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William Veeck, Chicago Cubs President 1919-1933

By bullpenbrian at 02.15.2013 Leave a comment.

“With Wrigley Field, you get a very elegant and high-quality simplicity, which never got dated.”
-Tim Samuelson, Chicago Historical Society

William Veeck Sr. was originally a sportswriter. He used the pseudonym “Bill Bailey” with the Chicago American to write a series of articles on how to fix the woeful Chicago Cubs. It grabbed the attention of Cubs owner William Wrigley, who then hired Veeck to help run the team in 1918. By season’s end the Cubs were in the World Series, losing to Boston, and Veeck was promoted to the team president.

Veeck always stayed ahead of his time in professional baseball; promoting his idea for a Mid-Summer Classic and pushing for inter-league play. He was masterful at bucking traditional baseball operations, such as hiring Joe McCarthy, a career minor leaguer, to manage the Cubs. McCarthy was instrumental in leading Chicago to the 1929 World Series, which, in typical Cubs fashion, they lost to Philadelphia.

Veeck remained team president until his death in 1933, with the Cubs having won three pennants under his watch: 1918, 1929, 1932. His son Bill Veeck carried on the family tradition becoming a colorful owner of the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.


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