The Stratton Story (1949) Movie Script

Attaboy! Come on, Monty.
Strike one.
Strike two.
Fire away, Monty.
Strike three. You're out!
- Pretty mean ball, Monty.
- Thanks, Mr. Higgins.
Well, that's it for this year.
See you next season?
Sure, I'll be here. So long.
- Nice game you pitched today, son.
- Thank you, mister.
You ever think of
pitching regular professional baseball?
I guess that's just about all
I ever do think about.
Well, what are you wasting your time
around here for?
Wasting my time?
I get $3 every time I pitch a game.
Yeah. Look, son, I think you and I
ought to have a little talk.
Well, I'd like to talk to you, mister,
but I gotta get going.
- Where are you heading?
- Home.
- Okay if I trot along?
- Sure, sure, if you like.
Say, boy, where is your home anyway?
It's about four miles up this road.
Yeah, well, can't we hitch a ride
or something?
No. It might be an hour
before a car comes along here.
Well, I can wait.
Hi, Ma, how's my girl?
- You've been playing ball again?
- Sure have. Only gave them four hits.
Fine way for the man of the family
to be spending his time.
I had time to kill today.
Did all the chores before I left.
I still got time to pick a little cotton.
Hey, you got a nice profit in a day.
How do you do, madam?
- I guess you must be Monty's ma.
- Yeah.
- I'm Barney Wile. Monty around?
- He's out picking cotton.
You mean after sprinting 10 miles
and pitching nine innings
- he's picking cotton?
- Yeah.
He must want to play baseball awful bad.
All he thinks about is throwing a ball.
Well, I don't wonder, madam.
He can transform a baseball
into a streak of gray lightning
and curve it in
like it was weaving through traffic.
I'd say he's got a great future in baseball.
- You a baseball man?
- Yes, ma'am.
Then I'd say he's got a better future
on the farm.
Hey, hey, come here!
Oh, hi. What, did you get a lift?
Yeah. Part way.
That's quite a jaunt. I'm all fagged out.
Guess you're not in very good shape, huh?
Well, I haven't been in training
for a marathon.
You walk up there and back
every time you pitch?
See, the walk up
sort of gets my muscles nice and loose,
and the walk back
keeps them from tightening up.
- Works out pretty good.
- Yeah, I never thought of that.
But about your pitching,
like I was saying,
you've got a nice easy motion.
I guess you didn't walk
all the way out here
just to tell me you like the way I throw.
Of course, you're a little ragged yet.
You need some smoothing out.
But I don't think
that'll give us much trouble.
Ever play any ball?
- I've had my innings.
- Where?
Oh, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston.
I've been around.
- What, the big leagues?
- Yeah.
- What'd you play?
- Behind the bat.
- You were catcher, huh?
- Oh, I caught all the big fellows.
- Well, well...
- Oh, I know, I...
I was a fool.
A grand slam, double-barreled fool.
Breaking training and hitting the bottle,
you don't stay up there very long.
And by the time I learned my lesson,
I was out,
and it isn't so easy to get back in.
But when I saw you,
I was seeing a dream come true,
my dream of finding a hot prospect
and coming back into baseball.
Well, I sure would like to work with you.
It's still light. Do you wanna catch a few?
Maybe you haven't had enough exercise
for one day, but I have.
But we might be able
to work out tomorrow.
What, are you staying around here?
Well, not exactly.
- Oh, just passing through?
- Yeah, something like that.
I'm on my way to California.
Course, it doesn't have to be California.
I could... I might...
I could... I could help...
You ever do any farm work?
Oh, I've, I...
You look kind of flabby.
Oh, son, I've got muscles
I haven't even used yet.
- You meet my mother?
- Yeah.
- I struck out.
- That figured.
I guess this is what us baseball men
would call a squeeze play.
May I offer my compliments,
Mrs. Stratton.
This was a meal fit for kings.
And this pie.
Nothing like the pie Mother used to make.
Is that so?
- My mother couldn't boil water.
- You don't say.
Mr. Wile here, he's sort of looking around
for something to do.
I thought maybe he could
sort of hole up here for the winter
and help out around the place.
You know as well as I do, Monty,
we can't afford no hired hand.
Oh, well, he wouldn't expect any pay.
Just room and keep.
I didn't realize you were so overworked
you needed help.
Oh, no, it's not that, Ma.
It's just that a lot of things need doing
Mr. Wile could be mighty handy with.
There's fixing that fence down
at the pig pen,
and fixing the roof on the chicken coop,
pulling those stumps down by the creek.
Ma, we'd get this place in real fine shape.
When your papa died,
he left this place to you, Monty.
You're the man of the house.
If you want Mr. Wile around,
I ain't gonna raise a fuss.
You ought to be old enough
to know what you're doing.
say, you know,
somehow I feel sort of tired.
I can't imagine why.
What do you say we turn in, Barney?
- Good night, Mother.
- Good night.
Good night, ma'am, and thank you.
This farm's all Monty's got, Mr. Wile,
but it's worth something.
The land always is, if you look after it.
But you and Monty,
you go ahead and talk baseball,
and maybe someday
he'll do as good as you did.
