Larry Doby, Eddie Gaedel and Disco Demolition Night: The legend of Bill Veeck
Bill Veeck passed away on Jan. 2, 1986, so today seems like an appropriate time to take a look back at his long career as an owner, showman and ardent fan of the game.
Veeck's promotions were outlandish -- from batting 3' 7" entertainer Eddie Gaedel during the 1951 season to having fans decide in-game strategies with placards and of course, Comiskey Park's Disco Demolition Night.
Along with being hailed as the "P.T. Barnum" of Major League Baseball, Veeck made groundbreaking contributions to the game. As owner of the Cleveland Indians in 1947, Veeck signed Larry Doby -- the first African-American player to appear in the American League. He then brought on Satchel Paige as the game's oldest rookie a year later.
In 1960, as owner of the White Sox, Veeck introduced the "exploding scoreboard" with post-homer fireworks and sound effects. He also added names to the back of his players' jerseys, a tradition now practiced by almost every team in baseball.
Oh, and Harry Caray singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame? Bill Veeck's idea.