The Saint of Second Chances (2023) Ending Explained – What was Mike Veeck’s Second Chance?

The Saint of Second Chances Plot Synopsis

The Saint of Second Chances hits Netflix this week. It’s a touching, funny, and passionate documentary about an MLB figure by the name of Mike Veeck. He rises to the top of the Chicago White Sox’s front office in the 1970’s, a team that was owned by his father, Bill. Only, he ends up crashing down due to a promotional stunt at a game one day. And in the years to come, he would rise back up to the top of the minor leagues as one of the most brilliant figures baseball has ever seen.

Who is Mike Veeck?

To know the young Mike Veeck is to know one of the biggest promos at a baseball game ever created, which eventually ended in controversy. Veeck came up in the ranks of the Chicago White Sox organization as his father brought him under his wing. He did it all: cleaned toilets, swept floors, and then thought of innovative ways to make going to the White Sox game more fun. He is actually an innovator in terms of the spectacle of being at a game.

He had animals dress up as mascots, and he created the suites at the stadium to watch the games. The concept of fireworks going off after a home run was also his idea. It all came crashing down though in 1979. There was an anti-disco music ideology among music fans in the late 1970s. So Mike organized a Disco Sucks rally before the White Sox night game. Burning records and blowing them up with fireworks. The event went too far and created a near-riot at the stadium. He eventually lost his job while his dad took the fall.

What happened to Mike after he lost his job?

Veeck would spend the next decade or so slumming it down in south Florida. After getting divorced and having jobs to hold him over that came and went, he always yearned to go back into baseball. After remarrying, he gets a call one day about the opportunity to become the owner of an independent baseball team, the St. Paul Saints. Being that this was the first offer in a decade, he took it and ran with it.

Why was Mike a great owner of an independent baseball franchise?

Mike took his risky ideas of how to make going to a baseball game more of an experience than just paying to see a team play ball and implemented them here. He was inclusive of what the team created there, almost making it a place for an island of misfit toys. There was a player with no legs on the team—the first professional women baseball player—as one of the Saints closer pitchers. And, of course, Darryl Strawberry.

Yes, former Mets home run king who got into legal trouble and was kicked out of the MLB. Veeck signed him, revamped his career, and sent him back to New York to win a World Series with the Yankees a year later.

He had created an empire in St. Paul. But this film isn’t just about baseball. It’s a film about a man who got his priorities right.

Who was Rebecca Veeck?

Mike’s daughter, Rebecca, becomes the focal point of the film in its second half. She is Mike’s “why” as to why he does what he does. Mike states in a memorable quote, “I wanted to be a good son, but I ended up being a great dad”. He finds redemption in life through his daughter Rebecca, as she becomes a staple of the St. Paul Saints. She greets people as they enter the small stadium and draws a kinship to the game through her dad’s love for it.

Sadly, Rebecca began to grow blind at a young age, and it slowly ended her life. She died when she was 27 with Batten Disease. Throughout her life, Mike took her everywhere in the world so she could see things before her eyesight went.

What is the theme of The Saint of Second Chances?

The core message is right there in the title: it’s about second chances. You would never think a story that takes place in the world of baseball wouldn’t have anything to do with baseball, really. You get to know Mike Veeck for the man that he is, not the environment he grew up in.

It’s a film about having your priorities right, so when those second chances come along, you make the right decision with them. The documentary is meant to make you feel good while also making you think with your heart.

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