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Los Angeles, CA--"Bill Veeck's Indians had a 3-1 lead in the World Series, and played the deciding game 5 in Cleveland. There were 86,288 paid in attendance--at that point the largest crowd in the history of organized baseball. "Veeck's oldest son, Will Jr., was 11 years-old and lived with his mother and two siblings, but Bill Veeck brought him to the park to watch the game. "At the game Bill turned to his son and said 'Isn't this great? Did you ever see such a tremendous crowd? Did you ever see anything in your life like this?' "Bill Veeck's 11 year-old son replied: "'How come you couldn't have been a scientist or something I could have been proud of?'" Nine U.S. states and the British territory of Bermuda have declared April 25 "Parental Alienation Awareness Day." To learn more, visit www.Parental-Alienation-Awareness.com. Below is a Parental Alienation story from the 1940s which illustrates the problem very well. Parental Alienation & Bill Veeck One of my father's favorite people is Bill Veeck. Veeck was a 1940/50s baseball owner known for his important role in desegregating baseball, as well as his flamboyant publicity stunts. Veeck signed Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League. Some sources say he attempted to integrate the major leagues as early as 1943 but was thwarted by league officials. Recently I was reading Veeck's 1962 autobiography Veeck as in Wreck, and Veeck mentions something in passing which I find very interesting. Veeck's wife divorced him, in part because she "didn't like the people Veeck associated with"--baseball men and journalists. Unlike other owners, Veeck was not a rich man and had no independent fortune, so when his wife divorced him he was forced to sell the Cleveland Indians--who he had built into a championship team--in order to pay her divorce settlement. I don't want to blame her--Veeck may well have been over-involved in his work, as men sometimes are, and Ms. Veeck needed money to raise their three kids. Nonetheless, there is something Veeck mentions in passing in his book which is extremely sad and revealing. His wife and he had split up, and she nixed an attempted reconciliation. Always a fan favorite, in 1948 Veeck was the toast of Cleveland as his Indians had won the American League pennant for the first time in three decades. Veeck's Indians had a 3-1 lead in the World Series, and played the deciding game 5 in Cleveland. There were 86,288 paid in attendance--at that point the largest crowd in the history of organized baseball. Veeck's oldest son, Will Jr., was 11 years-old and lived with his mother and two siblings, but Bill Veeck brought him to the park to watch the game. At the game Bill turned to his son and said "Isn't this great? Did you ever see such a tremendous crowd? Did you ever see anything in your life like this?" Bill Veeck's 11 year-old son replied: "How come you couldn't have been a scientist or something I could have been proud of?" What an extremely unusual reaction for an 11 year-old boy in that situation. I wonder who taught him how to think like that? Veeck writes that his son later went to MIT and became a teacher, and that "I'm an admirer of his, unfortunately from a distance." Veeck was one of the most adored and popular figures in all of baseball history--any idea why his son would be so hostile to him?

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