You Couldn’t Hold Eddie Gaedel’s Jock!

Eddie Gaedel[e] has gotten a decent number of mentions at the FanGraphs subsidiaries and elsewhere. As I noted last week, poet and biographer Tom Clark has a long poem about him.

I am not here to weigh in on whether rostering little people constitutes a demeaning gimmick or is the answer to a market inefficiency in baseball.

Instead, I am here to offer you an opportunity to hold Eddie Gaedel’s real life game-worn jockstrap.[1] You need only travel to the Baseball Reliquary in Monrovia, California where it is safely housed.

Smell it.

If you are not familiar with the Baseball Reliquary, you should become so. “The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities.” (Per their homepage.)

The items that the Reliquary houses are strange, to say the least; Mr. Gaedel’s jock, “which was retrieved from the shower room floor at Sportsman’s Park . . . [and] donated to the Reliquary by the Veeck family,” is rank among them (pun intended). They also have Dock Ellis‘s hair curlers and perm rods from 1973 and a replication of Mordecai Brown‘s amputated forefinger. Oh! the delights are endless.

The Baseball Reliquary includes what they call The Shrine of the Eternals, which is like a Hall of Fame for baseball’s misfits and cultural hobos. For instance, in 2009 members of the Reliquary elected Steve Dalkowski to the Shrine — he’s the career minor leaguer that the character Nook LaLoosh in Bull Durham was based on.

Seriously, I really wanna go to there. When I do, I’ma see if I can smuggle out some of their Mother Theresa baseballs.

Stocking stuffers — for the Roman Catholic baseball fan in your life.

Photos by Larry Goren, via the Baseball Reliquary.

[1] I don’t think that you can actually hold the jockstrap, but you never know — maybe if you ask them nicely . . .

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I want to go to there.