Royko At The Goat

"Royko at The Goat" by Scott Jacobs and Lilly Ollinger. A relaxed conversation with legendary columnist Mike Royko at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago in July 1982. Royko shares some of his greatest memories playing sixteen inch softball with a group of friends over beers and burgers.

00:00Copy video clip URL Exterior of the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago. Title screen appears.

00:08Copy video clip URL Royko and his fellow teammates talk softball over beers and burgers.

00:20Copy video clip URL Cut to a closeup of Royko, who begins to talk about his lifelong love affair with 16-inch softball. “Guys who are obsessive softball players, they want a game. Every minute they want to play.” Royko continues, “Every day after work he will play because he loves it, he loves it! He loves that moment when the bat hits the ball and he gets that fast jump in center field and he’s moving and he leaps up and makes that over the shoulder catch. I mean that’s it. It’s the fun. It’s the fun of the game.”

01:30Copy video clip URL Royko talks about the softball teams that are made up entirely of cops. He states that cop teams are always good. He then talks about his Sun Times team, joking that they never do well because the team is composed of “Ivy Leaguers who aren’t very good at softball because they don’t want to hurt their hands.”

02:19Copy video clip URL Royko jokingly defends the use of “ringers,” defining the term as “a special player you pay to play.” Royko goes on to talk about his Softball National Championship team, the Strikers. He shares a hilarious story about pitching for the Strikers during a triple-header, which led to winning the championship. After the triple-header, Royko traveled to his Wisconsin summer home to be with his family. On the way, he stopped at a local bar. Still dressed in his uniform and Strikers jacket, he was treated like a god. “I knew then how it felt to be Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays.”

06:49Copy video clip URL Royko continues to talk about Chicago softball in the past. His father, a saloon owner, sponsored a sixteen inch softball team. He talks about rivalry between North and South side teams. Royko states that it was the greatest thrill of his life to play for his father’s saloon team.

09:13Copy video clip URL When asked when he plans to give up softball, Royko talks about his future in softball and very poignantly ends the piece.

10:15Copy video clip URL The credits begins to roll as Royko is overheard saying that the Pulitzer Prize was nothing in comparison to a home run he hit during a memorable softball game.

10:35Copy video clip URL Tape ends.

 

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