Time Out, episode 128

This tape features a 1984 episode of "Time Out," a weekly sports program that is hosted by a number of Chicago area journalists and sportscasters. This week's commentators are John Schulian of the Chicago Sun-Times, Kenny McReynolds, a WBMX Sportscaster and Assistant Coach for DePaul University's Men's Basketball team, WIND reporter Fran Spielman, and former NBA star John Mengelt.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with a black screen, countdown, and promos.

00:48Copy video clip URL Opening sequence for the program.

01:11Copy video clip URL Dissolve into a shot of the four commentators in the back room. The narrator gives a quick overview of the program, which includes a tour of the scoreboards at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park, a commentary from Bill Veeck on MLB umpires, and an interview with former MLB player Jim Brosnan.

01:54Copy video clip URL Cut back to a shot of the four commentators who begin the episode by debating over the 1984 Olympics’ effect on American sports and the performances of the many Olympic athletes. This eventually cuts to an interview with Chicago Bears fans in and around Soldier Field.

05:37Copy video clip URL The “Time Out” crew visits Soldier Field to gather upcoming season predictions from Bears players and fans. Both Bears players and fans seem to be optimistic for the year despite the competition from other Midwestern teams.

06:40Copy video clip URL Cut back to a shot of the four commentators who begin to talk about the Chicago Cubs and their winning season. They discuss both the positives and negatives of the Cubs’ team before cutting into a segment on the scoreboards at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park.

09:28Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Wrigley Field. Bill Veeck talks about the workability of the non-electronic scoreboard. “It works perfectly for day baseball. It’s absolutely ideal because when the sun sets, or as it begins to set, and those rays come straight across the top of the upper deck, it kills lights. But this board looks better. You know it’s actually a remarkable thing in the city of Chicago. I wonder if there’s any other piece of mechanical equipment that’s been out in the rain, and the snow, and the sunshine, and still works after almost fifty years.” We then travel up into the Wrigley Field scoreboard to speak with operator Art Sagel. He describes the process of handling the scoreboard in great detail. Veeck also goes on to talk about the inception of the Wrigley Field and  Comiskey Park scoreboards. Veeck explains that the Comiskey scoreboard was meant to make home runs more dramatic but expresses his lament in bringing the electric scoreboard to the game. Veeck states that he feels like he created a “monster” and that the scoreboard diminishes the game in a way. The “Time Out” crew interviews the operators of the Comiskey Park scoreboard as well.

15:13Copy video clip URL Cut back to the four commentators who debate about the effect of electric scoreboards on the MLB. They go on to talk about the White Sox and the New York Yankees respective seasons. This cuts into a commentary from Bill Veeck.

17:32Copy video clip URL Bill Veeck comments on officiating in professional sports. Veeck emphasizes the human element needed in officiating. “I had an electronic ball and strike indicator. Called pitches to a thousandth of an inch… no good. Then you lost the human element and you need an empire to yell at, to boo. It’s no fun yelling at some lousy machine.” He goes on to comment on the lack of a sense of humor among the many umpires of today. “And I find that umpires today, in one respect or in many respects are different, but in one particularly they don’t have a sense of humor. They’re argumentative. They want to fight with the athletes, it seems like, or the managers. They want to throw them out to prove they’re the most important element in the game.” Veeck goes on to tell a story about one of his favorite umpires, Bill Clem. Veeck also talks about the importance of umpiring for both Chicago teams this year. He highlights the inconsistency of many umpires when officiating winning teams. Veeck finishes by labeling umpires as “very difficult people” and “meat heads.”

20:55Copy video clip URL Cut to the “Time Out Sports Almanac” segment.

21:57Copy video clip URL Dissolve back into a shot of the four commentators at the back bar table. Schulian introduces a segment that features an interview with former MLB player and author Jim Brosnan.

22:25Copy video clip URL Cut to some classic footage of Brosnan at work on the field. Schulian sits down with Brosnan at his home in Morton Grove, IL to talk about his book, The Long Season, which stirred up much controversy in the baseball world upon its release. The book highlighted much of the inner workings of both the St. Louis and Cincinnati franchises, which angered many in the baseball world. With a pipe in hand, Brosnan talks about the effect his book had on the league. He states that he became a better pitcher through writing the book. He also talks about the strong ambition he had to publish a book, which while growing up, overshadowed his ambition to pitch in the MLB.

25:33Copy video clip URL Cut back to the four commentators in the back room of the “Time Out” set. The four comment on Brosnan’s work on and off of the field. They briefly talk about some of the more noteworthy Olympic performances before making their predictions for the week. The credits roll shortly afterwards and are followed by a promo.

28:55Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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