Sports Collection


Extent: 500 videotapes

Dates: 1959–2012

Description: Atypical documentation of the world of sports, featuring the wackiest and most interesting characters in sports of the ‘80s and ‘90s. The unique collection includes personal portraits and camera original videos of dozens of characters. They include Doug Atkins, Dick “the Bruiser” Afflis, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, Larry Doby, Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, Charles O. Finley, Minnesota Fats, Orestes “Minnie” Minoso, Floyd Patterson, and many more.

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Bill Veeck

Extent: 300 videotapes

Dates: 1959–1986

Description: Camera original videotapes and programs documenting the life and career of baseball innovator Bill Veeck. Veeck is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and was a central character in Chicago and national sports. A showman, he was known for his dramatic and fan-pleasing publicity stunts, including the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park. As a child, Veeck planted the ivy that now famously covers Wrigley Field’s walls. The videotapes begin with his memorable stint as owner of the St. Louis Browns in the 1950s and end with extensive coverage of Veeck’s last few years before his death in 1986. Together, the videotapes are a fascinating account of this singular individual, pre-corporate baseball history, and the origins of the sports entertainment business. It is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Veeck videos anywhere.


Once A Star

Extent: 100 videotapes

Dates: 1985–1986

Description: The Once a Star series documented a few dozen former professional athletes decades after their careers had ended. The collection contains the three hour-long TV specials, as well as the camera original footage. The tapes provide insights into class, race, the culture of sports and entertainment, and the “American dream.” Virtually all of the players featured had to work for a living following their athletic careers, and many had trouble dealing with the life of obscurity after leaving the public eye. Subjects include eccentric Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, female jockey Robyn Smith, pool legend Minnesota Fats, boxer Floyd Patterson, and wrestler Dick “The Bruiser” Afflis.


Time Out

Extent: 59 videocassettes (U-Matic); 2 videocassettes (Betacam SP)

Paper materials (.25 linear feet):
Drawer 6, collection 3, series 2, folder 1 (All time out)

Dates: 1984–1985

Description: The time out collection contains all 50 episodes of the two-time Emmy winning weekly sports broadcast on WTTW. Bill Veeck was a weekly commentator at the in-studio bar. John Mengelt, Fran Spielman, Kenny McReynolds, John Schulian, Gary Fencik, and Rick Telander were featured performers.

People: Fran Spielman, John Schulian, John Mengelt, Joe Mooshil, Bill Veeck, Ed Kelly, Minnie Minoso, Kenny McReynolds, Bill Buckner, Ray Meyer, Reggie Theus, Jerome Holtzman, Al Lerner, Jerry Krause, Vedie Himsl, Ray Sons, Dallas Comegys, Ed Manetta, Doug Buffone, Dorothy Gaters, Dave Nightingale, Gene Sullivan, Tyrone Corbin, Leon Durham, Ozzie Smith, Gary Fencik, Dave Feldman, Bill Tobin, Carl Marasco, Bea Farber, Jerry Reinsdorf, Bill Lee, Linda Kay, Ben Crenshaw, Frances McCuddy, Jim Frey, Phil Hersh, Jim Brosnan, Yogi Klein, George Lott, Bill Haller, Billy Connors, Ernie Banks, Roger Wallenstein, Gene Quinn, Tom Cunningham, Steve Garvey, Bobby Vinton, Bill Murray, Jack Brickhouse, Ben Bentley, Dick Stanfel, Evelyn Ashford, Sid Luckman, David Greenwood, Mike McCaskey, Rick Telander, Bruce Reider, Buddy Ryan, Richard Dent, Skip Myslenski, Sonny Cox, Reggie Jackson, Orlando Woolridge, Jim Finks, Bob Hambric, Jerry Shnay, Ryne Sandberg, Carlton Fisk, Harry Edwards

SubjectsChicago sports, Professional sports, broadcast, news, sports news, WTTW, Bill Veek, talk show


White Sox

Extent: 1 film (Super-8mm); 4 videocassettes (Betacam); 1 videocassette (DVCAM); 3 videocassettes (Hi 8mm); 6 videocassettes (VHS); 39 videocassettes (U-Matic); 1 videocassette (Betacam SP); 1 videocassette (Betamax); 4 audiocassettes (1/4″)

Paper materials (.25 linear feet): Drawer 5, collection 2, series 5 (Bill Veeck White Sox ownership)

Dates: 1959–2012

Description: The White Sox collection contains footage of the Chicago White Sox, a Major League Baseball team. Highlights include camera originals for Inside Spring Training, a trip with the Sox down to Sarasota, FL for spring training

People: Bill Veeck, Thad Bosley, Reggie Sanders, Larry Doby, Lamar Johnson, Minnie Minoso, Roland Hemond, Studs Terkel, Jerry Reinsdorf, Dan Rostenkowski, Tip O’Neill, Vince Scully, Jim Scott, Sean Mooney, Billy Peirce, Andy Pafko, Yogi Berra, Johnny Peske, Harry Caray, Tom Weinberg, John Schulian, Fran Spielman, Kenny McReynolds, John Mengelt, Jerry Krause, Vedie Himsl, Bob Lemon, Doctor Schaeffer, Rich Hinton, Ray Grebe

Subjects: Chicago history, Baseball, Chicago White Sox



Extent: 1 1″ reel-to-reel; 2 videocassettes (BetacamSP); 1 digital file; 1 videocassette (DVCAM); 32 videocassettes (U-matic)

Dates: 1945–1984

Description: Including Bill Veeck in the bleachers at Wrigley, Harry Caray, and inside the Cubs scoreboard.

People: Bruce Sitter, Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray, Al Lerner, Sam Bongiorno, Roger O’Connor, Art Sagel, Roger Wallenstein, John Mengelt, Fran Spielman, John Schulian, Kenny McReynolds, Bill Veeck, Billy Connors, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra

Subjects: Cubs, Baseball

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Baseball’s Heirlooms: The Story of America’s Classic Ballparks

Extent: 65 digital files

Dates: 1988-1989

Description: Including interviews about the history of baseball and about Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, Tiger Stadium, and Fenway Park.

People: Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Wade Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, Jack Brickhouse, Harry Caray, Mary Frances Veeck, Ted Williams, Ted Radcliffe, Tommy John, Dwight Evans, Mike Greenwell, Bob Woolf, Eddie Forrester, Walter O. Briggs IV, Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Matt Nokes, Ernie Harwell, Pat Sheridan, Tony Kubek, Philip Bess, Thomas Boswell, Steve Stone, Chuck Comiskey, Bill Gleason, Studs Terkel, Mary O’Connell, Harry Grossman, Billy Williams, Charlotte Newfeld, George Kell, Charles Gehringer, Al Kaline, Ken Coleman, Carl Yastrzemski

Subjects: Cubs, White Sox, Red Sox, Tigers, Baseball, Baseball Stadiums

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