[Chicago Slices raw: 16 Inch Softball #1]

Raw footage for "Chicago Slices," a series about everyday life in Chicago. In this video, we go to Mount Prospect to watch a 16-inch softball game played by "The Rabbits," a nationally competitive team headed by Wally Peck. During the game, videomaker Doug Sawyer interviews Peck and a few other members of the crew, and captures the Rabbits' loss to the Splinters.

00:00Copy video clip URL On the softball field, the Rabbits warm up for their game against the Splinters.

01:22Copy video clip URL A few of the team members introduce themselves and huddle up, motivating each other with shouts like, “C’mon!” “Let’s go!” and “Big game!” Jim Kelly, coach, reads the batting order and they break, moving to the field to take their positions.

03:50Copy video clip URL The game begins with an opening pitch. The game is taped from directly behind the home plate umpire.

07:40Copy video clip URL End of the top of the first inning. The Rabbits huddle up on the side of the field.

12:32Copy video clip URL A brief conversation with a sponsor for the opposing team is taped.

13:53Copy video clip URL Bucky Hickey, a player for the Rabbits, predicts a low scoring game: “Everybody’s a big hitter until you get out here.” Hickey talks with one of the coaches about the hole between second base and the shortstop.

15:18Copy video clip URL Splinters third base coach predicts a low scoring game, as well.

21:12Copy video clip URL Peck offers a short explanation for how they got to be down four runs at this point in the game. He takes the blame for walking the first runner and allowing them to open up their hitting, saying he feels bad about it but is confident that they’ll bounce back.

26:33Copy video clip URL Sawyer asks Jim Kelly about how they came up with Rabbits as their mascot. He defers to Peck to answer that question. A few moments later Peck explains that he used to play for “Lettuce Entertain You” and they had a falling out, so he started his own team, and decided to call them the Rabbits because rabbits eat lettuce.

28:54Copy video clip URL Peck says that he owns a cash register company in Lincolnwood, and talks about the other players and their occupations. Then Larry, the third base coach, talks about his work and says that they are all playing softball because they’re competitive people. He says that he’s been playing since he was 18, and has managed to play all these years despite his family responsibilities.

33:22Copy video clip URL Peck returns and finishes talking about the guys on the team. He says they play about four games a week, totaling about 100 games in a year. He excuses himself, and then comes back to introduce the shortstop, Jeff Flood, who has a shoulder injury. Flood says, “We’ll be there in the nationals, that’s what I’ll say,” and walks away.

36:25Copy video clip URL Coach Jim Kelly has a few choice words to say to the umpire, who threatens to kick him out of the game if he can’t speak without obscenities. “I didn’t pay four tolls to come out here and shoot the shit. C’mon, get in the game. You ain’t got a clue.”

41:20Copy video clip URL The Splinters coach also criticizes the umpire for calling a batter out on strikes. Sawyer walks out to the plate to approach the umpire, saying, “Seems like you can’t win, ump.” The umpire notices him, but ignores the comment.

42:20Copy video clip URL Another guy in the Rabbits dugout has nothing but positive things to say about Peck: that he knows the game inside and out and as a pitcher, he’s “next to none.” The Splinters owner says he’s only known Wally for four years, but says that he’s a great guy.

47:20Copy video clip URL The Rabbits get a player caught in a “pickle” to finish their last at bat, and head for their last chance to bat, down by five runs.

49:30Copy video clip URL The game finishes, and the teams shake hands. Peck says that this was a big game for them because a win would’ve put them in third place. He says that they have another game right away against the Turtles.

51:26Copy video clip URL Peck explains that this is the best league because the top six teams in this league are the top in the country, and the other four are in the top twenty. He says that they use gloves even though they’d prefer not to, in order to even things out for the weaker teams and to be able to play in national competition, since 16-inch softball is “our game” it wouldn’t be fair to the other teams who usually play with gloves. He and Kelly talk about how they chose their jersey numbers, and then Peck does a plug for their sponsor.

53:26Copy video clip URL Dan Flood, wearing number 99, says he chooses that number to be a clown, and then moons the camera to prove it. Peck introduces Bucky Hickey as the team jester.

54:50Copy video clip URL Hickey does some impersonations of team members, including Peck, and talks about his hair salon downtown and all the sports celebrities that they service.

56:50Copy video clip URL Dan Flood and his brother Jeff clown around in typical male locker room fashion. Flood gets Jack du Puma involved, as well.

58:41Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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