Raw footage of Bill Veeck in the bleachers at Wrigley Field. This is the first of several tapes of Veeck sitting in the bleachers, talking about his tenure with the Cubs, his personal history with Wrigley Field, and baseball in general. In this tape, Veeck joins Leo Breen, who sells him season tickets and helps him find his bleacher seats.
00:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.
01:00Copy video clip URL Opening shot of the Sears Tower from the Wrigley Field bleachers. Veeck recites poetry at the crew’s request while they get set up. Camera pans the park.
02:05Copy video clip URL Zoom in to Veeck sitting in the bleachers underneath the scoreboard, followed by various shots around the park.
04:40Copy video clip URL Cut to Leo Breen, who joins Veeck in the bleachers. Breen holds packets of Cubs tickets. Veeck gives him a check for a few packets of tickets, as Veeck thanks the Illinois Masonic Walking and Chowder Club for making this possible for him. He and Breen debate about the location of the seats printed on the tickets.
11:15Copy video clip URL Breen talks about when Veeck hired him on July 1, 1959 as he started his ownership of the White Sox. Breen points out that they “worked like the devil.” Veeck agrees, noting that “most clubs have more people in the sales promotion office than we had in total!” Breen excuses himself from taping, complaining of the cold.
13:00Copy video clip URL Veeck is asked to speak about why the bleachers are green. He begins to answer, but then is interrupted again to make arrangements with Tom Weinberg, and says goodbye to Leo.
14:14Copy video clip URL “Oh, this is a wonderful ball park. You know. It’s really, along with Fenway, Comiskey, and Detroit, the last of the ball parks. And actually I did some things right in this ball park. I did some wrong too. One of them is the center field section which is blocked off.”
15:00Copy video clip URL He goes on to tell the story about Bill Nicholson, who was the power hitter when Veeck started working for the Cubs in 1937. He talks about how Nicholson at one point went 0 for 17 against left handed pitchers. Nicholson blamed the bleachers for the problem, which resulted in Veeck closing off the center field section to help Nicholson feel more secure. He laughs about how he tried to get the people in the bleachers to wear green jackets to prevent from closing that section of seats, but Nicholson prevailed because he caught Wrigley’s ear first.
17:34Copy video clip URL “This is the best place in the park to watch a ball game.” He points out that in the bleachers, you have nothing to block the view, and you can get pretty good at calling the pitches. He begins to talk about how you can observe the shifting of the outfielders from the bleachers, but is cut off due to a tape change.
18:28Copy video clip URL End of tape.