P. O. Box 6693 Houston, Texas



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FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO:
EXT. THIRD WARD-EMANCIPATION PARK-BASEBALL PARK-EVENING
BLACK FOLKS are crowding the STANDS. They are talking and shaking hands with

17.


each other. Parents, cousins, brothers, sisters and Aunts gather around the seats, pointing

and looking on the field. The sound of batting practice rings out on the field. The sound of

the baseballs pounding in the catchers' mitts by the starting pitchers is a feeling of baseball

in the air.


CUT TO:
EXT. BASEBALL FIELD
HUNT is talking with MCGEE and SAMMY. SAMMY is a fast ball pitcher and MCGEE

is that left hand hitting pitcher and outfielder. He hits every pitcher but HUNT. HUNT

strikes the big kid out most of the time.
MCGEE

(shakes his head)

Hunt! I'm gonna hit you tonight!
HUNT

(responds)

Don't try too hard. I got something for you.
SAMMY

(smooth)


Listen. I gotta finish warming up. Hey, Hunt...May

the best team win.


SAMMY runs over to his catcher and begins to warm up.
MCGEE

(frowns)


You bet not throw that stuff down the middle of

the plate. I'm gonna hit you to kingdom come,

Lefty....
HUNT

(laughs)


We'll see, Big McGee...I gotta go...
CUT TO
The Umpire is brushing dirt from home plate. He turns and puts on his mask and breast

protector. He pulls his mask off again.


UMPIRE

(yells)


Let's play ball!
HUNT is on the mound. The lead off batter for the THIRD WARD STARS is at the plate.

HUNT steps on the rubber and stares at home plate. He goes into the wind-up and delivers

to home plate.
UMPIRE

(yells)


Strike!......

18.


BIG B

(stands up and throws the ball back)

Thata way to go, Hunt! Smoke this chump....
The batter steps out the batter's box.
THE BATTER

Who you calling a chump?! I'm gonna knock him

into the streets....
HUNT steps back on the rubber and stares at home plate. He winds up, hesitate and

throws the ball to home plate.


UMPIRE

(raises his hand)

Strike two!
The BATTER steps out the box again.
THE BATTER

(thumps the bat on home plate)

Come on Mr. Porter...That was outside.
UMPIRE

(warns)


Play ball, young man!
The BATTER steps back in the batter's box. BIG B throws the ball back to HUNT.
BIG B

(yells)


Come on Hunt! He can't hit what he don't see!....
CUT TO:
HUNT'S mother is in the stands yelling for him.
MOTHER

(yells)


Come on baby. Send him home....
CUT TO:
HUNT steps back up on the pitcher's rubber, winds up and throws his new curve sinker

pitch and it drops right in the middle of the plate.


UMPIRE

(turns his head)

Ball!.....
BROS runs to home plate. The UMPIRE pulls off his mask.

19.


BROS HENRY

(kicks up some dirt)

Porter! You turn your head when the ball was

dropping.---Come on!....


The UMPIRE refuses to listen. He puts his mask back on. BROS walks back to the Dug Out
UMPIRE

(kneels behind catcher)

Play ball!
HUNT stares at the plate, delivers a fast ball down the middle of the plate. The BATTER

fouls it off. The UMPIRE takes a new ball out of his little hip bag and throws it out to

HUNT. HUNT rubs the ball between his hands real good. He doesn't like new balls. They

are hard to curve. He steps back on the mound as the BATTER waits patiently swinging

his bat back and forth over the plate. HUNT steps on the pitching rubber, winds up and

throws a sweeping curve. The BATTER just stands there as it curves right in the middle of

the plate.
UMPIRE

(yells)


STRIKE! You're out!
The BATTER turns and walks away, back to his Dug Out.
BIG B

(yells at the batter)

I told you! You can't hit what you don't see!
UMPIRE

(warns)


Young man! Play ball!
The next BATTER steps up to the plate. HUNT is rubbing the ball up on the mound. He

tucks his shirt in a little bit, plays with his cap and steps on the rubber. BIG B gives him

the sign. He shakes it off.
BIG B

(yells back)

Come on Hunt! This is the one, baby!
HUNT still shakes him off.
BIG B

(continues)

Time out Ump!
BIG B rushes out to the mound. HUNT stands there rubbing the ball.
BIG B

(continues)

He's not gonna call that pitch. He sees it coming

high and he calls it a ball before it reaches the plate....

