Veeck as in wreck

July 24, 1991

Bill Veeck, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, was considered a master of promotion. But as Lee MacPhail knows, oil's not well that doesn't end well.

"This happened before I was American League president," MacPhail said. "I was general manager of the Orioles and Veeck, who was out of baseball at the time, was very close with our owner, Jerry Hoffberger. He kept telling Jerry we needed to do more promotions to beef up attendance. I kept deflecting all of Bill's ideas. But one day he convinced me we should give away an oil well to a fan. Well, we found some oil well in Mexico and gave it away in this big promotion. So we advertised this big night. We were giving away an oil well. The only problem was, it turned out to be dry, and the people who won turned around and sued us. That was the last Veeck promotion I tried."

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