P. O. Box 6693 Houston, Texas



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Beyond The Seams

Screenplay

by
Larry Hunter

P.O. Box 6693

Houston, Texas

77265


281-498-0454

colourwhirl@cs.com

WGA#935125

BEYOND THE SEAMS


Screenplay by Larry Hunter
WGA#935125
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
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

batter.
THE BATTER SWINGS AND MISSES. HE STEPS BACK IN THE BATTER'S BOX.
CATCHER

(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.
CUT TO:
EXT. BASEBALL BLEACHERS
His PARENTS are in the bleachers yelling at him to strike out the batter.
MOTHER

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

batter box.


CUT TO
EXT. SEAGULLS' TEAM SIDE OF THE FIELD
KIDS are standing up cheering the batter on.
ONE KID

(yells out)

Hit him Smokey! Watch out for that curve!
CUT TO:
HUNT takes a long look at the catcher, then steps off the mound to tie his shoes. The

2.

UMPIRE comes from behind the plate, pulls off his mask and heads for the mound.


UMPIRE

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.


UMPIRE

(continues)

BALL!
The CATCHER turns to the UMPIRE.
CATCHER

Come on Ump! That was right on the corner! For

Christ sake!
The UMPIRE pulls off his mask.
UMPIRE

Play ball, young man!


The CATCHER throws the ball back to HUNT. HUNT is angry as he snatches the ball in

his glove.


CUT TO:
BASEBALL BLEACHERS
HUNT'S MOTHER is furious. She throws her cup of soda on the field.
MOTHER

You need glasses, Mr. Umpire!


CUT TO
The UMPIRE pulls off his mask and walks toward the bleachers. He points at the MOTHER.
UMPIRE

(continues)

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.
UMPIRE

(continues)

Play ball!

3.

HUNT steps back on the mound. He winds up and delivers the pitch.


CUT TO:
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.


UMPIRE

(continues)

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.


FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
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.
CUT TO:
INT. GYM
TWO BOYS are fighting on the gym floor. BROS HENRY comes between them.
BROS HENRY

(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.


CUT TO:
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.
BROS HENRY

(continues)

Hunt...You early...Practice is not until three, son.....
HUNT

(throws ball and catch)

I know. Just wanna work on something.

4.

BROS HENRY



Good game the other day...I don't want you to

throw too many curves. You're still too young.


HUNT

Okay...I'm going to the ball park...


HUNT takes off running to the ball park. BROS just shakes his head.
BROS HENRY

(shakes his head)

That's one young black boy that loves the game

of baseball.


FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
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.


CUT TO:
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

(continues)

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?
HUNT

(thankful)

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.

(more)

5.

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.
HUNT

(eyes bulges)

Man! I like that!
THE OLD MAN

(touches Hunt's shoulder)

You like baseball, don't you?
HUNT

I love baseball! When I'm on that mound, I feel

like I'm the king of the hill.
THE OLD MAN

(laughs)


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.
HUNT

(curious)

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

(sings)


'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.
HUNT

(balls his fist up)

Yes!
FADE TO

6.

MUSIC-OLDIES


CUT TO:
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.


MAE

(hands change to customer)

Here you are Mr. Ratcliff, and do come back.
CUSTOMER

I will...You got the best tasting barbecue around

here. And that sauce is special....
MAE

(smiles)


I makes my own Mr. Ratcliff---and tell your Mrs.

Ratcliff, I'll see her at Church, Sunday.


CUSTOMER

I will do just that Ms. Mae. Thank you.....That

boy of yours sure can throw a baseball.
MAE

Well. He loves the game. Plus, it keeps him out of

trouble.
The CUSTOMER laughs as he walks out the door.
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
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.


BIG B

(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

something....


HUNT

(in pitching position on mound)

Give me ten more minutes. I'm trying to curve the

ball beyond the seams.

7.

BIG B


What?!
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.


BIG B

WHOA! What was that, Hunt?


HUNT

(smiles)


Yes! Big B....That was a beyond the seam pitch....
BIG B

(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.
HUNT

I tell you on the way to Mama's barbecue

place...You're not gonna believe me anyway....
BIG B

You mean we going to eat----


HUNT

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.
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
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.....


HUNT

(yells out)

Mama! Where are you?
There is no answer. BIG B and HUNT looks suspiciously at each other.
BIG B

That old white man---

8.

HUNT


MAMA!....Let's go---
MS. MAE comes out straightening her apron before they run for the police.
MS. MAE

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.....
BIG B

Ms. Mae....We thought something had happen to

you when we saw that old homeless looking white

man sitting out there eating your barbecue....


HUNT

And nobody see no white people around here

anyway unless they cutting off your utilities or

collecting money.


MS. MAE

(smiles)


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....


HUNT

What?!
BIG B

And you gave it to him free?
HUNT

Did you, Mama?


MS. MAE

(smiles)


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.


HUNT

But doesn't he have a family?


MS. MAE

To make a long story short, he's a Hobo....


HUNT AND BIG B

HOBO?!


