Thursday, July 25, 2013

Eddie Gaedel's bat, used in MLB's most famous stunt, readies for sale at Heritage Auctions

Consigned by Gaedel's nephew, Chicago-area resident Bob Gaedele; Used by "little person" Gaedel on Aug. 19, 1951, as MLB owner and showman Bill Veeck's St. Louis Browns played the Detroit Tigers; Gaedel batted once, with the number 1/8 on his jersey, walking on four pitches; Offered for the first time ever at auction.    
It is, to this day, likely the most famous stunt in Major League Baseball history: On Aug. 19, 1951, as the anemic St. Louis Browns limped toward the fall of another failed season against the Detroit Tigers, owner Bill Veeck — a Hall of Fame owner and the greatest showman in the history of the game — sent 3' 7" tall Eddie Gaedel to the plate, with the number "1/8" on his jersey and to the hysterical laughter of fans.

It was the bottom of the first inning of the second game of a doubleheader and Gaedel took four straight balls and headed to first base and into baseball history.

On Aug. 1, as part of Heritage Auctions' Platinum Night Sports Auction in Rosemont, IL, taking place in conjunction with The National Sports Collector's Convention, the bat that sat perched atop Gaedel's shoulder for those four pitches will appear for the very first time at auction. It is expected to bring $100,000+.

"Veeck was behind some of the most famous, and infamous, ballpark stunts in the history of America's pastime," said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports at Heritage Auctions, "including Cleveland Municpal Stadium's disastrous 10 cent beer night in 1974. It was his 1951 stunt with Gaedel as the smallest batter in league history, however, that he is most remembered for."

The bat has been consigned to auction by Gaedel's nephew, Bob Gaedele, a Chicago-area resident who was given the bat by his father when he was around 10 years old. Bob's father, Eddie's younger brother, received the bat from Eddie after the game.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Browns Fan Club Participates in Cardinals Reminisence League

By Art Holliday

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - When a group of St. Louis Cardinals fans get together, the conversation is easy because they have shared memories. That's the idea behind the Cardinals Reminiscence League: sharing memories to preserve memories. Their guest speaker this month was Bill Rogers, President of the St. Louis Browns Fan Club. "While the Browns have been gone a long time, this group remembered quite a bit about the Browns players," according to Rogers. "The Browns Historical Society is pleased to offer support and participate in their programs."

Just like a baseball game, the Cardinals Reminiscence League begins with the national anthem. A difficult song is even more of a challenge for people with Alzheimer's; not everyone remembers the words. Twice a month at the Alzheimer's Association office, the Cardinals Reminiscence League meets. The participants have two things in common: love of baseball and early stage Alzheimer's disease. The program is inspired by a dementia support group in Scotland. Reminiscence therapy has several benefits. It improves memory and mood. It improves communication. And it gives the league participants a purpose, gathering every other week to talk about baseball memories.

Jim Muskopf is a regular at the twice monthly meetings.

"I have to be active. My lifestyle is been that way so many years," he said
The 69-year-old Muskopf was the director of graduate studies at Fontbonne University until retiring in 2011. He and his wife Ruth realized things were not right. It wasn't a total surprise that Muskopf has Alzheimer's because his mother had it.

"He knows he's got the disease," said Ruth Muskopf about her husband. "And he knows from his experience with his mother what's possible down the road. But being here and sharing with the other people it's like everybody's normal. They're all talking and doing the same thing and you forget about the Alzheimer's."

"It really is a very good way to trigger remembering and get people talking about something that they can all mutually remember," said Morley. "In St. Louis, the Cardinals belong to everyone. It makes people happy, not only the participants, but the caregivers, who get to see a loved one really excited about something." 

Click the link below to view Art Holliday's report.

To participate or volunteer for the Cardinals Reminiscence League visit

Major League Baseball Relocation of the 1950s - 1960s

Major League Baseball