Bill Veeck in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. Raw footage for the documentary "Veeck: A Man for Any Season." In this tape, he envisions the future of baseball and comes up with many creative ideas about what the future holds.
00:15Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks about when he did the plan for Zachendorf. Veeck says that it was either ’55 or ’56, which is the same time he did the plan for the shopping center. He goes on to continue his brainstorm about what the future of baseball will look like.
01:26Copy video clip URL He speaks of Purdue University as the premier authority on grass, and how they continue to improve upon the grasses and the ability to repair the field, so that sod can be replaced while a team is away on a road trip.
02:50Copy video clip URL Veeck continues to speak about the ball park of the future, noting that he envisions people flying in individual airplanes or “wingpacks” to arrive at the park, beer “lines” that will open to each seat individually, dinner to be in the form of a pill, players with robotic or artificial limbs or with genetic make-up of past great players, and other ideas such as differing sections of the ball park to accommodate different fans. He also predicts that the judgment of the strike zone could be totally mechanized by embedding a microchip in the ball to be precise in calling each pitch. He points out that this would take out the human aspect of the game, which would take away the fun. “How could you yell at a machine? It takes a great deal of pleasure out of it.”
08:45Copy video clip URL Veeck admits, “it taxes even my own imagination,” but guesses that television will give up on baseball and the “whole thing will start anew.” He claims that those who still run it as a game rather than a business have it all wrong. “There are so many things that will be different in 50 years.” He says that he doesn’t blame the players but blames the owners for the rise in salaries, for the fact that they couldn’t keep it under control due to egos. He predicts para-mutual betting in order to help fund the price of tickets, because “at the rate we’re going, if anything should happen to the television money, then ticket prices, just to be able to put a team on the field, would make ticket prices for cats seem like chicken feed. You’re talking about $100 bleacher seats. Quite obviously, that’s going to destroy the game. Before that happens, there’s going to have to be some bankruptcies and return to reasonable sums of money that can be earned with the game itself.”
13:15Copy video clip URL Veeck uses colleges as an example, noting that colleges are dropping some sports programs due to losses in television revenue. He predicts that women’s sports will get dropped more and more because they are not profitable. He calls this hypocrisy because we call it amateur, but that the driving force is revenue.
15:00Copy video clip URL He criticizes the fact that the air waves are controlled by the television networks when they should be owned by the people. He predicts that the people will call a lawsuit against the networks at some point, and that they should pay to use the airwaves just like we have to pay to drive on the streets. “Who gave them the right to transmit? Why don’t WE have the right to transmit?”
17:51Copy video clip URL End of tape.