“He was the nicest man I’ve ever met. I guess that’s going out of style talking about your parents that way but, he was.”
When legendary ball club owner, Bill Veeck Jr., was being posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991, his wife Mary Frances spoke of some of Veeck’s professional commandments. Among them, “in your hiring be color-blind, gender-blind, age-and-experience blind.” For Veeck, everyone held the potential to teach him something.
Famous for his wild and sensational promotional innovations in baseball, Veeck was above all else a thoughtful and open-minded person who loved baseball. In this, he took after his father, William Veeck, Sr. The younger Veeck spoke often of the lessons his father had taught him, how he never wanted to disappoint him, and his unfailing kindness.
The elder Veeck was president of the Cubs, which means Bill literally grew up at Wrigley Field, and began working as a vendor as soon as he was old enough. In this video from the 1985 documentary Veeck: A Man For Any Season, Veeck recounts a lesson his father taught him at Wrigley one day, before heading home after a double header.
“My daddy taught me a wonderful lesson. A very important lesson.”
Watch the full documentary, Veeck: A Man For Any Season, at mediaburn.org.