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Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick Unknown Binding – 2012


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Walker & Company; 1 edition (April 24, 2012) (2012)
  • ASIN: B008NWKFXE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Good book,fun read.
Rascal dog
I read a lot of baseball history but there are few books I've enjoyed as much as this biography of Bill Veeck by Paul Dickson.
MikeShatzkin
For Veeck, integration was in keeping with his love for the common man and his belief in equal justice.
Bookreporter

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
ARC provided by NetGalley

Bill Veeck. For baseball fans the name draws to mind instantly the ill fated Disco Night and Eddie Gaedel, the shortest player to ever bat in a MLB game. But there is so much more to the story and a debt that baseball fans the world over owe to Bill Veeck. He was so much more than baseball. He was an innovator, a free spirit, and an advocate for racial equality in a time when many baseball owners wanted nothing to do with it.

Relying on primary documents and more than a 100 interviews Paul Dickson builds a well crafted story that takes us on a journey through Bill's life. Paul begins with Bill Senior, Bill's father, to give us a sense of where the passion for baseball came from. Bill Senior was a self made man, with little education, but worked his way up to being president of the Chicago Cubs and Bill Jr. learned at his feet.

Working with his father Bill helped make Wrigley field the premier place to be, even introducing the famed ivy wall to the stadium. And that was just the start of his baseball career and a life well lived. He owned multiple teams, served in World War II--not as honorary member or stateside serving soldier, but in combat zones constantly asking to be sent to the front lines to help fight the war. He endured a leg injury that later led to amputation and multiple surgeries throughout his life that he endured without complaint. He signed the first black baseball player for the American League and pushed for racial equality throughout baseball. He walked with Martin Luther King Jr., he invented the exploding scoreboard, reached out to female fans and made them feel welcome, and even sat in the bleacher seats with the rest of the fans.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Engel on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Baseball's Greatest Maverick" is part sociology, part psychology, part history -- and all fascinating baseball about the game's most intuitive and clever owner. Even if you think you know about baseball and Bill Veeck, you will be surprised at the depth of research into the startling truths why baseball took so long to be integrated and other dinosaur-like behavior towards players and fans. If only Veeck's huge box of ideas had survived. Let's hope Mike Veeck inherited it.
Paul Dickson has done a beautiful job writing and deeply researching this engrossing tale of a true American icon. It is a study of a man of true character and conviction, whose unerring instincts put him on the fan's side, always. Buy this book!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Meysh in Ohio on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If the goal of a biography is to give a sense of the life as it was lived, then Paul Dickson's BILL VEECK is a grand success. Not only does it bring the great man to life (and demonstrate why he really was great), it puts him in the context of his own development and his own times. The famous -- or notorious -- events are put in proper perspective, and there's a wealth of wonderful "Who knew?" details. You don't need to be a baseball fan to be entertained and enlightened by Dickson's life of Bill Veeck, but if you are one, you need to get this book. And or if you know anyone in or from Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee, or Arizona (among other places), get it as a gift. They'll be amazed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill Emblom on May 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A solid five stars to author Paul Dickson who has done a masterful job in capturing the life of former baseball owner Bill Veeck. The liberal-minded Veeck enjoyed tweaking the nose of his fellow stuffed shirt conservative baseball owners who felt Veeck made a travesty of the game with his wild ideas. Veeck held the radical belief that nothing is owed to him as an owner, and it was his job to promote his product (namely the team) to encourage fans to come out to the ball park. To merely open the gates and expect the fans to come rushing up to the turnstiles was simply not enough. Veeck was criticized by his fraternity brother owners for holding, what they perceived as circus-like activities that detracted from the "dignity" of the game. Veeck realized that the best promotion is a winning team, but a winning team plus promotions to make the fans feel welcome and appreciated are an added incentive to bring fans out to the park.

Bill Veeck brought the Cleveland Indians its last World Championship in 1948 and signed Larry Doby, the first African-American in the American League. From there he moved to the hapless St. Louis Browns where he is best remembered for sending the midget Eddie Gaedel up to bat on August 19, 1951, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. Veeck's next stop was the Chicago White Sox where his Go-Go Sox won the 1959 American League pennant. He once again bought the Pale Hose in the 1970s which most likely prevented their moving to Seattle. He also spent time horsing around the Suffolk Downs race track in the Boston area.

Veeck was a man ahead of his times.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RM COHEN on April 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick by Paul Dickson is a Dickesonian delight! If you enjoyed Dickson's Baseball Is... and The Unwritten Rules of Baseball, this book will knock you out! Paul Dickson has written a deliciously entertaining book on the life of the most original and beguiling figure ever to grace the sport of baseball. It would behoove today's baseball executives and front office personnel to buy this book, read this book and then take a page out of it. Veeck can teach them... humanity.

As a student of Bill Veeck, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Veeck. I was wrong. This is not the usual Eddie Gaedel and Demolition Derby theatrics but baseball in the context of the history of our country as seen from the other side of the color bar. Paige, Landis, Doby, Robeson... the research is stunning! Paul Dickson brings us into the room with Veeck and pours us a cocktail!

Personally, I was most pleased to read about one of the greatest baseball scandals, (not called steroids), of the 20th Century. That being the sullying of Bill Veeck's good name. Dickson does a fine job unraveling the controversy brought up by some rather uneducated (dare I say, loathes) who in the name of celebrity and expediency called Bill Veeck, a liar. Dickson documents it all and let's it rip! Dickson shows us Veeck as he was, an unrepentant lover of life who derived great joy by making the baseball establishment - insane. Veeck did it with grace, brains, language and more integrity then we will ever hope to see again. Bill Veeck was indeed not only Baseball's Greatest Maverick, but the greatest maverick of all! Kudos to Paul Dickson for a job well-done!
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More About the Author

Paul Dickson is the author of more than 45 nonfiction books and hundreds of magazine articles. Although he has written on a variety of subjects from ice cream to kite flying to electronic warfare, he now concentrates on writing about the American language, baseball and 20th century history. His most recent titles include Drunk: The Definitive Drinker's Dictionary, The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, Sputnik: The Shock of the Century and Slang: A Topical Dictionary of Americanisms.

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