“It’s a con game.” —Bill Veeck on Spring Training

The windchill is in the 20s in Chicago, but in Arizona (and Florida) baseball spring training is about to begin. Ostensibly, spring training is a time for the players to get back into shape, but its significance for baseball fans goes far beyond that.

Bill Veeck, legendary baseball owner for 60 years, gave his personal view of spring training in 1984 on an episode of Time Out, a weekly sports program hosted by a number of Chicago-area journalists and sportscasters.

In the video, Veeck reveals what club owners have long known: that spring training is more about exciting the fans and selling tickets than about conditioning the athletes.

For more rare insight into the business of baseball, check out “A View from the Bleachers,” where Veeck sits down with writer Bill Brashler to talk about the future of baseball as he saw it in 1982.

You can also check out “Inside Spring Training,” a documentary of the 1978 preseason practice for the White Sox, which includes a candid conversation between Minnie Minoso and Media Burn Founder Tom Weinberg during a game of shuffleboard.



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