The Bill Veeck Show with Bud Selig and Cleon Waalford

This tape features an episode of "The Bill Veeck Show" that aired in the mid-1960s. Host Bill Veeck speaks with guests Bud Selig and Cleon Waalford about the baseball difficulties in city of Milwaukee, specifically about the relocation of the Braves and the creation of the Brewers franchise.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with a black screen and slate.

00:32Copy video clip URL The “Meet Bill Veeck” title introduction rolls as Veeck makes his way onto the set.

01:22Copy video clip URL Veeck introduces the show from the “Veeck Saloon.” The set is made to look like a bar with a casual atmosphere. Guests share a beer with Veeck and talk sports. Today’s topic is about the so-called “desertion” of the city of Milwaukee by Major League Baseball. The Braves franchise recently relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where the team still resides today. Before welcoming the guests, Veeck pauses for a moment from the sponsor.

02:20Copy video clip URL Fade to black.

02:36Copy video clip URL Fade back into a shot of Veeck and his guests sitting at the bar table. Veeck introduces guests Bud Selig, President of Milwaukee Brewers, Inc., and Cleon Waalford, a baseball writer for the Milwaukee Journal. Veeck points out that he invited a few Atlanta Braves owners and MLB representatives to the program. Apparently, every representative he invited on the show was “out of town.” Veeck amusingly names off each person contacted for the program and each different excuse given to him for their absence. Veeck then quickly moves on and begins the discussion by asking Selig why Milwaukee should have a ball club.

04:45Copy video clip URL Selig talks about how much Milwaukee wants and deserves Major League Baseball. Selig cites Milwaukee’s solid attendance records for the 13 years that the Braves were there. Veeck also talks about the city’s great attendance records. Veeck then asks Waalford for his opinion on why the Braves relocated to Atlanta. Waalford is quick to attribute the relocation as a money move. The three continue to speculate about possible reasons for the move. Selig talks about the financial history of Milwaukee Braves and their unique publicly owned structure. Veeck says that the non-profitability of the company kept anyone from buying too many shares. At one point, Veeck turns to the empty chair beside him to ask for an opinion from the missing MLB representative. The three go on to talk about the Milwaukee baseball financial situation, specifically about the publicly owned structure.

10:30Copy video clip URL Veeck talks about how public shareholders actually had some say in whether the team would move or not. He cites the fact that 80 percent of the shareholders had to have voted for the relocation of the Milwaukee Braves. Waalford recites old rumors about the ballclub’s potential move. Waalford and Veeck discuss proceedings taken against the organization to keep them from moving.

12:34Copy video clip URL Veeck asks Wallford what he believes a baseball team means to a city. Waalford talks about the state of Wisconsin accusing MLB of abuse of monopolistic power. Veeck states that MLB took advantage of this fact to deprive Wisconsin public shareholders of their rights.

14:28Copy video clip URL Break for ads. The screen fades to black for a few seconds.

14:46Copy video clip URL Selig takes on accusations that the Milwaukee Braves were stolen from Boston just as they were now stolen from Wisconsin. Veeck gives an example by talking about his own moving of the Browns, and how the normal movement of teams is done more appropriately. Veeck makes an interesting point about MLB’s dependence on television. “If the time comes when baseball becomes dependent on television, then if ratings fall and they cancel the show, baseball’s entire economy is shot.” Selig talks about how the people of Milwaukee were lied to about the relocation of the Braves. He talks about the great attendance records in the last year the Braves were in the city. Selig also emphasizes the fact that his company is completely ready to run a ball club in Milwaukee.

21:05Copy video clip URL Break for ads. The screen fades to black for a few seconds.

21:21Copy video clip URL Selig speaks against the so-called “hostile atmosphere” of Milwaukee fans. Veeck talks about great fans in Milwaukee. Selig talks about using the Los Angeles Angels as an example of a well-functioning expansion team. Veeck asks Selig about the potentialities of beginning to run the team in Milwaukee. Selig says the team is ready to go. Waalford says there’s plenty of money around for any conceivable baseball expenses.

24:45Copy video clip URL Veeck begins to close the show and asks guests to come back tomorrow to discuss the topic more.

25:35Copy video clip URL Tape ends.


1 Comment

  1. Dave Scott says:

    I remember seeing this in 1966 when I was about 14. It taught me a lot about business and how baseball was far from pure ethically. I can’t remember being so angry, even though I didn’t understand everything about stock shares, etc.

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