The Old Ballgame

Clark & Addison United Statesundefined

Crosstown Classic/The Old Ballgame
Media Burn
Written By Media Burn

Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video created by artists, activists and community groups.

The World of Diehard Fans

“The most beautiful thing in the world is a ballpark filled with people. And the second most beautiful thing in the world is a ballpark half full of people.” - Bill Veeck

Bleacher culture at Wrigley Field is a world of diehard fans. For about 90 years, there were no reserved seats in the Wrigley Field bleachers, only general admission day-of-game. Fans would queue outside the stadium for cheap seats with no amenities. 

This video shows Bill Veeck at Wrigley on opening day 1985, a year before he died. We see him in the bleachers where his deep love of the game and the joy of being a fan are inspiring. At that time, bleacher tickets cost less than $10 (the equivalent of $23 in 2016). This season, Cubs sell bleacher tickets for an average of about $75 each and resellers are getting more than $100. At those prices, obviously, the bleachers are no longer "the people's seats." 

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“I have discovered in 20 years of moving around a ballpark that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats.” - Bill Veeck

Here we see Veeck in the bleachers with his wife, Mary Frances, and other friends and family singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Always a man of simple indulgences, we hear Bill declare: “This is the epitome of pleasure.”

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