Raw footage for the documentary Veeck: A Man for Any Season. In this tape, Bill Veeck and John Mengeldt sit near Lake Michigan and discuss the business of baseball.
00:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.
00:39Copy video clip URL Bill Veeck and John Mengelt sit near Lake Michigan somewhere south of the Chicago loop. They discuss money.
01:07Copy video clip URL “Money is not a subject on which I am articulate… I owned the St. Louis Browns, that was one of my great successes.” Veeck talks about swimming at Promontory Point in Hyde Park.
01:51Copy video clip URL Mengelt asks Veeck about the possibility of building a ballpark where they are. Veeck says it wouldn’t work because there aren’t enough roads for access.
03:11Copy video clip URL They talk about new practices of team-owners in trying to earn money from baseball. Veeck says that companies are using the teams to raise the sales of their products, rather than using the teams as the products themselves.
04:27Copy video clip URL Mengelt and Veeck talk about free agency. Veeck talks about testifying on behalf of Flood, but he objects to how out of control player salaries have gotten. “If booze is good, that doesn’t mean you have to drink as much as Jim Beam can make in six months.” Veeck feels it’s the owners’ fault for getting into bidding wars and driving up salaries. Players are right to take everything they can get.
06:11Copy video clip URL Mengelt challenges Veeck. He argues that the owners need to spend the money in order to win ballgames. Veeck says that “Ted Turner doesn’t have the money. He spends it.” The going rate is being established by one or two people, and the rest are just following the leader.
08:24Copy video clip URL Veeck predicts that one or more ball clubs will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in five years. Filing for bankruptcy allows owners to get out of paying contracts.
10:48Copy video clip URL “Do the existing players take care of the old-timers?” Veeck accuses more recent players of not sharing their windfall of higher salaries with older players who did not play during a time of high salaries.
13:18Copy video clip URL Mengelt objects, “What about the president of Exxon-Mobil who makes $1.4 million and his company shows a loss and he gets a raise?” Veeck complains about well-paid players being timid about risking their bodies while playing the game. They have no incentive to play their hardest because of the risk to their wealth.
16:50Copy video clip URL Veeck and Mengelt talk about the current owner of the White Sox, whom Veeck contends has a very different ownership style from him.