[Veeck: A Man For Any Season raw #14]

Raw footage of Bill Veeck in the Wrigley Field bleachers shot for "Veeck: A Man for Any Season." Veeck continues the story of installing the ivy in Wrigley Field, and also tells of his design and construction of the yardarm above the scoreboard, the screens on the foul poles, and redesigning uniforms for players in the 1930s.

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars and tone.

00:30Copy video clip URL Veeck continues the story of planting the ivy at Wrigley Field, which he did in 1937. He proudly describes the unveiling of the ivy to Phil Wrigley and his group who came to see it. He also points out how he successfully turned some of the seats to bleachers, even though overall seats were lost because of the move. He applauds the ingenuity of Wrigley for his decision to do this.

03:15Copy video clip URL Veeck talks about how he submitted a proposal to Wrigley every year beginning in 1934 to construct lights at Wrigley Field. He says that Wrigley would find another excuse every year as to why lights shouldn’t be put in at the park. Veeck notes that Wrigley Field could’ve been the first park to have lights, and that it ended up being the last. He reflects on that experience, admitting that he was wrong and Wrigley was right.

07:50Copy video clip URL Veeck talks about the “yardarm” above the scoreboard as a sign to those on the El that either the Cubs won or lost, depending on the color of the light. Veeck tells the story of how he designed it himself, and took classes in blueprint reading and design to learn some technical skills so he could construct things around the park. He tells the story of a storm that he feared would take the yardarm down, and how he spent 5 hours out there in the storm holding on to the base of the yardarm, even though later on he had it tested and realized that it could withstand twice the velocity of the fiercest wind ever to hit Chicago. He says that “the whole joint would’ve gone down, and there would be the yardarm.”

11:40Copy video clip URL Veeck goes on to speak about the foul poles and the controversy surrounding putting screens on them. Veeck recalls that he came up with the idea to put the screens on to help the umpires make the close calls on those deep foul balls. He points to that story and the uproar against it as the typical resistance to change, even if it’s for the better. He then pokes fun at himself for saying “Don’t change Wrigley Field. But you see, it’s different because I say don’t change it.”

14:55Copy video clip URL As another example of the resistance to change, he recalls the 1938 re-design of uniforms, which the players were not open to doing. He says that the athletes didn’t like them and admits that there were some slight errors in the material, since it was the first time that knit material was used for uniforms. He laughs about how the material would stretch with wear, then shrink upon drying.

18:20Copy video clip URL He begins to speak about his work in the concession stands, and is cut off as the tape ends.

18:33Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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