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  • [Commentary and poem by Bill Veeck #1]

    [Commentary and poem by Bill Veeck #1]

    Raw footage of Bill Veeck doing multiple takes of a commentary and a poem. Veeck seems to determine the general topics and trajectory of his speech and then improvises it on-camera. The first 13 minutes are takes of the commentary, and the last 4 minutes is one read-through of the poem. In the commentary, Veeck talks about the subtle differences in baseball today. He says the players don’t play as well (despite being bigger, faster, stronger, and more educated) because they don’t have the same training players used to get. Veeck values very much the apprenticeships in the minor leagues that used to be so common. They were fundamental, he thinks, because players would learn from their peers–other players who had played the majors for a decade and then moved back down–instead of managers or roving instructors. He says players today make mistakes due to their inexperience. In addition, the game has also suffered due to high player salaries. Veeck says this makes players unwilling to take risks with their “million dollar bodies.” Their attitude has changed: players act like prima donnas instead of just loving the game. The poem is called “Ode to an Agent” or “Advice to an Aging Client.” The poem mocks the aforementioned habit of players who put no heart or energy into the game in the name of business and money. Continue reading

  • [Poem and commentary by Bill Veeck #2]

    [Poem and commentary by Bill Veeck #2]

    Continuation of previous tape. First, Bill Veeck reads his poem “Ode to an Agent” or “Advice to an Aging Client” again. He seems downright jolly during this reading, compared to his cautious reading on the previous tape. After four minutes, Veeck starts more takes of his commentary, but has a number of false starts. He completes one good take and then the tape ends. Continue reading