20.

HUNT


(pounds the ball in his glove)

I don't care. He still have to see it enough and

maybe--
UMPIRE

(pulls off his mask)

Young men! Let's play ball!
BROS walks out to the mound. BRADY, the first baseman walks over.
BROS HENRY

(curious)

What's the problem here, folks?
BIG B

(explains)

Hunt wants to throw his new pitch, but every time

he does, the Ump calls it a ball, Bros....


BROS HENRY

Okay Hunt...This is the deal...If he doesn't call it

this time, don't throw it anymore today....
The UMPIRE heads for the mound. BROS, Brady and BIG B leave right before he gets there.
UMPIRE

Let's please, play ball!


The BATTER steps up to the plate. He touches home plate with the bat. His eyes stare

right on HUNT. BIG B adjusts his mask as he squats down. HUNT winds up and delivers

his new pitch. It slowly comes toward the plate.The BATTER is looking up as the ball

travels to home plate. He takes the pitch.


UMPIRE

(yells)


BALL!
BIG B

(throws the ball hard to Hunt)

Don't say I didn't tell you....
HUNT stares angrily at the UMPIRE. He pounds the ball in his glove. HUNT looks in the

stands at his mother. He downs his head. He looks behind the plate and there stands THE

OLD MAN. He is smiling at HUNT. He jesters for HUNT to settle down.
CUT TO:
He is trying to tell HUNT something. HUNT nods his head. THE OLD MAN nods his

head. HUNT delivers the pitch. The BATTER swings and hit the ball between second and

first for a base hit.

21.


HUNT

(frustrated)

Dog! I threw that right down the middle of the plate.
BROS HENRY and the bench is cheering HUNT on.
BROS HENRY

Come on Hunt...One hit don't hurt, just keep

pitching--come on!
HUNT straddles the rubber, bends over with glove hand on knee. He gets the sign from

BIG B, looks toward first base as the RUNNER eases off. HUNT pulls on his cap, then go

into his stretch. The BATTER eases a little farther from the base. HUNT'S glove is at his

waste as he pauses. He looks toward home, begins to deliver the ball as he kicks and

raises his leg toward first base while looking home, throwing and telegraphing the ball to

first base. The RUNNER is caught between second and first. He decides to go to second.

The second baseman tags him out.
OTHER TEAM COACH

(rushes over to the umpire)

Wait! Wait PORTER! That's a balk!
UMPIRE

(explains the rule)

Jim! Calm down! The kid is smart...The rules

state that he has to lean toward home, his

shoulders were square and positioned toward first

base. He had no movement toward home....Play ball!


JIM heads back to the bench as he kicks toward the ground. He is very upset over the call....
CUT TO:
A BLACK MAN sits down besides HUNT'S mother, MS. MAE.
BLACK MAN

(curious)

Mam. My name is Lucious....Can I be a little nosy

here?
MS. MAE looks around at him....


MS. MAE

(jokes)


He's too young to play for the Major Leagues.
The BLACK MAN laughs.
BLACK MAN

No. I guess he is. I wanna know what high school

is he going to attend? Pat Patterson played for the

Kansas City Monarch and he's a fine coach over

at Yates.

22.


MS. MAE almost chokes on her cold drink.
MS. MAE

(clears her throat)

Yates! I'm a Wheatleyite and my son gonna be the

same, I beg your pardon.


BLACK MAN

(gets up to return to his seat)

It was just a thought, Miss....
MS. MAE

(yells at Hunt)

Be careful with Big McGee...He can hit the seams

off that baseball...Be careful, baby.


CUT TO:
MCGEE is walking up to the batter's box. He stretches with the bat. The bat looks like a

tooth pick in his hands. He take a few swings while eyeing HUNT on the mound. The

UMPIRE pulls out his brush and cleans home plate.
UMPIRE

(kneels behind catcher)

Let's play ball!
MCGEE steps in the batter's box, legs spread wide as he waves the bat back and forth,

anxious to hit HUNT. HUNT throws his best curve right at head level of MCGEE.

MCGEE hits the dirt in a hurry. The ball curves right down the middle of the plate.
UMPIRE

(continues)

STRIKE ONE!
CUT TO:
JIM, the coach from the other team shakes his head.
JIM

(yells)


Come on McGEE! Stay in there!
HUNT stares at MCGEE as he steps back in the batter's box. He winds up and delivers.

