[Bill Veeck Night #1]

This tape features footage of "Bill Veeck Night" at Comiskey Park, a farewell celebration to Veeck following his stint in the hospital and his announcement that he will be selling the team and retiring from a career in baseball. This event aired on live television, was hosted by Harry Caray and Rich King, and features interviews with a number of baseball celebrities and Veeck's biggest fans who celebrated the evening prior to the game at Comiskey that night.

00:00Copy video clip URL Black.

00:19Copy video clip URL Opening shot of Comiskey Park from the air. “Fans Salute to Bill Veeck” appears on screen.

00:30Copy video clip URL Harry Caray introduces the program from the sidelines of Comiskey Park. He introduces Marty Kaiser and George Langford, sports editors for the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune, who speak about this historic event.

03:30Copy video clip URL Caray introduces Joe Musial of the Associated Press, who comments on Veeck’s career and how this is a historic but sad day to see Bill finish his time with the White Sox. They tell amusing stories about Veeck.

05:35Copy video clip URL Gene Bossart, the groundskeeper at Comiskey Park, also chimes in on his work with Veeck in maintaining the park.

08:10Copy video clip URL Footage of a video about Veeck and his career in baseball.

10:00Copy video clip URL Caray comes back in over footage of the St. Rita marching band playing on the field. Johnny Mars, former Chicago Bear and sportscaster, joins Caray and speaks about Veeck’s integrity in his professional and personal life.

11:55Copy video clip URL Jerry Holzman, writer for the Chicago Sun Times, joins Caray and comments on Veeck, speaking about how he first met Veeck in the 1950s.

13:25Copy video clip URL Andy the Clown, one of the “fixtures” of Comiskey Park is interviewed by Caray about his career and impressions of Veeck. He says, “my competition is leaving. Bill is gonna leave; he’s a clown, but he don’t put on the make-up like me.”

14:10Copy video clip URL Caray welcomes Howard Kaplan from Henry K Jewelers, who created a collage of photos of Veeck’s life and career as a collector’s item.

15:50Copy video clip URL Jimmy Galeos, the owner of Miller’s Pub, comments on how Veeck would frequent his place and how he enjoys Bill’s company.

16:50Copy video clip URL Another video of Veeck.

21:20Copy video clip URL Caray is joined by Bill Gleeson, sports columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, who wrote a column leading to the idea of creating this event, known as “Bill Veeck Night.” They call him the “best owner ever in all of sports” and “the fan’s owner.”

24:15Copy video clip URL Rich King takes over for Caray, who heads up to the booth to prepare for the game. King walks around the infield and highlights some of the gifts that the fans have brought for Veeck and are placing in the back of a pickup truck on the field as a sign of their admiration and appreciation.

27:35Copy video clip URL Video highlighting the promotions that Veeck has created throughout his career in baseball.

30:20Copy video clip URL Back to the ball park, with Rich King behind home plate. King interviews Sox manager Tony La Russa, who expresses his gratitude for Veeck and his regret that Bill couldn’t have finished with a winning ball club. He talks fondly about his conversations with Veeck.

34:00Copy video clip URL King signs over to Bill Finnegan, the park announcer, who reads a telegram from President Jimmy Carter wishing Veeck well.

35:03Copy video clip URL King comes back, speaking with Chuck Schwieber, the publicist for the White Sox. Chuck speaks about the telegram from the President. He comments on what a joy it has been to work with Bill.

36:12Copy video clip URL Another video highlighting some of Veeck’s promotions.

39:30Copy video clip URL Back to the field with King, who speaks with White Sox players representative Tex Werthem. He explains that the players took up a collection for the American Cancer Society as a way to salute Veeck. He states that Veeck will be remembered as a promoter who brought fans into the park.

40:45Copy video clip URL King speaks with Glenn Rosenbaum, traveling secretary for the White Sox. He comments on how it’s a pleasure to work for Veeck. He says that Bill “saved the White Sox for the City of Chicago.” He says that it’s been sad for the past month and a half while Bill has been in the hospital, but he’s glad that Veeck is back in the park tonight.

44:00Copy video clip URL King speaks with fans Dennis and Diane Bingham, who display a poster that they made for Bill, and call him a “hero.” King then moves over to the truck where the gifts are being left.

45:50Copy video clip URL Bob Finnegan joins Rich King, calling Veeck a “hard working fellow” and that working with Veeck makes it fun.

46:52Copy video clip URL Finnegan takes the microphone and announces over the PA system, introducing the salute to Bill Veeck. He explains that the evening would be filled with reenactments of Veeck-inspired promotions. The first of these is the reenactment of the “Spirit of ’76” from opening day in 1976.

50:15Copy video clip URL Another Veeck innovation was the introduction of the White Sox team in shorts, which is reenacted in Center Field.

51:20Copy video clip URL Finnegan introduces the “Chicago Footwarmers Dixieland Band,” accompanied by Max Patkin, the comic player “crown prince” who struts and dances along with the band as they parade around the park.

52:00Copy video clip URL Veeck takes the microphone and speaks to the crowd, calling White Sox fans “the greatest in the world.” He expresses his sincere gratitude and apologizes for not bringing a championship as he had hoped.

55:10Copy video clip URL Al Smith and Billy Pierce of the 1959 pennant-winning White Sox ride in a car on the warning track around the park along with Hall of Fame Broadcaster Bob Elson.

56:56Copy video clip URL Minnie Minoso recreates “El Matador” bullfighter followed by a Mariachi band. The conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Henry Maiser is also introduced.

1:00:00Copy video clip URL The Medina Temple Shriners and the belly dancers from Greece follow in the parade around the park.

01:01:25Copy video clip URL Bob Elson joins Rich King, and explains that his career paralleled Veeck’s. He says that the 1959 season is the most memorable experience of Veeck for him.

01:01:55Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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