Aug 6, 2010

Minor league baseball team to recreate Eddie Gaedel at-bat

Darren Rovell reports:
One minor league team is intent on re-living Eddie Gaedel’s moment.

On Aug. 19, the independent River City Rascals will recreate the famous moment as part of its “Salute to Bill Veeck and St. Louis Baseball History Night.”

In honor of the 59th anniversary of the famous stunt where the St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck sent the 3-foot-7 little person to bat against the Detroit Tigers, the team says it has signed a person who is “barely over four feet” to re-enact the moment in the bottom of the first inning.

As an added touch, the small person the Rascals hired will wear a 1/8th jersey, just like Gaedel had worn that night.

Funderburg said that the team will give away 27 items, one for each out the opposing team makes, from 1951. The biggest prize is an authentic autograph of Frank Saucier, the man who Gaedel replaced that day.

The team says it has extended an invitation to St. Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt, who happened to be the bat boy for the game where Gaedel came to the plate.

Funderburg hopes the re-creation goes off without a hitch, but admits that he has no control over what the pitcher for the Oakland County Cruisers, the opposing team that night, does. Gaedel famously walked on four pitches that flew over his head.

Said Funderburg: “They agreed that they would work with us. But I’m still afraid they are going throw at him.”

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