MCGEE hits the ball.


CUT TO:
The FANS in the bleachers stand up thinking it's a home run. MCGEE is headed to first

base. The ball curves foul. MCGEE returns to home plate and BIG B takes a big breath.


BIG B

(goes to the mound)

(more)

23.


BIG B (CONTINUED)

Hunt...Don't throw that pitch. He's a fast ball

hitter...He can't tip your curve ball...You crossed

me up...
HUNT

(apologizes)

Sorry...I thought I could sneak my fast ball by him

since he was looking for the curve....
UMPIRE

(heads for the mound)

Play----
BIG B

(Imitates as he returns)

Yeah. yeah..play ball!
MCGEE steps back in the batter's box feeling good about the foul ball. The Big left hand

hitter digs in. HUNT delivers a slow breaking curve that's coming right at MCGEE. He

leans back and the ball curves right over the middle of the plate.
UMPIRE

(raises his fist)

STRIKE THREE!
MCGEE walks out the batter's box angry as he hits the bat on the ground.
BIG B

(yells)


That's what I'm talking about!
HUNT and the FIFTH WARDERS run off the field.
CUT TO
The THIRD WARDER'S TEAM comes out on the field. SAMMY, the pitcher is taking

his warm up pitches. He has a humming fast ball.


CUT TO
The FIFTH WARDER'S TEAM are watching SAMMY from their DUG OUT as he

throws hard from the mound. The UMPIRE is ready to dust off home plate when SAMMY

finish his warm up pitches. SAMMY throws his last pitch. The UMPIRE brushes home plate.
UMPIRE

(puts his mask on)

Play ball!
BRADY steps in the batter's box. SAMMY winds up and delivers to the plate. BRADY

swings and misses....The CATCHER throws the ball back to SAMMY....He delivers the

pitch. BRADY swings and misses....SAMMY fast ball is humming past BRADY. BRADY

steps out the batter's box to gather himself...Then he steps back in. SAMMY wastes no

time in delivering to the plate.....BRADY swings and misses for STRIKE THREE.

24.


BRADY walks back to the Dug Out shaking his head......
THE CATCHER

(yells at Brady)

You can't hit what you don't see!
CUT TO:
EXT. BALL GAME-LAST INNING-7TH
THE FIFTH WARDERS lead the game 1 to 0 in the 7th inning. SAMMY and HUNT are

sitting in the DUG OUT after three innings of work. This is the last inning. The PITCHER

for THE FIFTH WARDERS delivers the ball to home plate. THE BATTER pops it up to

BRADY, the first baseman. BRADY squeezes it in his glove and jumps sky high. THE

FIFTH WARDERS rejoice on the field.
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
EXT. BACKYARD-HUNT'S HOUSE-NIGHT
HUNT'S FATHER, CARL and his LONGSHOREMAN friends are in the backyard playing

dominoes.


LESTER

(puts down a domino)

I heard about your son. They say, he can really

pitch that ball.


CARL

Yep...He started the game last week for the

Teenage All Stars.
BUSTER

(slams the domino down)

Where did he learn to pitch like that, Carl?
CARL

(slams the domino down)

Give me twenty five! Bros Henry took him under

his wings.....Saw something in the kid.....


MS. MAE comes out the house with bottles of beer. She put them on the table.
BUSTER

(smiles)


Why, thank you Ms. Mae.
Everybody gives a nod of 'thank you' to MS. MAE.

25.


MS. MAE

(smiles)


I thought all you Longshoreman's deserve a little

refreshment after working on those ships all week.


MS. MAE turns to leave, but thinks of something to remind the men.
MS. MAE

(reminds)

Oh, yeah...By the way, Hunt is pitching in the

championship game against The Kelly Court Boys.

If ya'll are not working a ship next week, please

come out. Hunt is gonna need ya'll support. This

team is really good.
Everybody nods.
CARL

(laughs)


We gonna all be there, baby. Don't you worry.
EVERYBODY

That's right, Ms. Mae......


FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
INT. HUNT'S BEDROOM
HUNT is fast asleep in his bed. The tennis ball in his hand falls to the floor and rolls softly

under the dresser.


