Eddie Gaedel Has Company
Legendary baseball owner and promoter Bill Veeck's most brash move -- besides putting his son, Mike, in charge of Disco Demolition night for the White Sox in 1969 -- was to bring in a midget, Eddie Gaedel, for an at-bat when he owned the St. Louis Browns. It was an audacious attempt to get a man on base, and it worked so well that Gaedel was immediately banned from further competition.
Well, a minor league team in York, Penn. is copying Veeck's act, except their little man insists he can play. According to a pair of pieces from the York Daily Record last week, 3-foot-2 Dave Flood isn't just hanging around the York Revolution clubhouse for a cameo. He expects to be a part of the team and get pinch-hitting at-bats.
"Just call me Dave," Flood said. "I'm not little, I'm short. There's a difference."
For now, Flood is still at the team's training camp, though there's every reason to believe that he might get a legitimate look at cracking the Opening Day roster, if only to pinch hit ... without hitting. Flood admits that his role will consist entirely of trying to earn walks since, as he puts it,
"If I hit it, I have to run, and I'm not too big on that."
One of Flood's prospective teammates, a former Red Sox AA prospect named Dave Gassner, told the Daily Record that Flood presents unique problems, just like Gaedel before him.
"Basically you just throw fastballs and paint (the plate), because I don't think he's going to swing," Gassner said. "For the most part, it's going to be difficult to throw strikes. And it's going to be difficult for the umpire to get down that low to make the call."
That's right, the umpire is going to have a hard time bending down low enough to make calls. If that isn't a once-in-a-career dilemma for an ump, well, it's hard to think of what is.
And what happens if things don't work out for Flood with the Revolution? Well, he can probably go back to his prior job, where he's spent the past 11 years as "Dave the Dwarf," a radio personality on the MJ Morning Show on Florida FM station FLZ 93.3. That can't be the worst life either, can it?
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