Bill Veeck

BILL VEECK 1914-1986. This maverick sports owner...Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns, and the Chicago White Sox...was an inspiration to millions of baseball fans. Bill Veeck was responsible for putting names on the back of uniforms and fireworks after home runs. He was interviewed by MY HERO's producer Tom Weinberg in the 1980's and asked, "Who are your heroes?"

BILL VEECK: I'm talking about those larger than life, those roisters, those swashbucklers...

No one can forget baseball legends like BABE RUTH, a swashbuckling hero. A man of gigantic appetites: he ate more, drank more, chased more girls...caught more too. A fellow of infinite capacity to rise to an occasion...built up not only a baseball team but a stadium and maybe is responsible for the popularity of baseball today.

A hero of a different kind was JACKIE ROBINSON. The first black player to represent his race in modern major league baseball, and represent it he did...well, with skill, with daring, with speed, and with fire. Every black in the country was proud that Robinson was their representative...and every club other than Brooklyn feared his arrival in town.

A hero for octogenarians: LEROY SATCHEL PAIGE. The best pitcher that I've ever seen. The most exciting, unusual individual ever to walk on the baseball diamond. Intelligent, knew how to pitch and knew how to enjoy the game...and nineteen deliveries: none of them legal, none of them quite illegal. He'd take that extra step off the mound and say, "Sorry, I didn't know you couldn't do that in this league." He could win and he loved to win. And he could probably have held every pitching record there is, if he just had a chance. (Because blacks were not allowed in the major leagues until 1948, Paige did not start his big league career until he was almost 50.)

Page created on 8/17/2014 11:39:20 AM

Last edited 1/6/2017 11:41:22 PM

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