3-Foot-7 Major Leaguer

Story by Mark Carlisle

"No. 1/8, Eddie Gaedal, batting for Saucier," the public address announcer declared to the crowd during the second game of a double-header between the St. Louis Browns and the Detroit Tigers April 19, 1951.

Browns' manager Biil Veeck was known for some wild antics, but this may have been one of his wildest. Veeck temporarily signed a 26-year-old stunt man named Eddie Gaedal, who stood all of 3-feet-7-inches tall. Gaedal was a little person, hence the number one-eighth.

Gaedal was sent up as St. Louis' first batter of the game. Veeck had ordered him not to swing at a single pitch, but he didn't need to. Gaedal's strike zone was so small that the pitcher walked him on four pitches.

No. 1/8 took his stroll to first base where he was replaced by a pinch runner. Gaedal bowed and doffed his cap to an amused crowd before returning to the dugout.

This was the only plate appearance of Gaedal's career, but he said, "For a minute, I felt like Babe Ruth."

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