|Beyond The Seams
P.O. Box 6693
BEYOND THE SEAMS
Screenplay by Larry Hunter
EXT. BASEBALL FIELD-EVENING-6:00PM-HOUSTON,TEXAS-FENNIGAN PARK
Young thirteen year old black kids are playing a teenage baseball game. The TEAMS are
THE RAGGEDY NINE and THE SEAGULLS. A pitcher by the name of HUNT is
pitching for THE RAGGEDY NINE. He is left handed and thin. He pulls his cap down
over his eyes, takes the sign from the catcher and delivers a sharp breaking curve to the
THE BATTER SWINGS AND MISSES. HE STEPS BACK IN THE BATTER'S BOX.
(throws the ball back to the pitcher)
Thata way to go Hunt, baby. Keep that junk
coming! He can't hit you!
HUNT walks around the mound as he rubs the new baseball.
EXT. BASEBALL BLEACHERS
His PARENTS are in the bleachers yelling at him to strike out the batter.
Come on my baby, show him what you got!
The BATTER looks at his third base coach to pick up the sign, then steps back in the
EXT. SEAGULLS' TEAM SIDE OF THE FIELD
KIDS are standing up cheering the batter on.
Hit him Smokey! Watch out for that curve!
HUNT takes a long look at the catcher, then steps off the mound to tie his shoes. The
UMPIRE comes from behind the plate, pulls off his mask and heads for the mound.
Are you going to play ball young man or primp all
evening? I don't wanna be out here all night, son.
So let's play ball!
The UMPIRE turns, walks to the plate, bends over, take out his little brush and wipes the
home plate clean. He turns and puts his mask back on and kneels behind the catcher. The
BATTER waits patiently at the plate. HUNT puts his foot on the pitching rubber. He
winds up and releases the ball to the plate.
The CATCHER turns to the UMPIRE.
Come on Ump! That was right on the corner! For
The UMPIRE pulls off his mask.
Play ball, young man!
The CATCHER throws the ball back to HUNT. HUNT is angry as he snatches the ball in
HUNT'S MOTHER is furious. She throws her cup of soda on the field.
You need glasses, Mr. Umpire!
The UMPIRE pulls off his mask and walks toward the bleachers. He points at the MOTHER.
Lady! Please! If you do that again. I'm going to
ask you to leave.
The Mother sits down quietly. The UMPIRE returns to home base, puts on his mask.
HUNT steps back on the mound. He winds up and delivers the pitch.
The ball is slowly curving to the plate. The BATTER waits. He brings the bat around. He
holds up his swing and let the ball pass.
STRIKE THREE! YOU OUT! The game is over!
The BATTER throws the bat down and walks away. HUNT'S teammates stampede him
on the mound.
EXT. PARK AND RECREATION SITE-FENNIGAN PARK-MORNING
The PARK DIRECTOR, HUNT'S baseball coach is sitting outside the gym making leather
bill folds. His name is BROS HENRY, an African American. Suddenly there is a lot of
noise in the gym. BROS gets up to check it out.
TWO BOYS are fighting on the gym floor. BROS HENRY comes between them.
(grab both boys' arms)
You know the rules! Pack up and leave right now!
You are suspended from the gym.....
The TWO BOYS grab their bags and leave. The other boys continue to play as BROS
leaves to continue his work on the leather bill folders.
HUNT is walking up the street towards the gym. He has a baseball and glove in his hand.
As he walks towards the gym, he begins to play catch with himself until he is right up on
BROS. BROS smiles as he continues to make leather bill folds.
Hunt...You early...Practice is not until three, son.....
(throws ball and catch)
I know. Just wanna work on something.
Good game the other day...I don't want you to
throw too many curves. You're still too young.
Okay...I'm going to the ball park...
HUNT takes off running to the ball park. BROS just shakes his head.
(shakes his head)
That's one young black boy that loves the game
EXT. BASEBALL FIELD-PITCHER MOUND
HUNT is standing on the mound alone. He looks down at home plate, winds up smoothly
and throws the ball to home plate. The ball hits the fence behind the plate. He straddles the
pitching rubber looking toward first base. He steps on the rubber, looks at home plate and
throws to first. An OLD MAN stands watching the kid practice his moves toward first base.
The OLD MAN behind the fence looking at HUNT seriously.
THE OLD MAN
(walks toward the mound)
Hey! Kick a little higher and keep those shoulders
square when you throw to first...If you lean
toward home plate, you balk....Do it again...
