Talking Baseball & America with the Spirit of Studs Terkel


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, D.C.>>Matthew Barton: All right. Good afternoon. Welcome to the Library
of Congress. My name is Matthew Barton. I’m the Curator of the
Recorded Sounds section. Most of the time, I’m down
at the National Audio Visual Conservation Center in
Culpepper, Virginia, about 60 miles south,
oh, southwest of here. But, it’s nice to get up here. I used to work in this building,
though I get lost here now. Any time I get an audience here,
though, I like to ask who’s here for the first time in
the Library of Congress. Anybody? Okay. A few. Okay. Yeah. Welcome. Please come back soon,
and don’t be a stranger. It’s here for you. So, this event, I
can’t take much credit for helping to put it together. It was very much the brain child
of Allison and Tony from the from the Studs Terkel Archive, and I’ll introduce
everybody in a moment. I wanted to say something,
though, about the project that we’re working on with the
Studs Terkel Archive in Chicago. This began a little
over seven years ago. Studs Terkel’s recorded
broadcast legacy amounts to about 7000 reels
of tape over 45 years. And, I’m not going to
go all technical on you, but I’ll just say that as
a recorded sound archivist, that period of time
and that range of tape covers pretty much
all of the archival problems that you can have with tape. But, boy, is it ever worth it. You know, and at this
point, we’re about 70% through with the processing, and we’re about 60%
digitally preserved. That is, 60% of those
7000 files, over 4000 of them
have been digitized. And, you can hear
them downstairs if you want to before you leave. Go down to LM119,
LM119 in this building. Karen Fishman our Head of Reference should
be back there by then. [laughs] And, we’ll set you
up with a pair of headphones, and you can listen
to Studs Terkel. I particularly recommend
that you listen to Studs Terkel’s
interview with Eliot Asinof, author of “Eight Men Out”. I just say a word
or two generally about audio preservation. I kind of evangelize for it because I feel it’s a neglected
research resource and, you know, just a neglected treasure,
countless treasures, really. And, I was fortunate enough
to know Studs Terkel slightly in that I worked for Alan Lomax,
one of his very good friends, and met Studs through
Alan and then later, after Alan had retired due
to a series of strokes, the archive was on the same
floor of a building in New York with Studs’ publisher,
New Press. And, Studs would visit
and always ask about Alan, and one time, I actually
got to bring the two of them together again. Really a lovely moment. Alan had aphasia, had
difficulty speaking, but his, the joy was just so palpable. It was really wonderful to be
together with the two of them. And, we’re very fortunate
to have had Studs Terkel with us for so very long. We’re very fortunate
that he saw fit to archive what he was
doing in the first place. Many people don’t. Even, no matter how seriously
they take their work in radio. It’s an ephemeral thing. You finish with it, and
you’re on to the next program. And, I brought with me, from
very late in Studs’ life, “Touch and Go”, this
wonderful memoir. Got a very short passage to read
here, but it’ll give you an idea of the things that are lost but
the things that can be saved. He’s talking about the early
1950s when he’s at a station, another Chicago station, not
WFMT where he [inaudible]. And, he says, “I remember
interviewing Battling Nelson. He was the lightweight
champion way back. We’re talking about 1906 during
the San Francisco earthquake. He was there, giving money
to earthquake victims. A guy tips me off he’s in
Chicago and where to find him. Battling Nelson is in an seedy,
40 watt bulb Ontario Hotel room. I went with Hansen the engineer. Nelson’s wife is cackling
as the old boy tries to remember certain events
in his life, glory moments. Old Bat has a tremendous
sheaf of papers and a ton of scrapbooks, photos. Nelson, the Durable Dane
and the King of Denmark, etc. He opens it up,
and there are headlines. And, he talks, and
there’s his voice. Remember, he’s from 1908, 1910, the kind of guy Hemingway
wrote about. After Red Quinlan left,
the new head dumped me. He did say, ‘These tapes
are yours if you want them.’ I didn’t take them. Should have. Who else would, who the hell
else would have Battling Nelson’s voice today?” So, thankfully, we
don’t have that voice, but we have so many others. And, will you join me please in
welcoming this wonderful panel. We have Alison Schein Holmes, archivist the Studs
Terkel Archive. Tony Macalus, Director
of the same archive. Derek Goldman, drama teacher
at Georgetown University. David Strathairn,
actor, Oscar nominee and star of “Eight Men Out”. And, John Sayles, Director
of “Eight Men Out”. [ Applause ]>>Tony Macalus: So,
thank you all for coming. We’re going to dive
into Studs, baseball, and America in just
a few minutes. But, first, we’re going to
give you just a little more background on this magnificent
thing called the Studs Terkel Radio Archive. And so, first of all, thank
you to the Library of Congress because this would
not be happening without all the amazing
digitizing. The archive is being managed
by Studs’ old radio home WFMT in Chicago and the
Chicago History Museum in a really special partnership. And, of course, we’d
also particularly want to think the National
Endowment for the Humanities which has given really critical
support for this project at a couple of key junctures. And, especially give a call out
thanks to Jon Parrish Peede, the Chairman of NEH,
David Weinstein, Program Officer who’s
been a great source of advice and wisdom. So, quickly, I’ll tell you what
we’ve got planned for today. We could go on into great detail into what is the Studs
Terkel Radio Archive. We’re going to give you just a
little bit of that, but then, we’re going to watch
come clips of Studs, see a little bit
of “Eight Men Out”. Here’s some readings, theatrical
brought to life, and a few clips from Studs’ program
specifically on baseball. But, I’ll mention, and
then my colleague, Allison, will join to talk a little
more about what the archive is. But, essentially,
when Studs retired from his daily radio
show in 1997, again, he left behind this trove of
tapes to Chicago History Museum. The Library of Congress began
their work a little more than a decade later, and
this History Museum came back to Studs’ old radio home,
now five years ago to say, “Do you have any thoughts on how to make all this
accessible to the world?” It’s one thing to have
tapes even online, but how to make them appealing,
how to make a new generation of listeners want
to find out what’s in there and listen to them. And so, a long process
began, with help from the NEH and others, of building
this site. And then, just over a month and
a half ago, on Studs’ birthday, May 16th, the whole thing
went live at studsterkel.org. And so, with beautiful
photography. There’ll be a remixing
tool coming out soon where people can go
in and remix audio, but also education programs
we’ll talk a bit more about in a second. A brand new podcast coming
out in October called “Bug House Square”
with Eve Ewing, hosted by a phenomenal
young poet, scholar, activist who will bring all
this to a new generation. But, today, we’re here
specifically talking about Studs and baseball, and the
archive is divided into about 60 categories,
and really, we could do a similar event on
each one of those categories. It could be Studs and
jazz or Studs and feminism or Studs and World War II. But, today, we’re
doing baseball, in part because of the fantastic
exhibit across the street, which, if you haven’t seen,
I definitely suggest going over right after this. But, also, Studs was a
deep lover of baseball and all the cultural
surroundings of it, the long conversation,
the understanding, the nuances of the game,
and one of the reasons that he had this role in
John’s film I think was because he was a
deep baseball lover. But, I just to end my
portion and then bring Allison up for a bit of this to
say that Studs, though, when he was a kid,
didn’t play baseball. He was a, when he was in
Chicago, he actually was born in New York but moved to
Chicago when he was eight. And, he had asthma and
other health problems. And so, he spent a couple of
summers in a kind of sanitarium on Lake Michigan on the Michigan
side listening to the radio. And, that’s when he first
discovered politics and things like opera and other music,
sitting there in bed, you know, listening to things, listening
to baseball games as well, listening to the Republican
Democratic convention in 1920. And so, Studs, despite his love
of baseball, never really got to play baseball until
he was 90 years old. And, I’ll tell you that story
at the end of the whole event. But, you got to stick
around to find out about Studs’ major league
baseball debut at the age of 90. But, first, Allison, do
you want to talk a bit about some of the facets of the.>>Allison Schein Holmes: Sure.>>Tony Macalus: The archive? And, I can jump in.>>Allison Schein
Holmes: Maybe I can. There we go. Thanks, Tony. Oh. All right. Just a few quick facts
because Tony pretty much covered everything. When you do go to
studsterkel.org, please know that there are a
few ways that you can engage in deeper level than typical