CUT TO
EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS-2:00AM-MORNING
ONE MAN is running ANOTHER MAN down the tracks shooting a GUN at him. The

footsteps are loud as they run on the heavy gravel. The sound of the gun rings through the

neighborhood....
CUT TO
INT. HUNT'S BEDROOM
HUNT wakes up in a sweat as the gun blast is loud in his ears. HUNT jumps from the bed

to the floor. Suddenly the gun shots stop. HUNTS mother enters his room to see if he is

all right. She consoles his trembling body.

26.


MS. MAE

(holds him in his arms)

Go back to sleep baby. It's just them old men

shooting at each other over some crooked dice at

that Hollywood Night Club down the railroad

tracks. I wish they would just sit a match to that

jute-joint. It makes no sense.
MS. MAE holds HUNT tight in her arms for a moment.
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
EXT. FENNIGAN PARK-BASEBALL FIELD-MORNING
HUNT is sitting down on the bench looking out at the pitching mound. He is squeezing

the tennis ball in his left hand. He just stares over the field like day-dreaming about the

championship game. THE OLD MAN comes up and touches him on the shoulder. He

jumps up off the bench and looks around to see that it is THE OLD MAN.


HUNT

(puts his head down)

Sorry...I didn't know---
THE OLD MAN

(smiles)


I shouldn't have walked up on you like that. I

know you have a lot on your mind these days.

The championship game, huh?
HUNT

Sort of....


THE OLD MAN

Listen....Sit down here for a minute.


HUNT and THE OLD MAN sit down on the bench.
THE OLD MAN

(continues)

Life is a game of winning and losing. But the

challenge comes when you can overcome losing

because sometimes you can't win all the time.....
HUNT

(squeezes tennis ball)

But losing hurts, Old Man.
THE OLD MAN

(smiles)


(more)

27.


THE OLD MAN (CONTINUED)

I know, but you're just a kid. You can overcome---

but me, at my age, that's another story....
HUNT laughs.
HUNT

(curious)

Why are you so interested in me. I hardly know

you, but you have taught me so much. It's almost

like you came from heaven.
THE OLD MAN

(laughs)


I don't know about all that, but one day I hope to

be there. You reminds me of myself when I was a

pitcher.
HUNT

You pitched in the Major Leagues?!


THE OLD MAN

No! That was forbidden fruit....Black man during

my days couldn't even think about the major

leagues. Later they let Jackie in.....


HUNT

I didn't know. It was that hard, huh?


THE OLD MAN

Still is. But we had a Negro league back then....It

was just as good as the major leagues.
HUNT

(interested)

Really! All black ball players!
THE OLD MAN

That's right--and I was a left hand pitcher just like

you. I played for the Kansas City Monarchs....I

see something in you, kid and you're good. So

come on, I brought my tool with me today. You

gonna get another lesson.


CUT TO
THE OLD MAN on the pitcher's mound is going through different pitching motions as

HUNT imitates him.


THE OLD MAN

(demonstrates)

If you throw three quarters and over-hand, have

two pitches, fast ball and curve....If you throw

(more)

28.


THE OLD MAN (CONTINUED)

overhand, have two pitches. All ways have two

pitches for each deliver. The batter can't guess

what you gonna throw....Come on Let's put it into

practice......
THE OLD MAN walks to home plate, turns and kneels down. HUNT winds up and

throws to the plate.....


FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
EXT. STREETS-AFTERNOON
HUNT is walking down the street eating an ice cream cone. THREE GIRLS are sitting on

a porch as he passes by. He doesn't pay them any attention....They are trying to get his

attention...
ANNA MAE

(yells)


You sure are cute!
HUNT turns around as he finishes his ice cream cone.
SUSAN

(taps her on the shoulder)

Girl! You crazy!
BOBBIE

(waves at him)

Well. It's the truth...He is cute....
SUSAN has long black hair. It catches HUNT'S eyes. He turns and heads toward their

porch. ANNA MAE and BOBBIE run and hide. SUSAN stays.....


SUSAN

(laughs)


Ya'll bother the boy and then run like cats....I'm

staying right here....


HUNT walks up to the porch.
HUNT

(walks up to porch)

What happened to your friends?
SUSAN

(serious)

They ran like jack rabbits in the house. They are

my cousins.

29.

BOBBIE AND ANNA MAE are snickering inside the house.


SUSAN

(continues)

You play baseball?...
HUNT

Yep...I'm a pitcher


SUSAN

You really must love that game....You pass here

everyday, squeezing that tennis ball and carrying

that glove.


HUNT

I do......


SUSAN

I don't know that much about the game.....


HUNT

If you really want to know about the

game....Sometimes when I pass by, I will stop and

teach you what I know.


SUSAN

I don't care, if sometimes you see me on the porch

with my silly little cousins...
HUNT

What's your name?


SUSAN

Susan...just call me Sue....


HUNT

My name is Hunt....Well I'll see you later.....


HUNT takes off walking down the street. ANNA MAE and BOBBIE hurry out the house

and sit down beside SUSAN. They are laughing.


BOBBIE AND ANNA MAE

(laughs)


I think that little cute boy likes you!
SUSAN

(responds)

Maybe and maybe not---and ya'll are so---
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO

30.


EXT. FENNIGAN PARK-BASEBALL FIELD-EVENING
THE KELLY COURT BOYS are arriving for the big game as they walk across to their

Dug Out. THE RAGGEDY NINE is on the other side of the field. HUNT is warming up

for the game. Others are doing sprints up and down the Sideline. Folks crowd into

bleachers, children, parents and friends. HUNT looks over at his mother and waves. He

sees SUSAN with her friends. He waves and smiles at her.The Umpire is putting on his

gear. The sound of baseballs are sounding in the gloves of the players and pitchers. It is a

typical hot evening in HOUSTON, TEXAS. BIG B catches the last ball from HUNT. He

rushes to the bench and starts putting on his gear. The first base UMPIRE is checking all

the bases to make sure they are secure. Everyone is waiting patiently for the pitcher to

throw the first ball.


UMPIRE

(yells)


Play ball!
THE RAGGEDY NINE is the home team, so they run out on the field as HUNT pulls off

his jacket and slowly walks to the pitcher's mound. BRADY and all other INFIELDERS

are throwing the ball around the horn. BRADY catches the ball and runs over to the mound.
BRADY

(hands the ball to Hunt)

It's your game to win, baby...This is it.......
HUNT is speechless as he nods to BRADY. He takes a deep breath while rubbing the new

ball in his hands. HUNT looks around at everybody's position on the field. Everybody is in

place. The first BATTER comes up to the plate and steps in the batter's box. He waves his

bat back and forth as the UMPIRE kneels behind the CATCHER. HUNT steps on the

pitcher's rubber, props his glove on one knee and looks down to home plate for the sign

from BIG B.


BIG B

(flashes two fingers)

Come on, Hunt, baby! Show him what you got!
HUNT winds up and throws a fast ball.
UMPIRE

STRIKE!
The BATTER steps out the box and straightens his cap. He steps back in while thumping

home plate with his bat. HUNT winds up and throws his new curve, 'beyond the seams.' It

drops right in th middle of the plate.


UMPIRE

STRIKE!
THE COACH of THE KELLY COURT BOYS yells at the BATTER..


COACH

Come on Pete! Don't just stand there!


HUNT winds up and throws the same pitch. The BATTER thinks it is going to be high. It

31.


drops right in the middle of the plate.
UMPIRE

STRIKE THREE!


The BATTER returns to the Dug Out with his bat on his shoulder.
BIG B

(yells)


That's what I'm talking about, Hunt!
CUT TO
EXT. BASEBALL GAME-7TH INNING
Everybody is quiet in the bleachers. THE KELLY COURT BOYS are leading 1-0.

BRADY is at bat with two men out. This is their last chance to score. THE KELLY

COURT BOY'S PITCHER winds up and throws a wide breaking curve and BRADY

misses it by a mile. The game is over. THE KELLY COURT BOYS celebrates on the field.

HUNT is crying on the bench. CARL and MS. MAE comes over to console him.
FADE TO
MUSIC-OLDIES
CUT TO
INT. JMG. BARBECUE PLACE-BENCH-NOON
HUNT is sitting outside his mother's MS. MAE'S barbecue place. His baseball glove is

laying on the bench. HUNT is staring into space like he just lost his best friend. BIG B

walks up with his glove.
BIG B

(sits down on the bench)

I thought we were going to practice on your new

pitches today...I went by your house and you

weren't there.
HUNT

(wipes his eyes)

The season is over and we are losers.....Anyway,

Bros Henry is calling me a cry baby--even teased

me and said he was gonna buy me a pretty doll....

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