HUNT steps on the rubber, winds up and does a throwing motion to first.....
THE OLD MAN
Now that's better. No lefty is doing that move,
not even in the Big Leagues. You are a smart
kid...How's your control?
I throw strikes most of the time.
THE OLD MAN
(takes the ball from the glove)
Now there are two ways you can grip this here
baseball....along the seams or beyond the seams.
THE OLD MAN (CONTINUED)
Now beyond the seams gives it a different kind of
spin like life itself.
THE OLD MAN throws the ball to the fence.
Man! I like that!
THE OLD MAN
(touches Hunt's shoulder)
You like baseball, don't you?
I love baseball! When I'm on that mound, I feel
like I'm the king of the hill.
THE OLD MAN
Well, it's a good game...I just wish there were
more black people in the Majors. But by the time
you reach manhood, maybe, just maybe----anyway
I'll be watching from here or heaven, which ever
one comes first.
I didn't get your name, Mister.
THE OLD MAN walks away smiling as he turns away waving.
THE OLD MAN
Names are not important to me...Just call me, The
Old Man. Practice makes perfect, remember that.....
THE OLD MAN sings as he walks away.
THE OLD MAN
'Take me out to the ball game.'Take me out with
the crowd---buy me some peanuts and cracker
jacks, I don't care if we never get back.'
HUNT watches. THE OLD MAN disappears across the street. He throws the ball in his
glove. He looks toward the plate, steps on the mound like men are on base and he motion
a throw to first base, just like THE OLD MAN.
(balls his fist up)
INT. JMG. BARBECUE PLACE-AFTERNOON-HOT SUMMER DAY
HUNT'S mother and father own a small barbecue place in the black community. HUNT'S
mother name is Mae. She is ringing up the cash register for a customer.
(hands change to customer)
Here you are Mr. Ratcliff, and do come back.
I will...You got the best tasting barbecue around
here. And that sauce is special....
I makes my own Mr. Ratcliff---and tell your Mrs.
Ratcliff, I'll see her at Church, Sunday.
I will do just that Ms. Mae. Thank you.....That
boy of yours sure can throw a baseball.
Well. He loves the game. Plus, it keeps him out of
The CUSTOMER laughs as he walks out the door.
EXT. FENNIGAN PARK-BASEBALL FIELD-LATE MORNING
HUNT is throwing to his catcher, BIG B. HUNT is getting in some extra practice. He
persuades BIG B to stay a little longer.
(stands up from the plate)
Look! Hunt! I'm tired and hungry---and it's hot
out here....I've seen your new stuff---let's go--now!
We got a day off from practice....Let's go eat
(in pitching position on mound)
Give me ten more minutes. I'm trying to curve the
ball beyond the seams.
BIG B bends down in catching position. He taps his hand in the mitt. HUNT throws a
pitch that seems like it is going to be high and it drops right over the plate.
WHOA! What was that, Hunt?
Yes! Big B....That was a beyond the seam pitch....
(puts the ball away in his glove)
Who taught you all of this, Hunt?
HUNT sits down on a near by bench, pulls off his cap and wipes the sweat from his face.
I tell you on the way to Mama's barbecue
place...You're not gonna believe me anyway....
You mean we going to eat----
That's right! And the first one there will get the
coldest soda water! Let's go!
BIG B and HUNT takes off running through the park.
EXT. JMG. BARBECUE PLACE-BENCH- AFTERNOON-HOT SUMMER DAY
An old homeless looking WHITE MAN is sitting outside of the barbecue place. BIG B and
HUNT look at him strangely as they open the door to go inside. He keeps on eating and
sucking on the barbecue bones. He never looks up at the kids. They enter the barbecue
place. MS. MAE is in the back.....
Mama! Where are you?
There is no answer. BIG B and HUNT looks suspiciously at each other.
That old white man---
MS. MAE comes out straightening her apron before they run for the police.
Quit your hollering, boy. I was using the
restroom....And what ya'll doing here anyway, Hunt?
BIG B and HUNT look at each other.....
Ms. Mae....We thought something had happen to
you when we saw that old homeless looking white
man sitting out there eating your barbecue....
And nobody see no white people around here
anyway unless they cutting off your utilities or
Bless your little hearts....But the man jumped off
the train because he was hungry and the barbecue
from my place smell so good, he took a chance of
coming here to beg me for some....
And you gave it to him free?
Did you, Mama?
