- Tonya Harding Mini-Bat Night
- Labor Day, when pregnant women got in free
- Groundskeepers dragging the infield in drag
- Locking fans out of one park for five innings in order to set the record for lowest attendance
- Hiring mimes to act instant replay
- Letting 3-foot 7-inch Eddie Gaedel pinch hit in order to get a walk
- Hosting Grandstand Manager day - where the crowd decided on key on-field decisions
- Staging morning games for wartime third shift workers
- Introducing baseball's frist avant-garde uniform - a pullover top and bermuda shorts
Lost behind his stunts were some pioneering successes that have a legacy extending to today:
- the first American League owner to sign a black player Larry Doby
- the first to put player’s names on the backs of their jerseys so the fans could more easily identify them
- signed the oldest rookie - 42 year old Satchel Paige, a Negro league star
- the first to introduce the “exploding scoreboard,” a scoreboard with electronic effects that were unleashed when the home team hit a home run
- the first to do fan-appreciation nights
- a couple of world series to their name
- the first owner to hire Tony Larussa
- the designer and planter of Wrigley Field ivy
- intorducing the curtain call for people that made big plays or hit home runs
- singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the 7th Inning
In three years, he grew Clevelend's attendance from just over 500 thousand to 2.6 million
And now Hall of Famer Bill Veeck's 12 Commandments (and survivor of 33 surgeries), sounds like he would have fit into the most interesting part of Silicon Valley very easily :
1) Take your work very seriously. Give your all. Go for broke.
2) Never ever take yourself too seriously! He loved to paraphrase Shakespeare: "What fools we mortals be!"
3) Find your alter ego. A Rudie Schaffer, and bond with him for the rest of your professional life.
4) Surround yourself with similarly dedicated soul-mates of whom you can ask "why?" And "why not?" Naturally, they may ask the same of you! Never hire a coat-holder.
5) In your hiring be color-blind, gender-blind, age-and-experience blind. You never worked for Bill Veeck; you worked with him. Everyone was in it together and you were allowed to make a mistake every once in a while.
6) Attend every home game and never leave a game until the last "out." It's rude!
7) Answer all of your mail. You may learn something.
8) Listen and be available to your fans-customers. Again, you might learn something.
9) Enjoy and respect media members-the stimulation, the challenge. The "them-against-us" mentality should exist only between the teams on the field.
10) Create an aura in your city of operation, that you'd better be at the ballpark,
at the game lest you miss something exciting and unexpected. No offense to radio
and television, but at the ballpark you are a participant not just a spectator.
11) If you don't think a promotion is fun, don't do it. Don't ever put on something "for the masses." Never insult your fans. It was Ed Linn who summed up Bill's philosophy about "fun at the ole ballpark." "Every Day a Holiday and Every Fan a King" and-Queen, naturally.
12) Don't be so concerned with structured "photo ops" to preserve for some future viewing, that you miss the essence of what is happening at the moment. Instead, let things happen. Cherish the moment, commit it to memory. After all, the popular expression, "are we having fun yet?" was not manufactured out of whole cloth.
To think that some of the ideas and philosophies stemmed all the way back to the '40s and '50s - Veeck might have been the original viral marketer.