Eclectic Sports Collection


Extent: 500 videotapes

Dates: 1959–2012

Description: Atypical documentation of the world of sports, featuring the wackiest and most interesting characters in sports of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The unique collection includes personal portraits and camera original videos of dozens of characters. They include Doug Atkins, Dick “the Bruiser” Afflis, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, Larry Doby, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, Charles O. Finley, Minnesota Fats, Orestes “Minnie” Minoso, Floyd Patterson, and many more.

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Bill Veeck Collection

Extent: 300 videotapes

Dates: 1959–1986

Description: Camera original videotapes and programs documenting the life and career of baseball innovator Bill Veeck. Veeck is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and was a central character in Chicago and national sports. A showman, he was known for his dramatic and fan-pleasing publicity stunts, including the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park. As a child, Veeck planted the ivy that now famously covers Wrigley Field’s walls. The videotapes begin with his memorable stint as owner of the St. Louis Browns in the 1950s and end with extensive coverage of Veeck’s last few years before his death in 1986. Together, the videotapes are a fascinating account of this singular individual, pre-corporate baseball history, and the origins of the sports entertainment business. It is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Veeck videos anywhere.



Once A Star Collection

Extent: 100 videotapes

Dates: 1985–1986

Description: The Once a Star series documented a few dozen former professional athletes decades after their careers had ended. The collection contains the three hour-long TV specials, as well as the camera original footage. The tapes provide insights into class, race, the culture of sports and entertainment, and the “American dream.” Virtually all of the players featured had to work for a living following their athletic careers, and many had trouble dealing with the life of obscurity after leaving the public eye. Subjects include eccentric Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, female jockey Robyn Smith, pool legend Minnesota Fats, boxer Floyd Patterson, and wrestler Dick “The Bruiser” Afflis.



Time Out Collection

Extent: 50 videotapes

Dates: 1984–1985

Description: All 50 episodes of the two-time Emmy winning weekly sports broadcast on WTTW. Bill Veeck was a weekly commentator at the in-studio bar. John Mengelt, Fran Spielman, Kenny McReynolds, John Schulian, Gary Fencik, and Rick Telander were featured performers.



White Sox Collection

Extent: 50 videotapes

Dates: 1959–2012

Description: Highlights include camera originals for Inside Spring Training, a trip with the Sox down to Sarasota, FL for spring training.



Cubs Collection

Extent: 50 videotapes

Dates: 1945–1984

Description: Including Bill Veeck in the bleachers at Wrigley, Harry Caray, and inside the Cubs scoreboard.