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Gaedel, Marching Band, Moving Walls

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  • Gaedel, Marching Band, Moving Walls

    What were the strangest things Bill Veeke did for fans amusement?

    Eddie Gaedel ( 3'7", # 1/8)?
    Marching Band led by Paige?
    Retractable outfield walls?
    What?

    The Dodgers Fan


  • #2
    RE: Gaedel, Marching Band, Moving Walls

    I have read that while with the Browns, Veeck had a "Fan Manager Night." As Manager Zack Taylor sat in foul territory in a rocking chair and smoked a pipe, the fans voted on all the strategic decisions in the game by holding up signs. They also picked the day's lineup. Wish I knew more detail.

    As far as I know, Veeck only fiddled with the outfield fences as the Cleveland owner (which may or may not be relevant). I'm not sure whether this was public knowledge or not, either. In '48 he moved the fences back when playing against power-hitting teams like the Yankees, and played with them in against the weaker-hitting teams. Despite this advantage, the '48 Indians didn't have a particularly great home record, but won the pennant mostly by virtue of their 49-28 record on the road.

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    • #3
      RE: Gaedel, Marching Band, Moving Walls

      Ed,

      I recently came across this information. Back on June 30, 1909 the Cubs paticipated in the opening of Forbes Field when they beat the Pirates 3-2. The Cubs pitcher is listed as "Big" Ed Reulbach. Any relation?

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      • #4
        RE: Gaedel, Marching Band, Moving Walls

        Yes, "I" did that!! --"ed"

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        • #5
          I had a Sporting News Book when I was a kid growing up in St. Louis, which had a few photos of the "fans as manager" day.... A section of the box seats, (at least 80 or so people in the photo) had big signs, maybe 2 feet by two feet, with a "Yes" on one side, and a "No" on the other. The fans were of course facing the field, sitting in their normal seats. Either in the front row, or just on the field, facing the fans (and of course facing away from the field and away from the other manager), was presumably a Browns employee who had a stack of signs such as "hit and run?".... "warm up new pitcher?" .... "steal?"... "pinch hitter?" etc.

          He would flash them to the section of fans, who would vote yes or no with their cards. The other team could presumably see how many yes's and how many no's there were, but could not see the questions, and therefore not necessarily know what was going on.... Once the decision was made by the fans, the sign was apparently flashed to the player, the pitcher removed from the game, etc.

          A 60-15 vote of "yes" when a runner was on first could have meant yes to "swing away", or could have meant "sacrifice," "steal" or "hit and run." The other team did not know the question.....



          Genius idea for a simpler time.....
          Last edited by StanTheMan; 01-24-2006, 05:24 PM.
          "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

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          • #6
            Here is a photo of the fans with their yes and no signs.... I'm new here, how do you post images?

            http://www.whitecleats.org/photos/veeck.jpg

            Some of the fans voting "on" instead of "no" might have had a few too many Falstaffs....

            It was August 24, 1951. The Browns beat the A's 4-3!!!
            Last edited by StanTheMan; 01-24-2006, 05:20 PM.
            "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by StanTheMan
              I'm new here, how do you post images?
              Terrific photo, Stan...new to me

              To include photos in posts, use the little paper-clip icon you see in the toolbox when composing a new message. You can then browse to pick up a photo you have stored on your PC (I won't get into the mechanics of grabbing photos off the web, but at the least, it's good form to say where you got them from if you do.) Then you hit the "Upload" button and post your reply as usual.

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              • #8
                Hilarious!

                Must have been a lengthy game. Before they had counted every yes and no. Might have taken a while before they could put through a decision that way.

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                • #9
                  1999.... Bob Costas asks Stan The Man how he thought he would do against the tough lefthanders of the day. "I would hit about .265 or .270," said Musial. Costas goes berzerk, saying Stan was a much better hitter than that!!!! and then Musial says, "You've got to remember, Bob, I'm 78 years old now..."
                  Now, that is funny.
                  "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                  Carl Yastrzemski

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by yankees rule
                    Hilarious!

                    Must have been a lengthy game. Before they had counted every yes and no. Might have taken a while before they could put through a decision that way.
                    They must have only used the fans just a few times per inning? Otherwise, you are right, the game might still be going on!

                    Judging by the photo, there was not much of a rhyme or reason to count up the votes, simply take a quick look and....... "the yes's have it!"
                    "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

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