radio archives is that you, we’ve got about 164 programs
currently transcribed with more coming down the pike. And, while transcription
is wonderful and great, what you can also
do is share portions of the most meaningful bits
across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
that will allow people to come right back to that
exact moment that you were just so excited about you
had to tell everyone. Also, if you are an educator
or know some educators that are looking for some
exciting content to use to enhance their
current lesson plans, we do have a classroom
section of studsterkel.org where we currently have three
different curriculum already put together, lesson plans, audio,
everything, right there ready for you to go or your
fellow educators, to go into really
have some fun with. There’s learning based ones,
and then there’s project. They’re all learning. There’s project based ones that really will help
give students a chance to have a deeper connection to
history that sometimes we lose when we’re reading it but can
definitely hear it and feel it when you hear the conversations
with members of [inaudible], with women’s rights and
labor rights movements. So, anyway, we implore
you to go to the website. Have fun with it. Enjoy. We are constantly
adding to it. As Matthew said, they’re
continuing the digitization, so we will be adding more there. And, if there’s something
that you’re interested in and you don’t see, feel
free to drop me an email, and we’ll see what
we can do for you. So, welcome, and I hope you
have fun listening to the talk on baseball and Studs. Derek?>>Matthew Barton: Great.>>Derek Goldman: Great.>>Tony Macalus:
Just a quick note. The program is probably
going to last about an hour and 20 minutes, something
like that, and we’re going to leave lots of space
at the end for questions and answers on any
of the topics. So, to John and David
and others. So, keep questions in mind. We’re eager to hear some
feedback from you all. All right.>>Derek Goldman: Great. Hi, everybody. Can you hear me okay? Great. Yes, as Tony mentioned,
my name I’d Derek Goldman. I’m very, I can’t imagine,
for me, getting to talk about Studs is one of my great
heroes and who I felt lucky to get to spend some time with
towards the end of his life and to talk about baseball
and to be among heroes of mine like John and David who
has also become a friend and collaborator. But, who I still think
of as a hero of mine. So, it’s, these are my favorite
topics, and I just will share. I think I’m going to do
the least of the talking, but I wanted to just
share a little bit about how my relationship with Studs felt particularly
entwined with baseball. And, as someone who’s
been a, like, lifelong, die hard baseball fan, it might
open up just to sort of put on the table a couple of themes
of, like, how, at least for me, and I felt like I
shared this with Studs, how the beautiful seriousness
of everything baseball. I’ll put it that way. So, I was getting to know Studs
in the last decade of his life in the ’90s in Chicago. I’m a playwright and theater
maker and had the opportunity to write a play about
the Haymarket Riots at Steppenwolf Theatre,
and Studs was sort of introduced to Studs. And, he became the kind of
go to labor historian expert, you know, who couldn’t have a
better person in the history of the world, I felt to,
but I got to spend some time with him getting to know him as
we were developing that play. And, that was an interesting
time in the baseball world because it was the mid to late
’90s, and at least in Chicago, Sammy Sosa was, along with
Mark McGuire, informed, helped by various substances
as we now know and tarnished by various substances
were shattering records. And, that was a big part of the
fodder for our time together and our conversations even in
that, in those early moments. And, I remember him using
expressions like, you know, “Skilled craftsmen
plying their trade.” You know, talking,
kind of, at that point, I think ironically
also in a certain way about the way baseball
had changed. But, it was a source
of connection, and I grew up in Boston
very near Fenway Park as a lifelong, die
hard Red Sox fan. And, this was still the period where neither the Red Sox nor
the Cubs had broken their sort of almost century long curse. And, they were sort of,
as many of you know, very, kind of twined franchises
that had a kind of empathy across the American and
the National League. So, I ended up having the chance
to adapt and direct Studs’ book “Will the Circle be Unbroken”
for, which deals with death and mortality and loss. And, we were developing that project a couple
years later in 2003. And, if anyone remember
the 2003 baseball season, it was a particularly
interesting season to be thinking about the
chances of the Red Sox and the Cubs breaking
their respective curses. In fact, what happened
is in October in a sort of painfully twinned symmetry, the two teams were
both five outs away from making the World Series. So, we spent a lot of that year
talking about the possibility of a Red Sox Cubs World
Series which was very real. They both had three run
leads with five outs away from making the World Series. And, neither team made it. The Cubs’ probably
most infamous moment in franchise history
happened in game six when a fan named Steve Bartman
reached over and interfered with left fielder Moisés
Alou and opened the door for the Florida Marlins
to come back. And, for the Red Sox,
two nights later, manager Grady Little left Pedro
Martinez in longer than any, you know, as the whole Red Sox
nation screamed, “Take him out. Take him out. He has nothing left.” And, Little, at the time, said, “That’s probably it
for me as a manager.” And, of course, he was correct. And, the Red Sox went on to lose
to the Yankees in game seven when Aaron Boone, now the Red
Sox manager, hit a homerun off of Tim Wakefield to send them against the Marlins
to the World Series. So, the following year, the Red
Sox actually broke the 86 year old curse, and in fact, just
symmetry that I think is, you know, whatever it means. October 17, 2004 was the
first public performance of “Will the Circle be
Unbroken” at Steppenwolf Theatre which was a very moving occasion with Studs there
and in attendance. And, it, as we entered the
party that night at the place where the post show party was, David Ortiz hit a 12th
inning homerun in game four against the Yankees which,
in what’s now famously known by Red Sox as sort of
the Dave Roberts game. To sort of send the Red Sox
then won the next three games and went on to, it was the
first time a team had come back from 3-0 to make
the World Series, and they won the
World Series in 2004. So, that’s some of the, and
Studs and I, you know, we shared and talked about this. We were living this
connected to that project. So, I’m going to just share a
couple of very quick thoughts that I think may resonate
through the theme of a couple of the readings that David and
I have picked from the sort of [inaudible] of Studs things
that you’ll hear that feel to me like they speak to why I feel
like my love and reverence for Studs Terkel is
so tied to my love and feelings about baseball. Tony eluded to one thing already
which is maybe the most obvious which is that baseball is truly
a conversationalists game. The role of the vernacular
and of the, you know, from the vendors to the
kind of rhythm of the game and the way it opens
conversation. The nicknames that have
existed across time. I just think it’s just
like there’s something about the oral nature of the
game the fans’ role in that and the relationship to time
that’s unique to baseball. Another thing that Studs,
it’s a theme that comes out a little bit in what
we’re going to hear, but I think it’s very deeply
Studs is baseball has a really interesting relationship
between success and failure. It’s the best teams, you know, the sort of adage is every
team loses 50 to 60 games and every team wins
50 to 60 games. And, it’s what teams do
with the other 40 games that distinguishes, you know,
the best from the worst. And, similarly, you know, a
300 hitter is a great hitter and succeeds 30% of the time. And, a 200 hitter
is a terrible hitter and succeeds 20% of the time. You know, more or less. So, I think that’s actually
really something that Studs, there’s something about the idea
that, like, everybody fails, and everybody succeeds. And, people, and the sort of,
and there’s a lot of both. And, you get different turns
to bat, in a sense kind of that feels like something that connects people
to baseball. Studs, as everyone, I think,
knows, was a huge aficionado of music, and his work
itself is hugely musical and attuned to music. And, a lot of the
credit for that goes to amazing people he worked with like the incredible editor
Sydney Lewis, like the sort of sense of musicality of
the human voice and structure and improvisation and
relationship to jazz. And, I think even the, that’s
when I was thinking the books that there’s sort of, there’s
something, a way of thinking about the passages is
almost like innings in a certain kind of way. So, I think we could go on,
and you’ll pluck other themes. But, I wanted to sort of begin
by sharing some of how, for me, and this is part of why it
feels really special to be here. These things all feel like
they get to the deepest core of what I love about Studs. So, I’m going to hand it
over to David who’s going to read a couple passages over
the course of our time together, but this first one sort
of begins talking about, it’s Studs talking about his
relationship to famous owner, baseball owner of the
Chicago White Sox, Bill Veeck.>>David Strathairn: To
me, Bill Veeck was the last of the independent spirits in
sports, and certainly baseball. Before he died, we were sitting
at Miller’s Pub in Chicago, and he would say, “We’re gone. It’s corporate America.” And, he was referring to
the Steinbrenners and, etc. Corporate America
is taking over. It’s not as personal as it was. What I love about Bill Veeck is
the way he analyzed baseball. He say, “You know, we
are a country of losers to a great extent, but certain
moments, we experience victory. Let’s savor that.” For example, the
exploding scoreboard. A corny thing. And Comiskey Park when he was
General Manager of the Sox. The electric scoreboard,
and the team was horrible. The team was rotten, but the
home team gets a homerun, and the crowd goes crazy. He got that from
William Saroyan’s play, “The Time of Your Life.” It’s about the depression. There’s a bar in San Francisco. All the losers are there. Now, there’s a kid
playing a pinball machine. He never wins. One day, he hits the jackpot,
and the pinball machine. The flags go up. The band plays Dixie,
and it’s glorious. That’s the electric scoreboard. The losers can enjoy
a moment of triumph. He believed in that very much. The Chicago White Sox were a
blue collar team, south side, steel mills, Irish
to great extent. It was the park of losers. Ever since the Black Sox,
Joe Jackson and the others. Now, why Babe Ruth is
the greatest athlete. Well, first of all, it’s
from my vantage point. I’m 86 as we have this
conversation, going on 87. So, naturally, a certain
period of my life, the period of the 1930s, and
for that matter the ’20s, I was a kid, a young man. It was The Babe who
saved baseball. Remember that, the
Black Sox scandal? That was it for baseball, and
then they bring in that phony, the Commissioner K.M. Landis. And, they punished the ones
up front, the ball players. And, of course, you
exonerate the others who are really responsible and
who made these guys culpable. So, there’s baseball
in terrible form, and along comes this Paul
Bunyan-esque figure, this guy, this man child, The Babe, George
Herman Ruth, the Sultan of Swat. Bang. And, you see him
circling those bases with the skinny delicate legs
tripping, almost feminine like. We know off the field, he
was quite a colorful figure. He had a gargantuan appetite
in every aspect of life, but The Babe represented, the word is eponymous,
more than synonymous. When you say “baseball” you
say Babe Ruth, of course. The World Series at Cubs
field, and they’re booing him. He’s facing Cubs
pitcher Charlie Root. Now, here comes the story. Now, everybody in know
says they saw the game. That means the place could
have seated a million people. You’ve heard this many times. I saw that game. Some point towards center field,
some point toward right field. Apparently, he did
point somewhere, and he hit the ball
where he pointed. That seems to be the truth, and
I could lie and say, of course, I was one of the million who
was at Cubs Park that day. Invariably, you’ll find fans who
create a moment they’ve heard about and they want to
be part of it again. Well, again, we’re losers, so it’s a natural
logic that I was there. And, you half believe them. Wait until next year. The phrase of all sportscasters. It’s waiting for Godot in a way. The Chicagoans are Vladimir
and Estragon, Deedee and Gogo, the two tramps rolled
into one, the two heroes of Samuel Beckett’s play. We are waiting for
Godot, waiting forever, but at least there’s hope. That, in a sense, is Chicago. [ Applause ]>>Tony Macalus: So, we’ll go and hear a little
Studs from the archive. This is Studs with
Lawrence Ritter, author of “The Glory
of Their Times.” Just a brief passage.>>Allison Schein Holmes: And, I was locked out,
so give me a second. I didn’t want it to make a
noise while David was reading, so that is why it
is not unlocked.>>Tony Macalus: I think all the
clips we’ll be playing today, just a handful of
them, are available on the website among
the many, many. We can talk a bit more, or we
can jump ahead and come back if you want a little
more time, too.>>Allison Schein
Holmes: Hang on. Sorry. This is not my
machine, so I’m dealing with other people’s
login information.>>Tony Macalus: While
we’re waiting for this, one of the things that
Stud liked to talk about, and when you hear any of this
audio or what we just heard here from David, too, is this
concept of the feeling tone. Studs had lots of
great definitions for describing what
he did in terms of when it was oral history
or radio or performance which is an own thing to itself. But, Studs liked to talk about
the feeling tone being this, the way I think of it is
kind of the quality you get in somebody’s voice that’s
beyond the literal meaning of their words. But, the kind of the way that
they sigh or laugh or even, you know, light a
cigarette and inhale or pause in a conversation that gives
you a sense of what it felt like to live through
a certain experience. And, when you listen to some of
these programs, it think it’s, one of the things
that’s exciting about the audio archive is that
it’s not just hearing history, seeing it written down in
the page or even visually. But, getting that
feeling tone, that. There’s a program with Studs
is talking with a group from the student nonviolent
coordinating committee that have been doing lunch
counter protests in the south. And, they were interviewing
Studs. He, fairly young people. They’d been in prison and dealt
with the dogs and so forth. And, in programs like that, you
hear the fear in their voices as they’re describing
things, but hen, gradually, and as they sing together a
little bit, how the fear shifts from fear to pride and a
certain kind of triumph. And, that’s the kind
of thing that, if you’re just seeing
it written on the page, you just don’t get it all in
an audio archive like this. And, particularly exciting when
you think about us students. We can move on and come back
to this a little bit later if you want, but while, well,
we’ll see if Allison comes back, and we’ll jump back
into [inaudible]. But, just last week, I
was in Ireland talking about the archive to a big
oral history conference. We were talking particularly
about the Cold War and radio and how you communicated things. And, there’s a program in the
archive on Studs was in England in 1962 visiting the home, the cottage of the wizened
philosopher Bertrand Russell 19– fall of 1962, the day that the Cuban Missile
Crisis erupted. And, Bertrand Russell, at
the age of 90 was the person, the point person for,
you know, talking, leading the anti-nuclear
movement. And, there was Studs with
his portable [inaudible] tape recorder talking with
Bertrand Russell. You know, opening the
conversation while the clock dings in the background saying
something along the lines of, “Is that the clock of
doom striking midnight or just an ordinary clock?” And, the phone’s ringing
throughout the interview. And, just this sense of being in
a moment in history, you know, sitting there wondering if the world was possibly
facing nuclear annihilation and hearing the voice
of Bertrand Russell, rising voice trying
to bring some calm to this clearly terrifying
moment. So, just a few of my
favorite examples. And, do you want to go and
jump into another reading, and then we can jump back to, maybe jump back to
Lawrence Ritter.>>Derek Goldman:
Yeah, [inaudible].>>Tony Macalus: So,
let’s move ahead.>>Derek Goldman:
Introduce this one?>>Tony Macalus: Yeah.>>Derek Goldman:
So, this is one of, we have three readings total. This is, one of them is in a
different voice than Studs, but one that I think is mirrors. It’s the voice of Hank Edinger
who is featured in the book “Will the Circle be Unbroken”
and was a friend of Studs and a retired printer
at the time. And, kind of a lifelong
bar fly denizen, larger than life personality. And, this, again, the
context for the book “Will the Circle be Unbroken”
if you don’t know it, is about mortality and
relationship to death which here, you’ll see, for Hank
is quite tied to his connection or at least a question
about baseball.>>David Strathairn: My family
consisted of 11 children. I’m number ten. The first four died in
infancy from Scarlet Fever. The other seven were
remarkable in their survival. I’m a good example of that
because I’m now 88 years old. I don’t have any
troubles physically. I’m drinking my beers every
day at the old down ale house and Billy Goats,
and I sleep well. I feel the approach of
ale housers disease. Oh, that’s my name for it. The loss of certain memories that were usually
so clear in my mind. Has there ever been one
single tiny bit of evidence that there’s a hereafter? Never once. There is no evidence. There is never anybody
that comes back. The earth is here. We’re here. The animals are here. The birds are here, and then,
what do you need God for? What for when you die? You go back to the earth
from which you arose. You’re dead, and that’s the end. Kaput. People try to convert me,
try to get me back to religion. One was a bright, young man
from Moody Bible Institute. He accosts me at North and
Wells and hands me a pamphlet. I said, “No, thanks. I happen to be an atheist.” He says, “You can’t
be an atheist.” And, I says, “I can’t. Well, I figure I’ve been an
atheist for about 50, 60 years. Why can’t it be? He says, “Who made you?” and I said, “You mean to say
that you attained the age of 25 and nobody explained the
facts of life to you yet?” He took his pamphlet
back, but he laughed, and he got a kick out of it. I ask people, “Do you believe
in the Noah’s ark story? Two each of everything?” Yes, the Bible says it’s so. Well, I says, “Well,
then, tell me, what do the anteaters
have for the second meal?” [ Laughter ] And, they’re dumfounded. You know, there are two
ants and two anteaters. Now, I have absolutely
no fear of death. I know that one of these days,
poof, I’m done, I’m gone. But, I’ll live on in the
memories of a hell a lot of people that I
effected, because I feel that if anybody should go
to heaven, it should be me. I’ve spent my whole life
working for the laboring man, for farmers, for the poor,
against war, against racism. I just happen to think
that I’m a saint. [ Laughter ] In fact, I know when
I’m going to die. I made up my mind, oh,
say, ten years ago. I’m going to die in the
year 2008, around November. And, I figure, when
that year comes, I’m going to borrow money,
sell everything I have, which is nothing, accumulate
as much money as I can, and bet the whole thing
that the Cubs are going to win the World Series. [ Laughter ] But, it would be 100 years since
they did, and I figure they have to do it once in a century. And, when I get that money, I’m
going to throw the biggest party at the ale house and at Billy
Goats, and that’ll be enough. [ Applause ]>>Derek Goldman: So, just a quick footnote,
as you probably know. The Cubs did not win the
World Series by 2008. Although, they’ve
won it since in 2016. But, the, but it’s interesting. But, Stubs passed away
on October 31, 2008. So, when I now hear that
passage about November of 2008. And, of course, it was just
days before the election of Barak Obama who he knew well. And so, that November
2008 date still resonates in different ways
ten years later than it did when Hank spoke it.>>Tony Macalus: Do we want
to move to John talking about “Eight Men Out”? We’ll get to audio at the end. That’ll be the, yeah.>>John Sayles: I had met Studs. I did his radio show
for our movie “Return of the Secaucus 7”
which David was in. And. [ Applause ] Had heard him on radio and
kind of knew who he was. I was a big fan of
Nelson Algrens, and he and Nelson Algren, the
novelist were really tight. And, my first meeting with
Studs, I felt like, “Oh, my god, I’m not going to get
a word in edgewise.” You know, thought this
guy asked questions, but he actually,
he was an archive. He was an archive with two
legs, and if you got him started on anything, he would
start to free associate. So, one day, on the set, the
newsroom set that we had, there was a picture of,
photograph of Jack Dempsey. “Jack Dempsey, Jack. I saw Jack Dempsey in
the Drake Hotel once. We had a meeting at the Drake. There was a wonderful
bellhop at the Drake Hotel.” And then, he’d talk for half
an hour about the bellhop and maybe never get
back to Jack Dempsey. So, I figured I’m cooked. I’m going to be on this show. This guy’s just going to talk,
and I hope he saw the movie. And then, the minute
the radio show started, he was like a chess master. He started down a road. I’m like, where’s
he going with this? And, sure enough,
at ten of the hour, he’d bring it back
to where he started. He always did this thing
of writing down about 2/3 of the way through the
show the name of a song. And, he’d hand it to a production assistant
who’d go back to his engineer. And, that was the
song that was going to be played as the show ended. And, for our Secaucus 7 show, it was John Prine
singing “Illegal Smile”. Perfect song for that
particular thing. So, I knew Studs, and I had
written the screenplay for “Eight Men Out” 13 years
before I got to make it. So, it was a long,
long, long period. And, I had gotten
to that project because I had read a long
prose poem by Nelson Algren, something for opening day. And, he, you know, talked about
the individuals on the team. And then, he footnoted
Eliot Asinof’s book “Eight Men Out” And, we
eventually got an option on Eliot’s book, and
I got to make it. So, it was this long
process where, as I say, I started out with Martin
Sheen at third base and ended up with Charlie Sheen
in center field. But, the one guy I’d
always had in my mind, there were these two sports
writers who were the guys who kind of blew the story, who,
because other sports writers, they didn’t want to talk. They knew it was going on. They didn’t want
to talk about it. It’s bad for baseball. Or, they had been taking so much
of Charles Comiskey’s free lunch and free booze over the
years that they felt like I can’t betray Comi, you
know, and write about, you know, what’s going on with
the players. I’ll just keep a lid on it. It’ll be bad for baseball. But, Ring Lardner who was, had
been a sports writer for a long, long time and was covering that. And, another guy Hugh Fullerton
were the guys who said this is, something fishy is
going on here. And, we’re going to, we’re going
to get to the bottom of it, and we’re going to
write about it. And, you know, got all kinds of
flack, and they were, you know, considered like anarchists
for doing this. And, the descriptions of
them were Ring Lardner who was this tall, thin guy who
had a very dry sense of humor and seemed kind of like, you
know, a funeral director. And then, this little cigar
stub of a man, Hugh Fullerton, were always this Mutt
and Jeff act walking down the street together. I’m 6’4″ and Studs was not. [ Laughter ] So, one of the problems
in shooting scenes with us was getting
us in the same frame. When we were still, I would
either sit down or I would stand with my legs spread
really far apart and kind of come down to Studs’ level. When we had to walk together,
we just had to widen the lens. And, when I, and I also knew that Studs had been a
buddy of Bill Veecks. And so, I figure, well, he must
be, you know, a Cubs fan by now. You know, and he’s interviewed
all these baseball guys. So, Stud say, “Oh, yeah. Hugh Fullerton. I knew that, you know. And, I was around
for the Black Sox. And, it was like a pall over
Chicago, this awful history.” And then, he got into
Kenesaw Mountain Landis and how he put the
wrong people in jail. And then, he ended up,
you know, being the czar of baseball forever
in equity of that. So, the first day that
Studs was on the set, he was telling stories and
everything, and you know, he had a great mind for
his lines and everything. No problem with the lines. The real problem was when
he would finish his lines, he’d freeze with
cigar in midair. And then, wait for another line. And then, he’d say his
line, and he’d freeze. I said, “Studs, this
isn’t radio.” “Oh, god. That’s right,
that’s not radio.” Because he had, as a young
man, done radio plays. And, he said, “I always got
the Edward G. Robinson part, and I always got to hold the
cigar and say, ‘Yeah, yeah.'” [ Laughter ] And, it actually took
them very many takes, and I had to remind
him many, many times, you know, this is not radio. You have to, like,
pretend you’re listening to the other people even if you’re really just
looking for your next line. And, the, I did a show
a couple more times. He did a novel, “Union
Dues” that I had done. And, I came in, and I
figured, well, okay. It’s a long book, and I’m
sure he has researchers and everything. And, I sit down with him,
and there are probably in a 375 page book,
there’s 100 little markers. He’s annotated my book. And so, as we’re going through, and he’s color coded
the annotations. So, the red ones are the
first ones to get to. And, I mean, just amazing. And, so comfortable
in the conversation. There’s no “ums” and “ers”,
but he was this magician at drawing people out. And, he knew kind of where
he wanted to take you, where he wanted you
to lead the audience to to reveal yourself,
to reveal the book. One of the things in the
archive is his interview with Eliot Asinof. Eliot Asinof was, he’d been
a minor league ball player. He basically, because he wasn’t
great and because he was Jewish, he didn’t get to, and World War
II came around, he didn’t get to be a major league
ball player. But, he probably could have hung
on if he hadn’t been Jewish. He got black listed. Eventually, he found that
his name showed up first when he got his, you
know, his, you know, much redacted stuff
from the FBI. His first appearance
on their list was for signing a petition outside of Yankee Stadium saying
it was time for them to have a black ball player. That got you on J. Edgar
Hoover’s shit list at that time. And then, he married
Marlon Brando’s sister, and she got black listed,
basically, as a, you know, a diversion so they wouldn’t
go after her brother. And, pretty soon,
he was black listed. And, he started tracking
down these baseball players, and he talked to these
guys just before they died, many of them just
before they died. And, they all had their
own version of the thing, but he wrote this, you know, and
Nelson Algren was kind of one of the people who got
him started on it. But, their talk is
an incredible one. His nickname among his writer
friends was “God’s angry man”. [ Laughter ] And, he was late in the
black list, so he was a front for a couple years
for other guys who had already been
black listed. Except he was so cantankerous. He went in for one writer, and he started arguing
with the producer. Those are the stupidest notes
I’ve ever seen and got fired. When it wasn’t even his project. And, Studs was kind of the
benign version of, you know, they had this very similar past. And, Studs was kind
of the benign, who could get along
with anybody. And, Eliot was the guy
who would find a way to start a war with
almost anybody.>>David Strathairn: I just
wanted to add one thing. When John mentioned how Studs
was kind of a chessman and knew that he could make
friends with anybody. The one, the one firsthand
experience I had during the shooting of the film was sitting
at lunch with Studs with a bunch of some of the extras. And, we were shooting
in Indiana, a red state. And, we were sitting
across the table from some locals form
there, and Studs, he just got them
into conversation. And, just started kind
of peeling away the, what they thought about the
present state of the union. And, just because of his sort
of elfish charm and how his, just his gift of being, you
know, of interviewing somebody, it came, it came to
pass that all these guys at the other table
started realizing or thinking they had a kindred
spirit in which they could bring out every vehement, you know,
vitriolic thing they had against the other side. And, there’s Studs, you know, a socialist guy who’s just
pulling this stuff from them. And then, lunch was done. We’re all sitting around
taking a lesson in this skill and wondering how is he getting
these people to be so free with volunteering the,
you know, what they think. And then, lunch is
over, and we leave. And, he sits back, and he says
something to the effect that, “There, you know,
it’s not all that hard to get everybody’s dirty
laundry on the line.” [ Laughter ]>>Allison Schein Holmes: Okay. So, now, thank you to the IT
team here for helping us out. We’re going to play
a short clip. Thank you. [ Applause ] About Studs talking about
his experience being on set, and then, do you want to introduce the Ritter
clip before or after?>>Tony Macalus: We’ll do after.>>Allison Schein Holmes: Okay. All right. [ Inaudible Comments ]>>Existential hero.>>That’s right. That’s right.>>[inaudible] flawed and, nonetheless [inaudible]
flaws of the other.>>That’s right. So true, isn’t it?>>Yeah, yeah.>>You acted on stage. You’ve acted in film. What differences did
you note of interest?>>[inaudible] the
second one was funny. The first was [inaudible]
about the Sox baseball scandal.>>”Eight Men Out”>>Yeah. “Eight Men
Out”, and he [inaudible]. He’s a dead ringer. Ring Lardner, Jr.
covered, was covering some of the shooting of it. He’s just like [inaudible]. And, I was [inaudible] an
actual guy who can cover. We were a chorus. But, the second [inaudible]. I had two lines. I want to tell you about this. Years ago, there
was a [inaudible]. I was in TV. We’ll come to that in a minute. Chicago TV, a thing
called “Studs Place”. And, the director
was named Dan Petrie who finally became
a movie director. [inaudible] Jane Fonda in a
movie called “The Doll Maker”. “The Doll Maker”
[inaudible] a very good one where she plays the wife of an
Appalachian guy who get a job in World War II in a
war plant in Detroit. But, they shot the
film in Chicago. And so, she comes to the
[inaudible] into a taxicab, and the two lines
for the cab driver. So, Dan Petrie says to Jane
Fonda [inaudible] Chicago. He’s in Chicago doing it, but
[inaudible] he’s very funny. And, she’s, “I know Studs. We’re on the same platform
together many times during the Vietnam, anti-Vietnam stuff.” So, we do the scene. Two lines [inaudible] I’ve never
sat behind the wheel in my life. I don’t drive a car. I’ve never, I have
no idea [inaudible]. Step on it. You don’t step on
it [inaudible]. And, that [inaudible]. So, I’m [inaudible] two
lines, and it’s funny. Then, he say, “Now, you pull
out, drive away,” [inaudible]. I said, “What the hell
are you talking about?” And, he’s.>>Allison Schein Holmes:
Do you want to do the, he said continue
on talking with?>>Tony Macalus: Yeah,
let’s hear a little bit of this very brief
clip here now. This is Studs with
Lawrence Ritter, the author of “The
Glory of their Times.” So, it’s a minute or
so to hear the voice from the radio archive itself.>>And, it was a primitive
thing, just beginning, and there was no money in it. The fields were rough. They had rocks in them. Very often, the players
went out with their own rake and raked up their position. The fans were part of the game. They were on the
field half the time, and the umpire shooed them off. And, they’d run back again. And, the players and
the fans were one. Now, there’s a very stern
railing separates the playing field and the grandstand,
and neither one can go on the other’s territory.>>I think this is
worth dwelling upon. Something has happened. Quite obviously, we speak
of a certain game that kids in every small town
everywhere, they, he was the culture hero,
the baseball player. Of course, Cobb. Of course, a man like
Crawford, a man like [inaudible] and the very colorful and
eccentric Rube Waddell. But, there’s a little
difference. Even though some of the players
today may be equally as good, some of the great
ones like Mays.>>Baseball took hold
quickly in this country. It was a country that,
it was a sport, I think, that was very well suited for
late 19th century America. And, it took hold very quickly, really just got started
in about 1880, 1890. And, by 1910, 1915, the top
notch ball player had a position in American society in
the mind of the kid. Not in the mind of the grown up. In the mind of the kid
that was unequaled. Or maybe the heavyweight
champion of the world. Maybe John L. Sullivan
also was no pinnacle.>>Yes.>>But, nobody else.>>But, there was this rapport between audience,
even physically. You say, they want on the field. There was this rapport. They were not watching
automata at work.>>Oh, no, no, no.>>Individual man.>>[inaudible] is full of
even as late as the ’20s when Paul Waner who was the
old youngest in the book who played the latest. Even as late as the ’20s,
Paul talked to the people in the right field bleachers. He talked to the fans. It was a, there was a
oneness inside of the stadium that didn’t stop
at the railings.>>John Sayles: One
thing that happened in the 1919 World Series that I didn’t have
enough money at the time. Because it was before CGI and were having a hard
time getting extras. Is Comiskey was such a skinflint
and so into making money that after he sold
all of the seats for, there were nine World Series
games scheduled that year. And, they didn’t go
all the full nine, but it was going
to be nine games. He sold standing
room in the outfield. So, there were about 300 people
in left field, and they had two, you know, ushers holding a rope to keep them back
against the wall. And so, of course,
when, you know, it was a ground rule double
if you hit into that area, so of course, a Chicago
guy hit a fly ball there, they would push forward
and bring the wall in. And, when a Cincinnati guy
hit one, they would back up against the wall and give
their guy a chance to catch it. So, it was a much more
personal kind of thing. And, you were talking to
guys throughout the game. They were, they were,
there was no hiding them.>>Tony Macalus: So, we’re going
to look at just a little clip from the film, and then
another reading and.>>Allison Schein Holmes:
[inaudible] find the clip.>>Tony Macalus: Okay.>>Allison Schein Holmes: Sorry.>>Tony Macalus: We will. So, let’s go on to the
last reading there, and then we’ll bring the
clip up if we find it. And then, hear a
little more Studs. But then, we want
to open things up and get questions
from you all as well. So, anything you
want to say there?>>Derek Goldman: Do you want to
do that just a thought on the.>>Tony Macalus: Yeah.>>Derek Goldman: Do
you want to, should we, do we have the audio Roger
Kahn Jackie Robinson? [ Inaudible Comment ] Why don’t we do that
before the reading, and then we can open it up if.>>Tony Macalus: Okay. That sounds good. So, this is [inaudible]
Roger Kahn talking about Jackie Robinson. What more can you say?>>It’s a book about certain men
who happen in the glory moments of their lives to have
been baseball players. It’s about skilled
craftsmen at a certain moment in their lives how it happened
to them after the skill had gone and the glory had gone. So, what happens as humans. But, certain people
together at a certain moment. And, you said integrated. So, now, the catalytic figure
here is Jackie Robinson.>>Jackie’s just the tremendous
man and overlooked now, I think, generally by society. People forget. Let me say some of the things
that Jackie had endured within the bound of taste. This is the 25th anniversary, this Opening Day will
be the 25th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first
game in the major leagues. His black cat was loose.>>1947.>>1947, Opening Day. He went hitless. A black cat was loosed on the
field, and Jack walked over and picked up the animal
and stroked its fur. Watermelon, shoes were held
up, and they shine these. He went up to bat in St.
Louis, and somebody said, “No wonder you can’t
get a decent shine in St. Louis anymore.” John Kiren [assumed spelling]
described this as the subtle wit so characteristic
of ball players with some irony years ago. The Cardinals were
going to strike. The strike was broken by
enterprising newspaper work. The Dodgers themselves
petitioned, and we were not talking then
about scatter site housing, about integrated
schools, about anything. We were talking about the right
of a man to play in the infield of a major league baseball team. And, I think it’s probably
hard for young people to realize what a
flaming issue this was. And so, as the times
have changed, and Jack is a republican. He seems conservative
to many young militants. Works for Nelson
Rockefeller on occasion. And, I said to him, one
day we were having lunch. I said, “Jack, you know,
you’ve become conservative.” And, he said, “I have
not become conservative. I’m exactly what I
was, what I always was, but the times have
changed around me.”>>That’s interesting, though, the young today Jackie
Robinson conservative. The young militants look upon
him as somewhat of a Tom. Yet, forgetting what he did because it’s kind
of [inaudible]. But, the same thing, he’s saying that times have altered
considerably you see. All he was is this man who was a
conservative politically wanted to follow his craft.>>Tony Macalus: Great.>>Matthew Barton: If I could.>>Derek Goldman: Yeah, please. Hi. Yeah.>>Matthew Barton: The
sound archivist in me, just going to break
continuity for a moment and go back to Lawrence Ritter. I suspect most of you know
who Lawrence Ritter was and what he did, but I just
wanted to make sure for anyone who doesn’t because
it’s really singular. In the early ’60s, I think, he
went around and interviewed, recorded interviews with as
many early baseball players as he could find. And, this became the basis
of his book “The Glory of Their Times” which
is a marvelous book. And, those recordings,
you know, thankfully, and this is the archivist
speaking. And, those are recordings,
thankfully, that have been archived. They all survived. There was even a record album
that came out in the ’60s, and you can probably find
some of these things online. So, a plug for Lawrence
Ritter and what he did, that book, those recordings.>>Derek Goldman: Right. It’s my favorite, it’s the
best baseball book, I think. It’s a beautiful book. So, this is the third of our
readings, and it’s, so Studs, as we’ve said, did not live to see the Cubs winning the
World Series, but he did live to see the White Sox win the
World Series which was a team, as you’ve heard a
little bit already, that in some ways was
closer to his heart and deeper in his heart. And, these, this last
one is kind of woven from some of Studs’ writings. He was looked to around
that time to sort of comment on what was happening with
the White Sox and that sort of opened out as it
always did with Studs into some other commentary. So, this is from that,
from that period.>>David Strathairn: It’s
a possibility the Cubs and the White Sox
in the World Series. The thought is overwhelming. It’s happened before, and
you could look it up, 1906. The Sox won. Of all that has happened,
the Roaring ’20s, the Great Depression, the war
against fascism, the Cold War, McCarthyism, the mad adventure
in southeast Asia, our own time of great bewilderment. The Cubs and the White Sox in the World Series would
be the most unimaginable. [ Laughter ] I’m working on my memoirs. It’s the last thing I’ll do if I can finish it
before I check out. I’m going to be 94 soon,
so if I make it a year, I’ve got it made. I was raised as a
Giants fan in New York. I was eight years old
when I came here in 1920. I was a John McGraw fan. John McGraw was for
blacks in baseball. You know that? He tried to pass off a
couple of blacks as Cubans. After a while, I
became a Sox fan. How could you not
root for a team that after the 1919 scandal was
so bad you had to root for them? Earl [inaudible], first base,
had a wooden leg almost. And, an outfielder
named Smeed Jolly. How could you not
root for a team with an outfielder
named Smeed Jolly? The Cubs have been
a legend for years. Nothing to do with baseball. You have to understand that. The Cubs’ popularity had nothing
whatsoever to do with baseball. It’s a place to come to,
as they say the air show is or the auto show or
the Art Institute. It’s a place to be
at, and many have come from suburbs and nearby towns. It’s not really baseball. It’s a place to be at, and
we see that with the bimbos and the louts and
the Bud Lights. After the game, you ask
them, “Who did the Cubs play? What was the score?” They shake their heads. It’s not about baseball. It’s about having
been to a place to be. You’re talking to an old
guy who’s a curmudgeon. Was I an athlete? Oh, god, no. I was the worst athlete ever. I’d fall off bicycles. You know who was a great story? Mo Berg. Now, he could catch. Now, he was so-so,
but he was a linguist. He worked in the Army
to do some decoding. He could speak about
seven languages, so one of the writers wrote, “He
could speak in seven languages but couldn’t catch in one.” [ Laughter ] Now, I don’t want to glorify the
old days because they weren’t that good either, but when
you went to see the Sox, at least it was a ballgame. I’m not saying Sox fans
are brighter than Cub fans. They’re not. Well, neither one is. [ Laughter ] I’ll never forget this. I was sitting with Bill Veeck in
the Bard’s room, the dining room at the old Comiskey Park. And, it was about two weeks after he hired Larry
Doby as manager. Remember, he had Larry
as the first black player for the Indians, and
then, he managed the Sox. It was two weeks, two weeks, and
the Sox were losing more games than they were winning. So, there’s a call, and
he answers the call. He’s looking at me and
saying, “Oh, Mrs. Meyerhoff,” or whatever her name was. “You think I should
fire Larry Doby. It’s only two weeks. We’ve only played
about ten games. Oh, oh, no. I know. It’s not race.” And, he raises his
eyes to the ceiling. “Oh, it’s not race at all. No, I realize that.” A 1919 Black Sox scandal,
Buck Weaver, third baseman, did not take part in it. He didn’t inform
on the other guys. The eighth guy kicked out of should have been
Sox owner Charles Comiskey, the way he exploited
the players. It made them a natural for
a guy like Arnold Rothstein, the gambler who fixed
the 1919 World Series. I had a friend, 91 like me,
who wants to live to 2008 because he thinks the Cubs
and the White Sox may meet in the World Series to
celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cubs winning the series. At least we can dream. It’s over the rainbow. We’re all Judy Garlands. Do saucers fly? Do fiddlers play on rooftops? [ Applause ]>>Tony Macalus: So,
let’s take some questions. All right. Do we want to pass it? We don’t have a mic
we can pass to. Okay. We’ll repeat
the question, then. Great.>>Thank you all. I just want to put in a plug for [inaudible] who’s not just
a reporter, but he wrote some of the most marvelous
stories about baseball ever. And, he’s largely
forgotten now, unfortunately. But, especially [inaudible].>>Derek Goldman: Thank you.>>John Sayles: Yeah,
Ring, Jr., his son got, I got to know a little bit. He, we invited him to the set. And, I said, and
there was a scene where I was playing
Ring Lardner, and I asked him afterwards
what it was like to see somebody
play his father. And, he said, “Uncomfortably
familiar.” [ Laughter ] Which I took as a compliment. But, he was a great writer. He never quite wrote novels. He wrote short stories. He wrote musicals, and he was
so, he was a friend of most of those ball players, and he
was, but he was a straight guy. He was so troubled by the
immorality of it and then, just, he felt like he had
let down their public. And, he always was
very uncomfortable with this relationship with
Comiskey and free drinks for all the reporters. And, some of that, the story
about how he developed his style of writing because he was,
Hemingway was a big fan of Ring Lardner’s, and
one of the things he liked about Ring Lardner is
he felt like he was one of the most successful
and few American writers after Mark Twain who
wrote in vernacular. And, he started writing in
this voice that you hear, and you know me now and
some of these other stories. He traveled with both the Cubs
and the White Sox and went on some of their
road games with them. And, he’d be on the train
with them and stuff like that. And, you notice that he’d
stay in the same hotel. There was this one
player who always sat next to him on the, at breakfast. And, he started to realize
there’s something weird. He always orders what I order. Exactly. And, he started
ordering some kind of, you know, exotic things, and the guy
would order the same thing. And, then, he realized
the guy’s illiterate. And, I’m a big breakfast
eater, and he just figures, well, I’ll read the menu. Oh, I’ll have the same he does. Or, I just repeat the thing. So, it kind of was obvious
the guy thought, well, Ring must know that, but we’re
not going to talk about it. And, one day, the guy came
to him and said, “Ring, I want to play a joke on my
wife, and I’m going to tell her that I’m learning how to type. But, I don’t really
know how to type. So, I’m going to dictate letters
to you, and you type them up like I wrote them.” And, he realized the guy misses
his wife and wants to write to her, and he can’t do it
because he’s illiterate. And so, he went through
this charade, and you know, every couple days, the guy
would dictate, and the guy was, you know, not very educated. And, he made a lot
of grammar mistakes. And, Ring said, “I’m going
to spell like he could spell if he could spell at all.” And, that was where that
voice originally came from was from this illiterate
guy dictating to Ring and him saying, “This guy’s a
great storyteller, but I’m going to tell it in his voice.”>>Tony Macalus: And,
there’s a really wonderful, really enthralling
interview with Ring Lardner, Jr. in the Studs audio archive. We may get to a clip
of that at the end. We’ll see. Okay. We’ll start left and work
our way in the middle here. So. Yep.>>I was thrilled
that the footage of the 1919 World Series
surfaced [inaudible]. But, I was wondering what other
audio visual record if any of the 1919 series exists.>>John Sayles: There was
very, very little at the time, and there was, it was
mostly in news reels. I have to figure in 1919,
you know, in the movie, you see people listening
to crystal sets. So, radio hadn’t
even really started. A couple years from then, for
the first many, many years, ballgames were not
broadcast live. It was two guys getting a ticker
tape, and there’s famous stories of Ronald Reagan when
other guys, when he did it when the ticker tape would break
down, they’d, like, invent, well, the manager’s going out
to the mound again, and it looks like it may rain, and
they’re, you know. And, they’d have to stall. And, they would have sound
effects for a homerun and cheers and things like that. So, there just wasn’t
that much film, and it came from the archives of
the news reels, and apparently, there was this stuff, you know,
up frozen under a, you know, a building that had been a movie
theater or something like that or had been converted into a movie theater
whenever the film got up during the gold rush. And, there’s some interesting,
including this bizarre thing that somebody flew a plane over
game two and dropped a dummy of a ball player from it. And, people thought,
“Oh, my god. He’s going to die.” You know, and they actually
were warned about that, and so that was one of
the things that they got. But, it was amazing to see that
after we had made the movie. And, we felt like, geez, our uniforms look
really pretty good. [ Laughter ]>>Matthew Barton:
Just a general remark about what survives
of early radio. Even if games had been broadcast
in 1919 or in the 1920s, we probably wouldn’t
have anything of them because very little radio
from before 1935 survives. The 1934 World Series does,
recordings of that do exist, but there was no easy way to
record radio at any length more than a few minutes
until about 1935. And, from that point
on, we do have a lot, but there’s hardly any radio
survives from before 1935.>>Tony Macalus:
And, I’ll just say if you want an internal
experience what it was like to be a nine year old kid
watching the 1919 White Sox, I recommend Nelson Algren’s
wonderful prose poem “Chicago: City on the Make” which has
some great passages about that. All right. We’ll jump over here. Yeah. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>John Sayles: Yeah. John Anderson, he’s one of
those guys you’ll recognize him. I had seen him in a
lot of movies, big, tall guy with a long face from
New England who’s a Chicago, I mean a St. Louis
Cardinals fan actually. And, he just looked
a lot like Landis. He looked like Kenesaw
Mountain Landis. And, he knew it. [ Laughter ] And, the, my, the best story, I think Hal Holbrook
told you this story. Is he was sitting at a
table with Hal Holbrook and a couple other actors,
and they were actually talking about that they’ve all
played Lincoln at one point. He had that long face
and with a little beard, he really looked like Lincoln. And, some guy came over to the
table and said, “So, Lincoln?” And, one of them said, “Well,
yeah, I played him on stage, but you know, John
here played him in a TV movie and everything.” And, somebody else
says, “Well, you know, and I did a traveling
one man show.” He said, “No, no, no. Who owns the Lincoln
[inaudible] my car?” [ Laughter ] Terrific, terrific guy,
and you know, look him up. He’s in every other
great western that you’ve watched,
and really cool guy.>>Allison Schein Holmes:
How about the gentleman in the back with the red shirt?>>On the theory that
history is made every day, does anybody written or
recorded [inaudible] Spanish speaking players?>>John Sayles: I actually
think that’s just starting, and some of it is that the
Hispanic language stations are relatively new here. But, they, you know, those
were incredible fans, and I think the technology
didn’t catch up with those radio stations
as quickly as it did here. So, the earliest guys, there’s
very little of Roberto Clemente, for instance, on radio. There’s a bit of him on TV,
but, you know, he was alone in Pittsburg for a while. There wasn’t even much of a
Hispanic community at that time.>>Matthew Barton:
Yeah, one of the jewels of our recorded sound
collection is the NBC collection which starts in 1935. And, it’s tens of thousands
of hours of every kind of radio there was,
not just sports. And, NBC had a Spanish
language service, and they had a man doing Spanish
play by play named Buck Canel. And, he actually recorded
an album in the ’50s. It was like a baseball
game kind of album where there are different
outcomes and so on. I’ve been trying to,
we don’t have any in our collection
that I’ve ever found. I’ve been trying
to find recordings of Buck Canel calling games. You know, if anybody’s got
them, please come see me. Because he was the voice
of baseball in much of Latin America
and the Caribbean. And, ball players who came up
in the ’50s and ’60s all talk about hearing Buck Canel do
calls in their home countries. So, you know, that’s one of my,
you know, top ten, you know, most elusive items is Buck Canel
and other Spanish broadcasters who would really be
great to get that in because it’s a huge part
of baseball history.>>Allison Schein Holmes: Gentleman in the green
shirt, got a question? Yeah.>>Yeah, I just wanted
to mention I believe, although [inaudible]
actually was with [inaudible] during
the actual writing. And, [inaudible] came out about
ten years ago, and you know, in it, he talked about how
Fullerton really didn’t have the power to bring the truth out. All he could really do was rail against [inaudible] how he
really just had [inaudible] gamblers and these sort
of dirty politicians and was wondering if, you know,
Studs ever sort of, you know, detailed any stories
he had about, you know, getting [inaudible]
underworld, seedy underworld.>>John Sayles: You know,
he, the when I talked to him about his own experience
with them, the guy he talked about the most was the guy
that John Cusack played. Buck was a guy who
hung around Chicago. He had, he was banned
from baseball. He, you know, he had
not taken any money. He had just not ratted
his friends out. He’d been at one meeting and said this doesn’t
sound good to me. And, he left. And then, he ended up for
years trying to get reinstated, you know, when he
could still play. And then, even after
get his record cleared. He ended up coaching
girls softball in Chicago. So, he was somebody that
