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1950s / Eddie Gaedel Midget Pinch Hitter
Probably my favorite sports story is the day a midget, Eddie Gaedel, batted in a major league game. The date was August 19, 1951. The lacklustre St. Louis Browns were hosting the Detroit Tigers in a Sunday doubleheader. Browns' owner Bill Veeck promised that anyone who bought a ticket would see a memorable sight. He was right. Gaedel, all 3'7" of him, took part in a brewery promotion between games. Gaedel, clad it a batboy's uniform bearing the number 1/8 and carrying a toy bat, made baseball history in the first inning of the second game when he batted for outfielder Frank Saucier. Bob Cain, the Detroit pitcher, nearly doubled over in laughter at the sight of Gaedel and walked him on four pitches--all of them high. Once Gaedel trotted down to first base he was replaced by pinch runner Jim Delsing. Gaedel's picture appeared in virtually every newspaper in North America the next day. That same day American League president Will Harridge banned midgets from baseball. Most of the players involved in the stunt relished their connection to it. Jim Delsing said, 'A lot of guys have hit 50 home runs in a season, but I'm the only guy who ever ran for a midget.'