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Mike Veeck [& Family];William III Veeck
Mike Veeck presides over son Night Train devouring a so-called “sloppy dog” during one of their many baseball stops — this one, in Florida. As the movie teases, this may not be the last we see of this tag-team.
Acey Harper/Getty Images

Watch “The Saint of Second Chances” and feel good about baseball again

Can Mike Veeck buy the White Sox, please, and bring this thing full circle?

I finally had a chance to view the new Netflix documentary about the tale of the Veeck family, The Saint of Second Chances. It was absolutely worth the 94 minutes, and as a matter of fact, I will probably even watch it again. It really was that wonderful. I'm sure I'm biased, but I'd even say it's Emmy-worthy. And if you don't have a subscription to the streaming service, find a friend who does and talk them into watching it with you. Maybe offer to bring over a few brews and some snacks as a bribe.

And if that's not enough for your friend, you need better friends.

The last two years have been brutal for us White Sox fans. There was the contention window that shut as quickly as it opened, a 101-loss season that no one anticipated, and the insular hiring of a new general manager with no experience who's supposed to fix it all, among so many others. I'm honestly tired of rehashing and thinking about all of it.

It's left many of us wondering if baseball on the South Side will ever improve. With the current ownership, is it even possible to turn things around? Of course, none of us know the answer to that question; all we can do is what we've always done. We hope things get better, and try to find a way to enjoy the game itself until then.

That's what it's about, after all, finding joy in the game. It's one of the main storylines running throughout The Saint of Second Chances. For Bill Veeck, "the most beautiful thing in the world is a ballpark filled with people." His philosophy turned into practice: If you can make it entertaining, people will come.

While the film does include many stories about the Hall of Fame owner, it primarily covers the career and life of his son, Mike, and his adventures on and off the diamond. A chip off the old block, Mike radiates an authentic love of the game. He even plays his old man in the documentary; the voice and the mannerisms are uncanny, and almost frightening. You hear that guffaw, and you'd swear Bill had risen from the grave.

Some of my favorite parts of the documentary were the incredible, vintage footage of Comiskey Park and the behind-the-scenes stories behind promotions like the exploding scoreboard, outfield shower, and Disco Demolition Night. It reminded me of what's delightful about the game of baseball and helped me feel good again about being a White Sox fan.

It also reminded me that life is short, and to be sure to love hard and often.

Do yourself a favor, and carve out some time to watch the story of the dynamic four generations of Veeck. It's not like we'll be anxiously watching the playoffs, so you have plenty of extra time on your hands now that the season is over. You will laugh, cry (I know I did), and recall everything you love about the game.

You won't regret it.


Will you watch the "The Saint of Second Chances?"

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Absolutely! It’s in my queue right now.
    (37 votes)
  • 10%
    Nah, I can’t watch anything that touches the White Sox.
    (6 votes)
  • 27%
    I already watched it and it was great.
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    I already watched it and it was a bust.
    (0 votes)
59 votes total Vote Now

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