July 9, 1932 |
|July 30, 1958, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 20, 1963, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||51|
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 spent 13 seasons in professional baseball. He was selected by the Washington Senators from the Tigers in the 1960 American League expansion draft (December 14, 1960). He played for the Tigers (1958–60; 1963), Senators (1961) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1962).
Veal attended Auburn University, where he played baseball and basketball. He threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 165 pounds (75 kg). He was the first player to come to bat in the history of the second modern (1961–71) Washington Senators franchise, now the Texas Rangers. On April 10, 1961, at Griffith Stadium, with President John F. Kennedy having thrown out the first ball, Veal led off the bottom of the first inning 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, then scored (along with Keough) on a Gene Woodling triple.
Veal was a very good defensive shortstop (.976), but his bat was somewhat weak. He had a lifetime average of .231, with 141 hits, 26 doubles, three triples, 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. His last year as an active player was 1964.
Other career highlights include:
- Four three-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 his only big-league 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; and
- Hit .333 (2-for-6) against Hall of Famer Whitey Ford.