Bill Veeck (William Louis Veeck, Jr.), 1914–86, American baseball executive, b. Chicago. The son of an owner of the Chicago Cubs, Veeck began his executive career with the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, then owned the Cleveland Indians (1947–49), St. Louis Browns (1951–53), and Chicago White Sox (1959–61, 1976–80) of the American League. He became famous for crowd-increasing gimmicks like the "exploding" scoreboard, assorted giveaways, and the appearance at bat of the midget Eddie Gaedel (1952). Veeck also integrated the American League by hiring Larry Doby in 1947, weeks after Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League.
See his Veeck—As in Wreck (with E. Linn; 1962, repr. 2001) and The Hustler's Handbook (with E. Linn; 1965, repr. 1989); biography by G. Eskenazi (1988).