More Than 1,000 Attend Memorial Service for Veeck

January 05, 1986

More than 1,000 people, including current and former baseball players, team owners and Chicago fans, attended a memorial service Saturday for former Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck.

Veeck, who also once owned the St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Indians, died Thursday of cardiac arrest at age 71.

"You are a prince in all the good senses of the word," the Rev. Thomas J. Fitzgerald said in his homily at the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle on the South Side. "You were without pretension, courageous, a Prince Valiant.

"You attacked life with courage and a good heart. You have overcome the world and deserve victory."

Among those in attendance were former Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley; Larry Doby, signed by Veeck as the first black player in the American League; Chicago Cubs President Dallas Green; Hall of Fame infielder Lou Boudreau; and former White Sox players Minnie Minoso and Ed Farmer.

Minoso attended the 45-minute memorial service in the stylized old-time uniform Veeck brought back in the late 1970s. Many fans had White Sox caps with them.

Also in attendance were White Sox Manager Tony LaRussa, White Sox outfielder Ron Kittle; former DePaul University basketball Coach Ray Meyer and Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

Also there were Jerry Reinsdorf, one of the partners who bought the White Sox from Veeck in 1981; former player and broadcaster Jimmy Piersall, and former boxing champion Tony Zale.

"He was a real human being," Fitzgerald said in his homily. "He delighted to be with other human beings.

"He moved as easily in the bleachers as in the Pump Room," he added, referring to a famous Chicago restuarant.

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