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The Lost Bill Veeck Files...

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  • The Lost Bill Veeck Files...

    This is a terrific story and a historical find:

    https://www.davehoekstra.com/2021/04...l-veeck-files/

  • #2
    I've been through the 2 Veeck ownerships and I still have mixed feelings about him.
    My biggest beefs were the bad trades he made after the 1959 AL Championship season and of course Disco Demolition Night. I will forever be grateful for Veeck buying and saving the Sox from moving to Seattle after the 1975 season, too bad that when he sold the team after the 1981 season it was to Reinsdorf and Co.
    Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post
      I've been through the 2 Veeck ownerships and I still have mixed feelings about him.
      My biggest beefs were the bad trades he made after the 1959 AL Championship season and of course Disco Demolition Night. I will forever be grateful for Veeck buying and saving the Sox from moving to Seattle after the 1975 season, too bad that when he sold the team after the 1981 season it was to Reinsdorf and Co.
      If you read the entire story the Veeck family didn't have many nice things to say about the new owners which echoed what Mike told me when I interviewed him.

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      • #4
        During his second stint as the owner of the team, Veeck was a maverick, a pioneer, quotable, hilarious, responsible for keeping the White Sox in Chicago in1975 and except for one fun-filled season (1977) the owner of a a miserable, almost unwatchable ball club: 64-97, 90-72, 71-90. 73-87 and 70-90.
        Last edited by Chez; 04-08-2021, 03:39 PM.

        2021 Sox Attendance Tracker: 13-6
        All-time Sox Attendance Tracker: 300-253
        Posts on old WSI: 7344

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post

          If you read the entire story the Veeck family didn't have many nice things to say about the new owners which echoed what Mike told me when I interviewed him.
          We knew all along that the 2 parties disliked each other. At the time of the sale Einhorn especially was very critical of how the club was run under Veeck on the field and off. I can't remember Veeck being vocal about the Sunshine Boys, he showed his displeasure of them by attending Cub games.
          Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 04-08-2021, 03:36 PM.
          Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chez View Post
            During his second stint as the owner of the team, Veeck was a maverick, a pioneer, quotable, hilarious, responsible for keeping the White Sox in Chicago in1975 and except for one fun-filled season (1977) the owner of a a miserable, almost unwatchable ball club: 64-97, 90-72, 71-90. 73-87 and 70-90.
            Never had the money to compete. We were lucky he was able to put together a syndicate to buy the team at all in 75. In those years I felt good if they could win just 70 games which was better than the garbage we put up with in 68, 69 and 70.
            Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 04-08-2021, 04:15 PM.
            Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LITTLE NELL View Post

              Never had the money to compete. We were lucky he was able to put together a syndicate to buy the team at all in 75. In those years I felt good if they could win just 70 games which was better than the garbage we put up with in 67, 68 and 69.
              There were times when Veeck worried he wouldn't have enough money to make payroll, let alone compete.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

                There were times when Veeck worried he wouldn't have enough money to make payroll, let alone compete.
                Yes and no.

                In point of fact if you look at some of the investors in his syndicate they were some of the richest people in America, the guy who ran Pfizer Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals was one that I remember.

                But Veeck felt he had a moral obligation to them to never ask them for more capital investment money and to at least always break even. He simply refused to go back and ask them for more money.

                That's partially why the memory of him is so convoluted. A "common man owner" is true but those who also claim he was a fraud (Jimmy Piersall) and a huckster (Rich Lindberg) may also have a point. It seems pretty clear if he wished he could have gotten more money to help run the team, he simply felt that was the wrong thing to do.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by whitesox5187 View Post

                  There were times when Veeck worried he wouldn't have enough money to make payroll, let alone compete.
                  The Bucky Dent trade to the Yankees in April, 1977 included $200K to help cover payroll.

                  “It's not the high price of stardom that bothers me...it's the high price of mediocrity." - Bill Veeck

                  "If I was going to storm a pillbox, going to sheer, utter, certain death, and the Colonel said 'Shepherd, pick six guys", I'd pick six White Sox fans because they have known death every day of their lives and it holds no terror for them." - Jean Shepherd

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                  • #10
                    My four years in high school coincided with Veeck's ownership 2.0. He made Comiskey my summer home. I was there more often than my real home during the summer. We would buy the $2.00 (later $3.00) general admission tickets and sit in the front row of the RF Upper Deck-those were reserved grandstand seats, but Veeck did not sell tickets for those seats.

                    Great memories.

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                    • #11
                      The advent of free agency drove Veeck out of the game. He couldn't compete financially with some of the deep-pocketed owners. So he decided to rent a player on a one-year basis. This is how he acquired Zisk, Gamble and Soderholm - three key figures in the the 1977 South Side Hit Men lineup.

                      After Veeck sold the team I don't think he ever re-visited old Comiskey again, even though he frequented the bleachers at Wrigley.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dumpjerry View Post
                        My four years in high school coincided with Veeck's ownership 2.0. He made Comiskey my summer home. I was there more often than my real home during the summer. We would buy the $2.00 (later $3.00) general admission tickets and sit in the front row of the RF Upper Deck-those were reserved grandstand seats, but Veeck did not sell tickets for those seats.

                        Great memories.
                        Yes they were great memories. Unless we had box seats, 90% of the games we would sit in those same seats in the RF upper deck. It was easy because when we walked from the old Howard-Englewood-Jackson Park line the first gate we hit was next to the Wentworth St. parking lot. When I started driving in 1962 we would park in that same lot. BTW, back the 50s and early 60s those seats were a $1.25, box seats were $2.50.
                        Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 04-08-2021, 06:52 PM.
                        Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fungo bat View Post
                          The advent of free agency drove Veeck out of the game. He couldn't compete financially with some of the deep-pocketed owners. So he decided to rent a player on a one-year basis. This is how he acquired Zisk, Gamble and Soderholm - three key figures in the the 1977 South Side Hit Men lineup.

                          After Veeck sold the team I don't think he ever re-visited old Comiskey again, even though he frequented the bleachers at Wrigley.
                          Free agency was certainly a part of it to be sure but as I posted Bill did have avenues to explore if he chose to regarding getting additional financial support and help. Soderholm by the way was not a one year rental, he signed a multi-year deal with the Sox.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fungo bat View Post
                            After Veeck sold the team I don't think he ever re-visited old Comiskey again, even though he frequented the bleachers at Wrigley.
                            I covered the '83 ALCS. I passed Veeck on the ramp to the Bards' Room after Dotson got lit up in game 3.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lipman 1 View Post

                              Yes and no.

                              In point of fact if you look at some of the investors in his syndicate they were some of the richest people in America, the guy who ran Pfizer Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals was one that I remember.

                              But Veeck felt he had a moral obligation to them to never ask them for more capital investment money and to at least always break even. He simply refused to go back and ask them for more money.

                              That's partially why the memory of him is so convoluted. A "common man owner" is true but those who also claim he was a fraud (Jimmy Piersall) and a huckster (Rich Lindberg) may also have a point. It seems pretty clear if he wished he could have gotten more money to help run the team, he simply felt that was the wrong thing to do.
                              Veeck can be looked at from many angles, for sure. It all has to be filtered through his considerable skill for self-promotion. Thanks for the balanced post.
                              If it's up, put it down. If it's down, put it up.

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