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 Edward Carl “Eddie” Gaedel

Edward Carl “Eddie” Gaedel

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 18 Jun 1961 (aged 36)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Evergreen Park, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Plot Section G, Lot X-363B, Grave NW
Memorial ID 2915 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Figure. Known as "Eddie," at 3 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 65 pounds, he is remembered as the shortest person to have ever played Major League Baseball and is one of only five players who drew a walk in their first and only plate appearance without ever playing the field. He was born with the medical condition dwarfism. Prior to his baseball fame, he worked as a riveter for the aircraft industry during World War II. Following the war, he was an actor who was hired in 1946 as a promotional mascot for Mercury Records to portray the "Mercury Man." On August 17, 1951 he was secretly signed by St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck, who was known for his publicity stunts, and assigned the number 1/8 on the back of his uniform. Two days later, he enter the second game of a doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri, leading off as a pinch hitter for Frank Saucier in the bottom of the first inning. Facing pitcher Bob Cain, he was directed not to lift the bat off of his shoulder, walked on four straight pitches, and was replaced at first base by pinch runner Jim Desling. The following day, his contract was voided by American League president Will Harridge. He went on to appear on a number of television shows and Bill Veeck continued to employ him in other non-playing baseball promotions over the next ten years. In 1961 Veeck (who was then owner of the Chicago White Sox) hired him, along with other dwarfs, as stadium vendors. Plagued with alcoholism during his adult life, he was known for getting into fights. He died from a heart attack at the age of 36 following a savage assault. His uniform is on display at the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 14 May 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2915
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Edward Carl “Eddie” Gaedel (8 Jun 1925–18 Jun 1961), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2915, citing Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery and Mausoleum, Evergreen Park, Cook County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .