Raw footage for the documentary "Veeck: A Man For Any Season." In this tape, Bill Veeck sits on a park bench and talks about baseball clinics, the story behind an odd photograph, Illinois Masonic, patience, and Al Capone.
00:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.
00:58Copy video clip URL Bill Veeck sits on a park bench. A passerby asks how he’s doing. “It’s too nice a day to have any troubles.”
01:56Copy video clip URL One of the videomakers asks him to explain a picture she has. He tells the story of how he worked as a consultant for a company that owned a Detroit brewer, and they ran baseball clinics. The picture is of Dizzy Trout pitching while someone arranges the fingers on a giant hand holding a giant baseball. The model was designed to allow the kids to see pitching technique even from a great distance. They had similar models for batting.
05:06Copy video clip URL Veeck: “It was fun and it taught me something too… try to give the spectators and fans as much information as you possibly could.”
07:52Copy video clip URL Veeck explains why he bought opening day tickets for the employees of Illinois Masonic hospital. “Everybody who worked there had a part in my being able to go to the ballpark on opening day. The only way to thank them… was to invite them to participate in what I think is one of the greatest days in sports.” He made an exception to his usual objection to buying bleacher seats in advance because it was opening day.
10:12Copy video clip URL Veeck talks about talking to Darryl Stingley, a paraplegic, at the Special Olympics.
12:09Copy video clip URL He talks about being in the hospital when he was in the Marines, and he started to feel sorry for himself. He meets a man who is dealing cards with no hands. “I think it’s the last time I ever felt sorry for myself.” Not because the other guy had it worse, but because he did not let it stop him.
15:41Copy video clip URL “Al Capone also taught me something. There is no question that he was a brutal criminal, and yet there are things that are good about everybody.” Capone was a baseball fan and came to the Cubs games when Veeck was working as a vendor. It was during Prohibition that his father was diagnosed with leukemia, and the doctors told him that champagne would make it more comfortable. Veeck went to the Metropole hotel to get champagne from Al Capone: “The kind you drink, not the kind you sell.”
19:25Copy video clip URL “A case of champagne was delivered as long as he lived. Every morning… Guilty as one may be of whatever heinous crime, it is wrong to think it was all bad.”
20:33Copy video clip URL End of tape.