[Commentary and poem by Bill Veeck #1]

Raw footage of Bill Veeck doing multiple takes of a commentary and a poem. Veeck seems to determine the general topics and trajectory of his speech and then improvises it on-camera. The first 13 minutes are takes of the commentary, and the last 4 minutes is one read-through of the poem. In the commentary, Veeck talks about the subtle differences in baseball today. He says the players don't play as well (despite being bigger, faster, stronger, and more educated) because they don't have the same training players used to get. Veeck values very much the apprenticeships in the minor leagues that used to be so common. They were fundamental, he thinks, because players would learn from their peers--other players who had played the majors for a decade and then moved back down--instead of managers or roving instructors. He says players today make mistakes due to their inexperience. In addition, the game has also suffered due to high player salaries. Veeck says this makes players unwilling to take risks with their "million dollar bodies." Their attitude has changed: players act like prima donnas instead of just loving the game. The poem is called "Ode to an Agent" or "Advice to an Aging Client." The poem mocks the aforementioned habit of players who put no heart or energy into the game in the name of business and money.

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars and tone. “Bill Veeck Commentary” title on screen.

01:00Copy video clip URL Veeck starts his commentary, but is then interrupted to start again.

01:35Copy video clip URL Veeck tries take 2 and ends quickly.

01:55Copy video clip URL Take 3. Veeck finishes this one, saying, “That’s something I hope I don’t live long enough to see.” As he finishes, he adds a peculiar, amusing look to his face in surprise of what he just said. Producer Tom Weinberg laughs and adds in, “I hope you do!”

05:45Copy video clip URL In take 4, Veeck also gets through the entire commentary.

08:10Copy video clip URL Take 5 ends abruptly, then starts right again and goes through it again.

10:33Copy video clip URL As Veeck finishes this one, he says, “And I loused up the ending” with a smile.

13:12Copy video clip URL Veeck switches gears by introducing a poem he wrote called, “Ode to an Agent” or “Advice to an Aging Client.” He reads it with a lively, rhythmic tone, and finishes with a great smile on his face. Veeck and Weinberg talk about it and decide to do another take.

17:03Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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