Studs would run into a lot. Studs didn’t know, you know,
he had heard of Hugh Fullerton but had never met him. Christy Matthewson
actually had a lot of power because he was a
former baseball, and he was considered
kind of a saint. He had gone over after World War
I and been exposed to poison gas and had kind of ruined
his health. And so, he was this
kind of sainted guy, and so he was untouchable. You know, if he said
something in the press, nobody could really
come after him. He wasn’t just some sports
writer who might even be Jewish. And, a lot of the reaction
against both Lardner’s articles and Hugh Fullerton articles
were very anti-Semitic. They were just, well,
this is what, you know, you let Jews near baseball,
this is what happened. Even though none of the
players were Jewish.>>I don’t know somebody
mentioned [inaudible] earlier, but I just wondered did he and
Studs Terkel know each other. And, is there ever a mention of the famous Billy
Goat Tavern on games. And, also, even though he
was a newspaper columnist, did he have any recordings of [inaudible] commenting
on baseball?>>Tony Macalus:
Yeah, I’ll start, and then we can, anyone else. Yeah. Studs and [inaudible]
were very close friends. [inaudible] was on Studs’
show many, many times. Probably one of the
most frequent guests, and they had an incredible
rapport. I’ll suggest a partner
archive of ours which is a video archive
called Media Burn, consists of Chicago based video, and they have some
fantastic footage of Studs and [inaudible], including a
long passage of [inaudible] in the Billy Goat Tavern
talking about Chicago softball and how it is to run a Chicago
softball team, particularly when you’re playing, you know, teams of cops and
things like that. It’s a great. You want to, [inaudible]
vision of Chicago softball in 20 minutes, it’s
pretty priceless. [ Inaudible Comment ] No. No.>>Is there any contact between
Studs Terkel and [inaudible]? Because George wrote fables
and slang, you know, the 1900s.>>Tony Macalus: Yeah. Yeah.>>And, I think he, there were
the intersected at some point because I think [inaudible]
died in the ’40s.>>Tony Macalus: He did. Anyone else want to jump in, or
I can say a few words about it. Yeah, there is, I think there’s
one place, if I remember right in the archive of Studs
reading a George Abe story, and obviously just, you
know, that whole generation of Chicago journalists
from the 1890s and early 20th century were big, big influences for
Studs as well. But, not an interview
with him in the archive. The radio archive
begins in 1952, so he would have missed
out in that way, too. [ Inaudible Comment ]>>John Sayles: You know, for
me, people are always saying, you know, you think Joe Jackson
should be in the Hall of Fame? You know, and I always, you
know, I feel like the same thing with Sammy Sosa and
all of these things. When Roger Maris
first, you know, it looked like he was
going to, you know, break Babe Ruth’s record and
when Hank Aaron finally did, you know, they put an asterisk
next to his record saying, well, he played in more games. And, it was a different game
and everything like that. And, I always feel like
there should be, you know, whether it’s O.J.
Simpson or anything else. You don’t take their
records away. You put as asterisk
next to them, you know, so Pete Rose, you know. Great player. Personally, he’s
got the asterisk. For me, one of the
fascinating things about the story was it
was about corruption. And, it reminded me originally
of “All the Presidents Men”, of how people become corrupted
and corrupt each other and how many conspiracies
don’t work. And, the ones that
don’t work are the ones where the people are
a little bit ashamed of what they’re doing. They don’t have enough meetings. So, the [inaudible] like two
mass meetings about are we in or are we out and
what we’re doing. So, there were guys who
thought they were only going to throw one game who
were saying, “What? Are we throwing this one or
are we winning this one?” Because they didn’t
have enough meetings. And, I think what’s fascinating,
you know, about it is, yes, it was a labor situation,
but they did, also, sell their own teammates out. They didn’t let them in on it, and their teammates
were trying to win. So, it’s a, you know, it’s a, you can’t really make
heroes of these guys. And, some of them,
like Joe Jackson, were just brow beat into it. You don’t want to
be who, you know, messes it all up, do you, Joe? And, you know, he was
afraid of these guys. And then, others did it
because they were greedy. Some did it because they
felt like they were right on the verge of being
out of [inaudible]. But, how people become corrupted
and accept a bad situation and don’t fight against
it in the right way. I think that’s a, you know,
it’s a nice little microcosm. Just like it was, you know,
with the Brooklyn Dodgers when Jackie Robinson,
you know, played. There were guys who said, “Well,
I’m not playing with him.” And, they ended up being, like,
“He’s my teammate, and I’ll, if you mess with him, I’m
going to punch you out.” You know, human beings are,
this is the essence of Studs. Human beings are strange and
wonderful creatures, and you, and everyone’s an individual. And, you can’t just say, he’s
a, you know, Hispanic American in his 30s and therefore
he thinks or is this. You got to talk to the
guy and bring it out. And, everybody’s
got their own story.>>Allison Schein Holmes:
Any final questions?>>Tony Macalus: And, if not, maybe we can just
run [inaudible] up here has a final
thought or comment or a notion to leave
people with. So, we can start on either side.>>John Sayles: And, you wanted
to tell the story of Studs.>>Derek Goldman: Yeah
[inaudible] story about Studs.>>Tony Macalus: And, I have to tell the story
about Studs, yeah. In the meantime, can you bring up that photo of
Studs [inaudible]. Yeah. So. But, that’s
first Derek, anything you wanted
to throw out?>>Derek Goldman:
Nothing [inaudible].>>Tony Macalus: So, just
bring up a photo here. So, I mentioned the
beginning of the program that Studs didn’t get much
chance to play baseball and other sports
when he was young. And, the photo that you’re
going to see here is taken on Studs’ 90th birthday
when he was invited to throw out the first pitch for
the Chicago White Sox, and his neighbors, across
the street neighbors, Bob and Laura Watson, bought
him a baseball glove and a hat. And, they got him the wrong hat. You’ll see this in a moment. Never got the full
story behind that. And, they invited, just Laura
in particular, the wife, invited him to play
catch, I think just once. And, Studs got such a thrill
out it that apparently, then, Studs would go back to Laura’s
house in the weeks leading up to the, across the street
leading up to the game when he was throwing out the
first pitch and just knock on the door with his
baseball glove in hand and say, “Is Laura home? Would you like to play catch?” So, as a 90-year-old,
so, and there he is. Oh. He disappeared quickly. He was here in a flash. There he was. Well, come and gone. Oh, back again. So, just I think there’s a
certain beauty in the fact that what he missed out
on in some ways as a kid which is what led him
into this love of radio and different kinds of music
and being engaged in politics, listening to the Presidential
convention while he was, you know, in this rest
home as an eight-year-old. He did finally get to make up
and play some catch and throw out the first pitch for
the White Sox in 2002. So, with that, we saw him
for just a flash of a second, but maybe he’ll come back. We’ll see.>>Allison Schein
Holmes: Sorry about that.>>Tony Macalus: He’s, the
spirit of Studs is eluding us at the moment, but
he’ll be here. We can. [ Inaudible Comment ] There we go. That’s perfect. So, oh. It’s, yes. So, with that, we
will thank you all. There’ll be other events. [inaudible] British Library in
the fall and lots more to come. And, the podcast coming out in
October called Bughouse Square. So, but, above all, just
go to studsterkel.org, and you can find out all about
everything that’s happening. Thanks to the Library of
Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Chicago
History Museum, and again, thanks to John and David,
Derek, Allison, and Matthew. And, we’ll stick around if
you have personal questions. But, thank you again for coming. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *