this esteemed Eagle history patron and now hopes to get his group to sing it at their fifth annual meeting next year at O’Doherty’s Bar in Spokane, Washington. Of course, we gave Mr. O’Keefe our best wishes in the the fond hope that they, indeed, shall do so. Sung to the theme and choral notes that back “Rudolph the Reed-Nosed Reindeer,” the song is both exalting in praise for you, Eddie, and also factual. It is also easy to sing if people have the words in front of them in the company of good friends, a shared love of you, a few beers, and a tavern state of mind.

Thank you too, Tom Keefe! “The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel” deserves to be immortalized by the group that now bears his good name and accomplishments down the hall of celebratory nights and far into the corners of all places that exist through the ages as memorials to the great ones! – To not get it done next year would be tantamount to Eddie having struck out back on August 19, 1951. We cannot allow that to happen!

That being said, here it is again, “The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel!”:

The Ballad of Eddie Gaedel
(All verse stanzas are in regular shade type and are sung to the main tune of “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The two chorus stanzas, shown in bold type, are sung to the chorus tune from “Rudolph” that goes with “Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, etc.”)

by Bill McCurdy, 1999.

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,
Bill Veeck had to – fidget!
Got an idea that stirred his soul,
He decided to sign a – midget!

His name was Eddie Gae-del,
He was only three feet tall!
He never played much baseball,
He was always just too small!

(chorus)
Then one day in Sportsman’s Park,
Eddie went to bat!
Took four balls and walked to first,
Then retired – just-like-that!

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.

"I'll be listening for you next year at O'Doherty's in Spokane and my hearing now is just as great as my perfect OBP career was in 1951!"!"

“I’ll be listening for you next year at O’Doherty’s in Spokane – and my hearing now is just as great as my perfect OBP career was back in 1951!”!”