Delsing, 10-year MLB veteran, dies at 80

Updated: May 9, 2006, 4:11 PM ET
Associated Press

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. -- Former St. Louis Browns outfielder Jim Delsing, best known as the pinch-runner for midget Eddie Gaedel in one of baseball's most unusual spectacles, has died. He was 80.

Delsing, who played 10 seasons in the major leagues, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Chesterfield. There was a Mass for him Monday.

On Aug. 19, 1951, the lowly Browns were playing a doubleheader against Detroit when maverick St. Louis owner Bill Veeck had Gaedel sent in to hit in the second game. After Tigers pitcher Bob Cain walked Gaedel on four pitches, Browns manager Zack Taylor sent Delsing in to pinch run.

Delsing, born in Rudolph, Wis., signed a professional contract at age 16 in 1942 with Green Bay of the Wisconsin State League. After five seasons in the minor leagues, Delsing played 20 games for the Chicago White Sox in 1948, then was traded to the New York Yankees in 1949.

He was traded to the Browns on June 15, 1950. He played 69 games for the Browns and was sent to Detroit in 1952.

Delsing hit .255 with 40 career home runs and 286 RBI.

After retirement, Delsing worked for more than 30 years with the St. Louis Review and was active in numerous Catholic charities. Delsing donated his body to Washington University Medical School.

Delsing's son, Jay, is a professional golfer and his grandson, pro soccer star Taylor Twellman, was the MVP in the MLS last season.

He was survived by his wife, Roseanne; three daughters, Jamie Delsing of New Orleans, Kim Delsing of Chicago and Moochie Twellman of St. Louis; two sons, Jay of St. Louis and Bart Delsing of Boca Raton, Fla.; and 10 grandchildren.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press