[Once A Star raw: Charlie Finley #2a]

This tape is comprised a Q&A session segment with famed Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley, as well as some b-roll from around his barn-turned-house. Seated in his living room, Finley addresses controversial topics like the Designated Hitter Rule, the use of drugs in baseball, and the changes he believes will take place in the upcoming years. With b-roll from inside Finley's house, he explains the rare and antique items that adorn it and shows off some of the house's more unique features.

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.

00:10Copy video clip URL Charlie Finley, mid-story, tells the audience of teens seated in his living room about how former MLB Commissioner Bowie Kuhn cancelled a deal of his, costing him $3.5 million.

00:25Copy video clip URL An audience member asks Finley to share his thoughts on the Designated Hitter rule, being a former owner of a Major League Baseball team. Finley claims to have come up with the rule, saying that he promoted the DH rule in an attempt to balance the offensive and defensive aspects of the game. Because pitchers typically hit so poorly, Finley says that the DH rule allowed for the game to be faster-paced and more interesting. He goes on to talk about the quarrels between the American League and the National League in baseball, saying that the National League is less likely to embrace the DH rule. Because of this split, Finley expresses his opinion that either both leagues should embrace the rule, or the rule should not be applied at all.

01:55Copy video clip URL An audience member asks Finley about a certain player (inaudible) taking drugs off the field. Finley answers by saying that the player was taking ‘pep pills’, which he believes are a stepping stone to drugs. Finley goes on to explain his abhorrence of drugs, calling them the “worst thing in the world”, and stating, “If you want to commit a murder, just go take a drug.”

03:00Copy video clip URL Another member of the audience asks Finley a question about high salaries for players, inquiring about Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson’s worth at the present time. Finley calls Jackson “over the hill”, saying that his ability to draw a crowd is the reason that he is still playing. “When [Jackson] strikes out, he strikes out beautifully . . . and he knows it.”

03:52Copy video clip URL Finley is asked about the discussions concerning changing the World Series to 9 games instead of 7. He purports that 9 games would exhaust not only the players, but the fans as well.

05:05Copy video clip URL An audience member asks Finley whether he believes that Major League Baseball is in for a great deal of changes, due to the controversy and media attention it’s been getting of late. Finley predicts that within the next five years, the fans will see many changes to the way the game is played and broadcast. These changes, however, he says, will help the sport and allow for it to adjust.

06:02Copy video clip URL When asked whether he believes that many baseball teams will need to be bought out due to bankruptcy and high salaries for players, Finley says that he is afraid that it will happen not only to baseball, but to football, too. “You can bankrupt yourself by taking out more than you’re putting in.”

06:31Copy video clip URL When asked about his opinion on Wrigley Field’s refusal to install lights for night games, Finley regards it positively. “It’s a great thing for the Chicago Cubs to play all of their games in the daytime.” Playing all of their games during the day, Finley says, allows for Cubs fans to watch the baseball game, have dinner in the city, and drive home before it gets dark. He then goes on to talk about the poor parking situation that Cubs fans may find themselves in, were   they to make it into the playoffs or World Series. “If the  Cubs ever got into the playoffs or world series, you could bet your life that the fans would park their car a mile, two miles away from the ballpark, just to get to the ballpark.”

09:16Copy video clip URL B-roll of a stained-glass portrait of Reggie Jackson in an Oakland A’s uniform, mid-swing, with a hockey player and a basketball player on either side. The bottom logo reads, “The Swingin’ A’s”.

09:51Copy video clip URL B-roll of stained-glass portraits of “Charlie O.”, both the mascot (a donkey with “Charlie O.” embroidered on a blanket on its back) and of Finley himself.

10:22Copy video clip URL With the camera under-exposed, Finley explains the stained-glass window portraits, at which time the color bars come back on the screen. Finley states that the first portrait of “The Swingin’ A’s” shows Reggie Jackson on the Oakland A’s, a member of the Oakland Seals hockey team, and a player on the Memphis Tams ABA basketball team, all of which he owned at the same time. “As I was telling the youngsters . . . if you’re in one sport today, you’ve just about got to be an idiot  but to be in three of them at the same time, you’ve really got to be a triple idiot!”

12:15Copy video clip URL Color bars fade, giving way to a shot of Finley’s stage area, where he states that all all of the entertainment and live music happens. He tells about when musician Wayne Newton came out and performed on his stage, saying that all it costed him was “a little cheese and beer!” Finley then points out a small bar next to the stage called “Charlie O’s Bar,” and a fireplace which he explains is made out of solid copper.

13:40Copy video clip URL Finley points out a large clock hanging in the barn, which he found in Chicago in the top floor of the Water tower.

14:17Copy video clip URL “I’d like to take you back to what we call ‘Charlie O’s Roost,'” Finley says, walking into the master bedroom.

14:55Copy video clip URL Finley steps into the bedroom, pointing out his England-imported steel and copper bed, mirror and bedroom clock. He remarks that in England, his bedroom set is called ‘Early English Furniture’  in the same way that Americans may refer to ‘Early American Furniture’.  He then wanders over to a table where he shows off an antique wash bowl and chamber pot.

15:48Copy video clip URL Finley explains that the bedroom is a loft, as the camera pans and tilts down to the living room, dining room and kitchen downstairs.

16:16Copy video clip URL A shot from the inside of the house of the stained-glass portrait of Finley on the cover of Time Magazine, as he states that the magazine came out on August 18th, 1975. The camera then pans over to two antique pitchforks hanging on the wall. When asked whether Finley ever thought in his younger years that he would one day be on the cover of Time, he replies, “No way. No way,” going on to say that it was not only a great thrill, but a tremendous honor for him.

17:47Copy video clip URL  A shot of an old grandfather clock in Finley’s bedroom.

18:09Copy video clip URL Finley, looking down from his loft bedroom, tells about how he completed the barn 3 years previous, taking year and a half to build. The wood that was used to build it, he says, came from nine separate barns, all of which ranged from 80-152 years old.

18:52Copy video clip URL Finley heads up a spiral staircase into his “press box”. After he ascends the stairs, he calls the room, “the only press box of this type in America.” He goes on to say, “I wanted to build a press box I could call my own.” The tape cuts off before Finley can explain his reasoning for building the press box.

21:00Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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