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Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck Paperback – April 7, 2001


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Frequently Bought Together

Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck + The Hustler's Handbook + Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (April 7, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226852180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226852188
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Opening with the answer to a trivia question—Eddie Gaedel was the 3’7” player who took exactly one at-bat for the St. Louis Browns in the second game of a 1951 doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers (the pitcher, unable to locate the strike zone, gave up a base on balls)—this sports classic finds the subject providing color commentary to his own colorful career as a daring, innovative team owner and promoter in major league baseball. Though his most notorious years were still to come (where, with the Chicago White Sox, he introduced the exploding scoreboard, added names to the uniforms, enticed Harry Caray to sing the seventh-inning stretch, and presided over radio-jock Steve Dahl’s disastrous Disco Demolition Night, events mentioned in cowriter Linn’s afterword), there’s still more than enough inspired lunacy to keep readers’ attention. Linn captures the flavor of his subject’s speech in a first-person narrative that makes the reader feel as though he or she is sitting in Veeck’s office, where the door was always open, enjoying a strong beverage while the raconteur calls the tune. A fine portrait of days long past, when a strong-willed, one-legged showman could make a lasting impression on what has today become a much more corporate pastime. --Keir Graff

From the Inside Flap

Bill Veeck was an inspired team builder, a consummate showman, and one of the greatest baseball men ever involved in the game. His autobiography, written with the talented sportswriter Ed Linn, is an uproarious book packed with baseball history and some of the most entertaining stories in all of sports literature.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I read this book when I was thirteen, and read it again twenty years later.
Mike Dowling
Veeck is also very entertaining in describing his relationships with some great characters of the game.
Daniel B. Adams
Anyone, young or old, new to baseball or a grizzled fan, should read this book.
C. Jordan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. K. Kelley on July 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
The book takes you through the career of Bill Veeck, owner and operator of many baseball teams over a fifty-year period. If you truly love baseball, you want to read it.
Why? Easy enough--Bill loved baseball, so much so that he never sat in fancy box seats at games but preferred to join the fans in the bleachers. He is hilarious, as in sidesplitting; he has many stories to tell about the funnier incidents he's been involved in. And when you run a team Veeck style, you have a lot of funny incidents.
But the book is not just a compilation of Veeck buffoonery; he has strong feelings on many topics and expresses them with clarity and frankness. There are tributes to magnificent performances and courageous actions throughout the book. When you finish it, if you love the game, you wish only that you could have been an office staff person or groundskeeper following Bill through his career. You could never possibly have been bored (or made much money).
This book is in the class of _Ball Four_--a defining work that gives real insight into real baseball. To read it is to delight in the game.
As a partner, enough credit is not given Ed Linn. I don't know how Ed does it, but any book written with him will be entertaining, well written, and will above all preserve the main figure's personal style. I believe it is Ed's talent that takes the reminisces of sports figures and makes them a good read, and this deserves your appreciation and respect.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Miller VINE VOICE on September 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The two things you need to know before you buy "Veeck -- As In Wreck" -- and you will buy this book, you must, if you've ever bought any professional sports bio before -- are the names Veeck and Linn.
Bill Veeck you know from reputation -- the wacky promoter who invented everything from Ladies' Day to Disco Demolition Night. The man owned several baseball franchises (including the Chicago White Sox twice, for some reason), and was known as a both a promotional genius and a shrewd financier.
As for Ed Linn... well, Linn was also the ghostwriter for another fantastic, edgy, opinionated baseball book, Leo Durocher's "Nice Guys Finish Last". Not surprisingly, "Veeck" reads a lot like the Durocher tome (and it came first, too!). On every page here you'll find a funny anecdote, a scary bit of prescience, and a unique look at an otherwise-beloved icon. With Veeck's memory and Linn's acid pen, this book is quite hard to put down. Or to pick up, for that matter.
Sports bios tend to hold back these days, let's face it. They're not as long and not as insightful as the Linn books. And the gift of time has helped ripen these pages. When Veeck talks about baseball's financial need to institute interleague play -- writing from 1961 -- you know this man saw around a few decades' worth of corners. When he takes the Yankees to task for failing to capitalize on Roger Maris's pursuit of the Babe Ruth home run record, and notes that it was a once-in-a-lifetime event, he's right -- so baseball got it right in '98, when McGwire came to town, and when the record fell yet again in '01, hardly anyone noticed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Command on August 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful slice of baseball history as seen from the consumate maverick of baseball. Veeck takes you on a journey from his beginnings listenning to John McGraw and his dad William Veeck Sr. shoot the breeze about baseball up until his purchase of the White Sox for the second time in 1975. Along the way you are introduced to those you may have never knew (Gene Bearden and Harry Grabiner), those you always knew (Eddie Gaedel, Satchel Paige and Lou Boudreau) and those you though you knew (Ford Frick, Del Webb and Charles Comiskey). The chapters about Veeck's ownership of the St. Louis Browns and baseball's fight about its disposition are alone worth the price of the book. I'd give the book five stars because it is well written and entertaining, but I suspect some of his stories are embellished in his favor. But you have to expect that in any autobiography. So many of today's ideas have Veeck written all over them, most notably interleague play and exploding scoreboards. One final note: keep a baseball encyclodedia next to you when you read this one. It comes in handy when the obscure names come flying, and if you feel "ole Willie" is telling a tall one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Richardson on January 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Veeck - As In Wreck is the wild and wonderful autobiography of baseball club owner Bill Veeck. Mr. Veeck, who has been enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame, was of a rare breed: a baseball owner who actually had a clue. Of course, that meant that during his life he was a pariah among owners. The book covers his life from childhood to the first time he sold the Chicago White Sox, in the early 1960s. It's loaded with screamingly funny anecdotes. And although the book was co-authored with Ed Linn, Veeck could have written the book by himself: he was quite literate, and the book is strewn with literary and cultural references. It's a joy to read, and re-read. I can't say enough good things about it.
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