I sure did....What's wrong with that? My daddy
always taught me to never refuse to feed a hungry
person, no matter what his or her race is---Ya'll
remember that--but I told him that he took a
dangerous chance because they got some black
folks will kill him on the spot.
But doesn't he have a family?
To make a long story short, he's a Hobo....
HUNT AND BIG B
Now what can I do for ya'll?
BIG B rub his hands together and smack his lips.
Some stuff links, potato salad and rib
sandwich....Oh yeah! An orange crush soda water.
Your barbecue is the best in the world, Ms. Mae.
Give me the same, Mama....
Okay...Coming up...Have you two washed your
BIG B and HUNT look at their hands.
Just what I thought---Get!
BIG B and HUNT rush to the restroom in the back.
INT. JMG BARBECUE PLACE-RESTROOM
BIG B and HUNT are washing their hands. HUNT splashes some soapy water in BIG B'S
face. He hollers as the soapy water burn his eyes.
Hunt! You are crazy!
That's for trying to con my mama out of her
barbecue---talking about the best barbecue in the
whole world and you ain't traveled nowhere....
I still say you crazy!
INT. HOUSE-HUNT'S ROOM-LATE NIGHT
HUNT is laying in his bed. The night is quiet. He is squeezing a tennis ball in his left hand.
He raises his left arm back and forth. He falls off to sleep.
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-LIGHTS FLASHING-TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS
A car is approaching the railroad crossing. The train is coming fast.
INT. -HOUSE-HUNT'S ROOM
The sound of the train awakens HUNT. He jumps up in a sweat, still squeezing the tennis
ball. The train shakes the walls like an earthquake.
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-CAR AND TRAIN COLLIDE ON TRACKS
INT. HOUSE-HUNT'S MOTHER BEDROOM
MS. MAE shakes her husband, but he is too tired. She jumps up and puts her robe on. She
dashes out the room into the front living room. HUNT is standing by the door,trembling.
(closing her robe)
Hunt...You stay here! I don't want you to see
this...That train done kill more people at that
crossing way before you were born...lord have
mercy....I'll be right back, baby--and try to wake
your dad up....He worked late last night....
POETRY-THE OLD BLACK ENGINE
Folks are standing around the railroad tracks watching a bloody body laying across the rails.
The sound of the train throughout the night
always awaken me, restless, sometimes all day
from the noise of that old black engine that shook
my walls as the loud screaming whistle called,
voices were heard in the wee hours of the morning
where somebody tried to beat that old black
engine across the tracks, folks mumbled and
watched a body that lay,scary that old black
engine could be, send folks to their graves in a
hurry and Mama always worried and scolded,
"boy, don't play with that old black engine
because it ain't nobody's toy."
SIRENS OF AMBULANCES AND VOICES SOUNDING IN THE NIGHT
EXT. -FENNIGAN PARK-BASEBALL FIELD-EVENING
HUNT is pitching batting practice. He throws his last pitch. His new curve is dropping
right over the plate.
That was a good pitch, Hunt. I didn't know you
had a pitch like that.
I'm still working on it, Rip...
Okay! Okay! Everybody up on the double....Got
some news for you.
Everybody run off the field.
(pats Hunt on the shoulder)
Man! That pitch you threw to Rip, I could see it
drop from the outfield.
We got uniforms!
ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT!
The TEAM is excited as they clap their hands
Now, Rose Cleaners and Klein Ice Cream Parlor
is responsible for this to happen. I want everyone
BROS HENRY (CONTINUED)
of you to personally go thank them for this good
deed. You here?
Bros reaches in his back pocket and pulls out a note pad. He begins to turn the pages as
the TEAM stands silently.
And another thing, since we've been The Raggedy
Nine all summer, we will keep that name and it's
gonna be printed right across the front of that
blue and gray uniform...
(nods their heads)
Fine by us, coach....
Now, the teenage all star game is next week...The
Third Warder's Team against The Fifth Warder's
Team. I wish all of you could have made it, but
That's all right, coach. As long as we win the
championship in two weeks from the Kelly Court
That's the way young men should think, Brady.
Anyway here are the all stars from this team,
Brady, Hunt, Hall, Big B and Rip.....
EVERYBODY clap for the chosen TEENAGE ALL STARS.
Okay...That's it! Give me a couple around the field.
THE TEAM takes off running around the baseball field
INT. HUNT'S HOUSE-KITCHEN-NIGHT-8:00PM
HUNT'S mother always leaves his dinner on the stove. He grabs the plate of food off the
stove, sits it on the table while opening the fridge to get some milk. He sits down at the
table. As he eats, he still squeezes the tennis ball. His mother comes in the kitchen. She
looks beat. She stands in the doorway watching her son eat like a hungry pig. She just smiles.
