Saints Owner/President, Mike Veeck, To Be Honored By South Carolina Hall of Fame With Willie Jeffries Ambassador For Sports AwardST. PAUL, MN April 29, 2014
SAINTS OWNER/PRESIDENT, MIKE VEECK, TO BE HONORED BY SOUTH CAROLINA HALL OF FAME WITH WILLIE JEFFRIES AMBASSADOR FOR SPORTS AWARD
ST. PAUL, MN (April 30, 2014) – His footprint is all over the baseball world. From humorous promotions, to crazy giveaways, to the smiles his teams have brought to families across the country, St. Paul Saints Owner and President Mike Veeck continues to leave his mark. The South Carolina Hall of Fame is recognizing Veeck with the prestigious Willie Jeffries Ambassador for Sports Award at their 54th Annual banquet and induction ceremony on May 12 at the Columbia Metro Convention Center.
The event will honor a number of recognizable names and contributors in the world of sports. Dawn Staley, South Carolina Women’s Basketball Coach and three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, will receive the Special Achievement Award; former Gamecocks basketball player, Dennis Powell, will receive the third annual Dom Fusci Leadership in Action Award; Billy D’Andrea of Clemson University will be recognized with the Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award; and the longtime face of WIS-TV Sports in Columbia, Rick Henry, will be bestowed with the fourth annual Herman Helms Media Excellence Award.
Those five honorees will be distinguished along with the new inductees of the SCAHoF Class of 2014 which include futures NFL Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins and quarterback Rodney Williams of Clemson, and basketball scorer Zam Frederick and pitcher Randy Martz from the University of South Carolina. Also being enshrined are S.C. State football standout Edwin Bailey; Olympian Monique Hennagan of Columbia; state golf legend Happ Lathrop; and Newberry basketball standout Carl Short.
It is a name synonymous with fun at the ballpark. Veeck continues to blaze new trails every baseball season. After all, who else would hire a dog or pig to deliver baseballs to the umpire, a Roman Catholic nun to give massages, mimes to perform instant replays or lock fans out of the stadium to set an all-time attendance record for fewest people at a game.
The Veeck family started in baseball nearly a century ago when Veeck’s grandfather was president of the Chicago Cubs. Veeck’s father, Bill, was a Hall of Fame owner with the St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and the then-minor league Milwaukee Brewers. Famous for so many occurrences at the ballpark, Bill Veeck will always be remembered for signing Larry Doby, the first black man to play in the American League and for sending 3 foot, 6 inch Eddie Gaedel to the plate for the Browns in a 1951 game against Detroit. It is with the belief that anything is possible and no idea too silly that Veeck operates his ballclubs.
Veeck is the part owner of four baseball teams including the St. Paul Saints. He has served to put fun back into baseball while proving his ideas are not specific to sport. In 1993 he put the Saints on the baseball world map with his innovative ideas, forward thinking and all-around care free style. The Saints have been lauded by local and national media for their creative promotional style. Last season’s Umpireless Game and this season’s Three-Way at Midway, the XXXhibition game have garnered attention on all levels. The team has made a name for itself with promotions such as Bud Selig/Donald Fehr seat cushions, Loveboat Giveaway, the bobblefoot, Michael Vick Chew Toy, Bud Selig ties and countless others.
In 2005, Veeck authored the book "Fun Is Good," which describes how this simple philosophy leads to success in any business. He has taken his "Fun Is Good" mentality and helped his teams reach attendance and customer service milestones, while receiving national publicity for innovative promotions and the injections of fun into business.
In addition, Veeck is a Visiting Professor in The Citadel's Health, Exercise and Sport Science Department and teaches six semester hours.