Raw footage of Bill Veeck being interviewed in his living room at home for "Veeck: A Man for Any Season."
00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars and tone.
00:38Copy video clip URL Veeck continues the conversation on his couch in the living room. He says, with regard to his ownership of baseball teams, that the “last go-around wasn’t as much fun” because everything surrounding the game of baseball had changed. He follows up by saying that “most of the joy had been squeezed out of it by the economics.” He explains that on Christmas Eve 1975, the Smith decision changed everything, making it a scramble for dollars. “The escalation of salaries–so great that unless you could use tax dollars, it’s difficult to keep your income levels at the same rate and lose money, and losing money is not something I look on with great favor!”
03:50Copy video clip URL “We have become increasingly a materialistic society… and with it goes to a great degree excellence.” He explains that even though ball players are bigger and stronger today, they are not necessarily better because they are not as well trained. He notes that major league baseball has expanded, so that there are more mediocre players in the league. At the same time, the minor leagues have changed as well, shrinking because of the economics, which has also prevented players from staying in the minor leagues where they can really learn how to improve their play of the game.
07:12Copy video clip URL Veeck says that these changes in baseball are reflected in society. He goes on to talk about our over-dependence on computers. He tells the story of how he and his wife ordered a Christmas tree by catalog but it didn’t arrive.
11:40Copy video clip URL He speaks about the fun of baseball being lost in the economics of it all, and notes that it is particularly true of baseball as opposed to other business ventures. He goes on to point out the difference between an average third baseman and the fact that to get a great player is prohibitive.
13:40Copy video clip URL With regard to owners, he speaks about the ego that is attached to the idea of being one of 26 owners in the world and tells an anecdotal story to illustrate. He also points out that ulterior motives such as advertising profits also drive owners, as well as tax shelters, saying that “there are no career operators left.” The only possible exception to that statement is the case of Peter O’Malley in Los Angeles, but there’s no more room for “dinosaurs” like himself in ownership.
18:38Copy video clip URL End of tape.