Coot Veal

Orville Inman "Coot" Veal (born July 9, 1932 in Sandersville, Georgia) is a former Major League Baseball shortstop. He was signed by the Detroit Tigers before the 1952 season, and later drafted by the Washington Senators from the Tigers in the 1960 American League expansion draft (December 14, 1960). He played for the Tigers (1958-1960, 1963), Senators (1961), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1962).

Veal was the first player to come to bat in modern Washington Senators history. On April 10, 1961, he led off the bottom of the 1st against Hall of Fame right-hander Early Wynn of the Chicago White Sox. He reached base on an infield single near third base, was advanced to second on a Marty Keough single to left, and then scored (along with Keough) on a Gene Woodling triple.

Other career highlights include:

  • four 3-hit games, with the most impressive being two singles and a double vs. the Washington Senators, all against All-Star right-hander Camilo Pascual (August 19, 1958)
  • hit a home run against All-Star left-hander Billy Pierce of the Chicago White Sox in front of 34,417 at Briggs Stadium (August 11, 1959)
  • hit a combined .500 (15-for-30) against All-Stars Johnny Antonelli, Bob Grim, Billy O'Dell, and Camilo Pascual
  • hit .333 (2-for-6) against Hall of Famer Whitey Ford

Veal was a very good defensive shortstop (.976), but his bat was somewhat weak. He had a lifetime average of .231, just one home run in 611 total at bats, and a slugging percentage of .288. He scored 75 runs and drove in 51 in his 247 big league games.

By Dean Hanley

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