[Veeck: A Man For Any Season raw #34]

This tape features a speech given by Bill Veeck at Northeastern University in April 1985. This is a continuation from the previous tape. This footage was shot for a documentary entitled "Veeck: A Man For Any Season."

00:00Copy video clip URL Veeck moves on to talk about legendary pitcher Satchel Paige. “He’s a very good example of qualities that you don’t necessarily see but that are terribly important no matter what area of endeavor you may follow. He had great, great pride, pride in performance.” Veeck then shares a few stories about Paige. Veeck begins to talk about a game between the St. Louis Browns and the New York Yankees. Veeck jokes before beginning the story by saying, “I remember one night we were playing the Yankees. We had to. There was no way out.” In the ninth inning of that game, the Browns somehow had a 1-0 lead on the Yankees. With three men on base on the Yankees’ side, it looked like victory was disappearing for St. Louis. However, Paige was brought out from the bullpen and proceeded to retire the side in ten pitches. Veeck tells the story with a strong sense of amazement.

03:33Copy video clip URL Veeck talks about Paige’s last game in the MLB at nearly sixty years old. Veeck moves on to talk about his ownership of the Cleveland Indians. Veeck recounts a story about Manager Louis Boudreau. Veeck then moves on to talk about the struggles and changes in the baseball world over the years.

06:30Copy video clip URL Veeck begins to talk about the problems in the game. “This happens to be in my opinion the greatest game there is. It has to be to withstand all the things we’ve done to it over the years. It has to be because it’s the only game that has remained in balance, really, despite the change in the human animal.” Veeck begins to talk about the modern day baseball player and the balance of the game. “The ball players today are bigger, and are faster, and are stronger, and are smarter; above all they’re smarter. They’re not as dedicated. They don’t spend as much time working at playing this game and there is absolutely no reason why they should because you see there are many other things to interest them in our society today. But they are better, and that means that this ninety feet between bases was a remarkable discovery, a remarkable guess or luck. Because as the hitters get stronger and faster, then the defenders become more agile and the pitchers get another pitch. And so the game stays in balance. The offensive club doesn’t get an advantage and the defensive club doesn’t, so it’s remained a wonderful game with the equation of keeping the game from becoming one sided anyway.” Veeck goes on to say, ” You know, baseball is actually the only game left for humans. To play basketball, you have to be 7 foot 6. To play football you have to be the same width so it’s the only game for people and it’s terribly important that it prosper and grow because you can be a ball player and be any size, with any degree of skills.” Veeck then goes on to talk about the possibility of women playing in the Major Leagues. His reasons for anticipating this possibility is the fact that the talent pool for the game is drying up. Veeck states that as expansion teams grow, those teams will be looking for talent on other places. He compares it to integration in the MLB.

11:24Copy video clip URL Veeck begins to talk about some of the materialistic aspects of baseball. “Baseball has become like so much of our society, has fallen prey to materialism.” Veeck states that the larger salaries in the game are creating an imbalance between players and teams. Veeck also talks about the Tribune Company’s ownership of the Chicago Cubs. Veeck also talks about the controversy over installing lights at Wrigley Field. Veeck is an advocate for not installing lights at Wrigley Field. “Because Wrigley Field with lights would be just another ballpark. As it is it’s the most delightful place to spend an afternoon or an evening. … And daytime baseball is the way it was meant to be.”

16:36Copy video clip URL Veeck talks about the importance of sportsmanship. “Sportsmanship is a great deal cheaper than good ballplayers.” Veeck talks about pushing the rulebook in baseball. “Now I want you gentlemen to understand that I do not advocate breaking the rules, but I do advocate testing their elasticity. You read the rules to see what you can do, not what you can’t do.” Veeck then talks about some of the things he got away with in baseball. He gets cut off by the end of the tape.

18:39Copy video clip URL Tape ends.

 

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