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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Short subject

     September 18, 1905 -- Now here's a great and relatively unknown baseball story.

     Eddie Gaedel might be the most famous midget ever to appear in a professional baseball game. St. Louis Browns' owner Bill Veeck signed him to a contract in 1951, and sent him up to the plate for an at-bat. Gaedel drew a walk and left the game for a pinch-runner.

     He was not the first nor the most successful person of his size to play professional baseball. That distinction actually belongs to a Buffalo Bison.

     Jerry Sullivan was an actor in a play called "Simple Simon Simple," but starred in this particular performance. He turned up in Baltimore in a Buffalo uniform for an Eastern League game. With the Bisons losing, 10-2, in the top of the ninth inning, Sullivan strolled to the plate with manager George Stallings; the two had met at a hotel the night before. The Orioles manager, Hugh Jennings, didn't object, and neither did plate umpire Charlie Simmer. Sullivan stepped in against Baltimore pitcher Fred Burchell.

     On a 1-0 pitch, Sullivan took a swing at a lobbed offering ... and looped a single to left.  He eventually came around to score, finishing with a head-first slide.

     The Bisons lost the game, 10-6, but Sullivan has a 1.000 batting average for eternity.

--- Budd Bailey

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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