Los Angeles became the younger Veeck's field of daydreams. He tried everything and everyone he could think of in the '50s to bring MLB to this coast, having been hired to explore such a move by William Wrigley's son Phil, who owned the L.A. Angels of the minors. Veeck already qualified as a near-pioneer, having integrated the American League in 1947 (with Larry Doby), so not only did he come close to beating Rickey to emancipation, he also came close to beating Walter O'Malley to baseball's virgin territory. Who knows? Chavez Ravine could have ended up with Vin Scully leading the fans in song plus an exploding scoreboard.
More and more, thanks to the Veecks, father and son, did baseball befriend opposite sexes and different races, young Bill heeding a lesson that all paying customers' cash was green. Innovations abounded under both Veecks, seeking mass appeal. Some were inspired. Some were absurd -- Max Patkin the clownish coach was one, and when the White Sox of the late '70s took the field in short clam-digger pants, everyone pretty much concurred that the far-out owner had gone too far.
Dickson's tome tells tales I had never heard, like the time former Sen. Eugene McCarthy's campaign asked Veeck if he'd permit the '76 presidential candidate to pinch-hit. Veeck thought it over and said no, a word he didn't use much. It didn't keep him from letting a 54-year-old Minnie Minoso suit up for the Sox or agreeing to son Mike's concept for a "Disco Demolition Night" in 1979, which led to a near-riot and the Sox's being forced to forfeit a game. Sometimes with a Veeck, you did have to accept a wreck.