9.

MS. MAE


(smiles)

Now what can I do for ya'll?


BIG B rub his hands together and smack his lips.
BIG B

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.


HUNT

Give me the same, Mama....


MS. MAE

Okay...Coming up...Have you two washed your

hands?......
BIG B and HUNT look at their hands.
MS. MAE

Just what I thought---Get!


BIG B and HUNT rush to the restroom in the back.
CUT TO
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.


BIG B

Hunt! You are crazy!


HUNT

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....


BIG B

I still say you crazy!


FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
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.

10.


He raises his left arm back and forth. He falls off to sleep.
CUT TO
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-LIGHTS FLASHING-TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS
A car is approaching the railroad crossing. The train is coming fast.
CUT TO
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.


CUT TO
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-CAR AND TRAIN COLLIDE ON TRACKS
CUT TO
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.


MS. MAE

(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....
FADE TO
POETRY-THE OLD BLACK ENGINE
Folks are standing around the railroad tracks watching a bloody body laying across the rails.
CUT TO
V.O.

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,

(more)


11.

V.O. (CONTINUED)

"boy, don't play with that old black engine

because it ain't nobody's toy."


FADE TO
SIRENS OF AMBULANCES AND VOICES SOUNDING IN THE NIGHT
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
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.


BATTER

That was a good pitch, Hunt. I didn't know you

had a pitch like that.
HUNT

I'm still working on it, Rip...


BROS HENRY

Okay! Okay! Everybody up on the double....Got

some news for you.
Everybody run off the field.
BRADY

(pats Hunt on the shoulder)

Man! That pitch you threw to Rip, I could see it

drop from the outfield.


BROS HENRY

Listen...Guess what?...


THE TEAM

What?...
BROS HENRY

We got uniforms!
THE TEAM

(happy)


ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT!
The TEAM is excited as they clap their hands
BROS HENRY

Now, Rose Cleaners and Klein Ice Cream Parlor

is responsible for this to happen. I want everyone

(more)


12.

BROS HENRY (CONTINUED)

of you to personally go thank them for this good

deed. You here?


THE TEAM

Yes, sir!


Bros reaches in his back pocket and pulls out a note pad. He begins to turn the pages as

the TEAM stands silently.


BROS HENRY

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...
THE TEAM

(nods their heads)

Fine by us, coach....
BROS HENRY

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

not possible.
BRADY

That's all right, coach. As long as we win the

championship in two weeks from the Kelly Court

Boys.
BROS HENRY

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.
BROS HENRY

(continues)

Okay...That's it! Give me a couple around the field.
THE TEAM takes off running around the baseball field
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
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

13.

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.
MS. MAE

You like them smother potatoes and pork chops, uh?


HUNT

(looks up)

Oh! Hi, Mama! I made the all star team!
MS. MAE

(kisses him on the cheeks)

Hunt, I'm so proud of you.....
HUNT

Is dad, home? I wanna tell him myself......


MS. MAE

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

out....
HUNT

That's my dad....I'll tell him the good news in the

morning.
MS. MAE

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?


HUNT

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.


MS. MAE

(yawns)


Look, baby, Mama is a little tired and tomorrow

is Friday...You know how that is at the place....


HUNT

(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.
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES

14.


EXT. BACKYARD-HUNT'S HOUSE-NIGHT
CUT TO
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.
CUT TO
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.


CUT TO
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.


CUT TO
INT. BACK DOOR-HOUSE OPENS
HUNT'S father comes out the house. HUNT turns around and sees his father. He is surprise.
HUNT

(smiles)


I thought you were at work....
FATHER

(throwing the ball up and down)

We finished that banana boat before I could blink

my eyes.....I saw your move to first base.


HUNT

(excited)

Did you like it?....
FATHER

(smiles)


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....


HUNT

(pounding ball in glove)

Really...You mean I'm the first....

15.


FATHER

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.
FATHER

(looks surprised)

What was that?!
HUNT

(laughs)


My new curve sinker.....
FATHER

(concern)

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.


FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-EVENING LIGHTS FLASHING-TRAIN WHISTLE

BLOWS
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.


BIG B

(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.
HUNT

(backs away)

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.......
BIG B

(eats the rest of his ice cream)

Scary cat! Watch me cross over.....

16.


HUNT

(concern)

No!
Just as BIG B attempts to cross over, the train jerks the cars. BIG B jumps back.
HUNT

I told you! Come on...Let's go the long way....We

got time...
CUT TO
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.
BIG B

(holds the ball in glove)

Uh, uh....Do you know what neighborhood we're in?
HUNT

Ah, man! I forgot about them bad cousins and

brothers. They gonna have to catch me!
BIG B

(agrees)


Me too!
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.


CUT TO:
EXT. AROUND THE CORNER
HUNT and BIG B look back as they stop running to catch their breath.
BIG B

(takes a deep breath)

Whew! That was close. I had rather jump that

train then to let them catch me.


HUNT

I'll still take my chances on out running them bullies.

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