You like them smother potatoes and pork chops, uh?
Oh! Hi, Mama! I made the all star team!
(kisses him on the cheeks)
Hunt, I'm so proud of you.....
Is dad, home? I wanna tell him myself......
Your dad is still down at the waterfront putting in
them long hours. They had a banana boat to come
in. He came home, got a pan lunch and went back
That's my dad....I'll tell him the good news in the
So my son is going to go up against them big old
boys in Third Ward---What's that slugger name
that can hit the seams off a baseball?
McGee....Oh, I strikes him out every time he
comes to the plate, as a matter of fact, left hand
hitters find it hard to hit me. I throw that curve
ball right at their heads and it just dips in the
middle of the plate.
Look, baby, Mama is a little tired and tomorrow
is Friday...You know how that is at the place....
(gets up and put his dish in the sink)
Okay, Mama....I'm going in the backyard and
practice on my move to first base....
MS. MAE waves gentle at HUNT and returns to her bedroom.
EXT. BACKYARD-HUNT'S HOUSE-NIGHT
HUNT is practicing his move to first base. His move to first base is perfect, just like THE
OLD MAN'S move. He sits down and thinks about THE OLD MAN. He turns the seams
of the baseball and takes a good look. He runs his finger along the seams. He puts the
baseball in the palm of his hand and raises it up to peep at the seams underneath. He spins
the ball in his hand.
INT. BACK DOOR-HOUSE
HUNT'S FATHER, CARL is standing in the back door watching him. He has a first base
glove in his hand. He softly pats in the glove as he stands watching.
HUNT gets up and straddles the grass like a man is at first base. He goes through the
stretch, kicks his leg toward first, look home and throws to first.
INT. BACK DOOR-HOUSE OPENS
HUNT'S father comes out the house. HUNT turns around and sees his father. He is surprise.
I thought you were at work....
(throwing the ball up and down)
We finished that banana boat before I could blink
my eyes.....I saw your move to first base.
Did you like it?....
Yeah...Reminded me of an old pitcher I used to
play ball with--of course it was nothing like yours.
I've never seen a lefty with that kind of move, not
even in the Major Leagues....
(pounding ball in glove)
Really...You mean I'm the first....
Unless I see different.....Come on. Let's see what
old Bros done taught you......
The FATHER rushes to the fence and squats down like a catcher. HUNT winds up and
throws his new sinker that starts high and drops in the middle of the plate. His father sees
the ball coming high, he stands up and the ball drops below his glove.
What was that?!
My new curve sinker.....
Now that was a dandy. But don't throw too many
of those. Remember. Too much curves for a
young arm is not good. Now come on, Let's see
what else you got!
The FATHER squats and taps in his glove. HUNT winds up and throw the pitch right
down the middle of the glove.
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-EVENING LIGHTS FLASHING-TRAIN WHISTLE
BIG B and HUNT are walking up the street toward home. They are eating an ice cream
cone. The train whistle gets louder as they run to beat the train. BIG B is out of breath as
the train passes the crossing and comes to a dead stop.
(looks down the track)
Man! Dog! We gonna be here all day. It got at
least 200 cars....I tell you what. Let's climb across,
it won't take long.
You crazy! This train just kill a man the other day.
He couldn't wait and it smashed him and the car.
Half his head was laying on the tracks.......
(eats the rest of his ice cream)
Scary cat! Watch me cross over.....
Just as BIG B attempts to cross over, the train jerks the cars. BIG B jumps back.
I told you! Come on...Let's go the long way....We
HUNT and BIG B are walking up the street the long way home. They are throwing the
baseball around. TWO OLDER BOYS are walking behind them. They are trying to catch
up with HUNT and BIG B. BIG B turns around and spot them coming fast.
(holds the ball in glove)
Uh, uh....Do you know what neighborhood we're in?
Ah, man! I forgot about them bad cousins and
brothers. They gonna have to catch me!
HUNT and BIG B takes off running. THE TWO OLDER BOYS take off running too.
HUNT and BIG B disappear as THE TWO BOYS STOP to catch their breath.
EXT. AROUND THE CORNER
HUNT and BIG B look back as they stop running to catch their breath.
(takes a deep breath)
Whew! That was close. I had rather jump that
train then to let them catch me.
I'll still take my chances on out running them bullies.