Now, wait a minute, son. Wait a minute.
When you swing back,
you pivot around like this.
But don't try to strike out every batter.
Use your control
and let your fielders help you.
And as you come forward, use your body.
Follow through.
I guess in a spot like that
the best pitch would be...
Nice and easy.
Now follow through, nice and easy.
Oh, that's it, boy. That's beautiful.
And always cover first base
when the ball's hit deep.
Nice pitch, boy, nice pitch.
Now let me look at the curve ball.
Oh, good hook. Good hook!
Now let me see the big one.
Well, that's it for the day.
Get your coat on, son.
Keep that arm warm.
Well, you're ready.
- You're joking.
- No, I've taught you all I know.
The rest you gotta find out for yourself.
Now we gotta get you some action.
Yeah, well, not very much action
around here.
No, but there is in California.
Jimmy Dykes and the White Sox
are starting their spring training there
next week.
- Chicago White Sox?
- Yeah.
Jimmy Dykes is an old friend of mine.
I've known him for 20 years.
All I have to do is say the word
and he'll give you a tryout.
- He will?
- Sure.
- But out in California?
- Yeah.
Looks like we've got
another squeeze play coming up.
Barney and I are sort of thinking
about taking a little trip out to California.
Is that so?
- What baseball team's over there?
- It's the White Sox. They...
How'd you know that?
I didn't reckon you'd be going over there
for anything important.
- But this is important, ma'am.
- Worth giving up the farm for?
Oh, if they take him on,
the least he'll get is $300 a month.
That's a powerful lot of money
for just throwing a ball.
And Monty won't have to give up the farm
while he's trying out.
I talked to Cousin Earnie.
He said he'd be glad
to take care of it for me.
That $300 a month,
that'll buy a lot of stuff we need.
What makes you so sure
they'll give you a tryout?
They try just anybody?
Well, they sure don't.
Why, Barney and Jimmy Dykes
are old friends.
- Who?
- Jimmy Dykes.
He's the manager of the ball team.
That way, I'll get a chance for sure.
The land's the only place
where you're sure.
Well, lots of people
don't live on farms, ma'am.
Lots of people don't eat regular, too.
You made up your mind, ain't you, son?
I've just gotta give it a try, Mother.
How you fellas figuring on getting along?
Oh, don't worry. We'll make out all right,
won't we, Barney?
Well, of course, they don't pay you
while you're trying out.
But that won't be any problem
or anything.
I don't think you ought
to discourage contributions, son.
- Contributions? We're lucky to be going.
- Well...
Here's the...
Here's $5 I saved from selling that calf.
- It's all you get.
- Thank you, Mother.
And don't you worry, Mrs. Stratton,
I'll take good care of him.
Let him take care of himself.
Good night, Son.
You've got one big leaguer
in the family already.
Get in there with the pitchers
and warm up your arm.
Shouldn't we be meeting Mr. Dykes?
Oh, you let me worry about that, will you?
Go ahead. Go ahead.
- Is it okay?
- Sure. Go ahead.
Where did the little man
get all that speed?
- Just get here?
- Yes, sir. My name's Stratton.
- Lyons is mine.
- Well, I'm glad to know you, Mr. Lyons.
How are you?
Don't mind Eddie. He's caught
too many foul tips with his head.
Is that right?
That's the way to play it.
Come on now, Luke. Wrist out in front.
Make that bat go around in there.
Come on now.
Come on, now. Come on, boy.
Red, who's that kid down there
in the leather jacket?
I don't know.
The best right-hand prospect
since Christy Mathewson.
Oh, no! Not Barney Wile again.
Jimmy, my boy,
haven't seen you in some time.
- Not since last spring.
- That's right.
- Did you bring that kid out here?
- You bet I did.
- I want you to have first crack at him.
- Thanks.
He's got everything.
I've been working with him all winter long.
Who supplied the hooch?
Oh, no, no, Jimmy, I haven't had a drop
since I first saw the boy.
Listen, son, Barney's probably filled
your head with a lot of cockeyed ideas.
But I can't waste time
with every kid he digs up.
- What, are you... You Mr. Dykes?
- That's right.
Oh, Jimmy, you can't do this.
Barney, how many times have I told you
not to bother me this way?
I'm sorry I busted in on you, mister.
Oh, that boy's hitched
and walked miles to get here, Jimmy.
- Pretty good control for a young pitcher.
- Watch him throw a couple.
Monty, don't go running away like this.
- Country! Country!
- Monty, he means you.
Heads up!
Eddie, let me have that glove, will you?
Come on, Country. Throw me a couple.
Yeah, come on, Monty, get your coat off.
Burn them in, boy.
My, my.
Some stuff, eh, Jimmy?
Come on, you.
He really breaks them off, doesn't he?
Now let's have your fastball.
- Nice play, Walt.
- Down the line.
Maybe you better work out awhile.
Keep him around. He may have something.
- But for Pete's sake, get him a haircut.
- Sure, Jimmy, sure.
- In five minutes.
- Okay.
- You get four for one?
- That's all there is to it, buddy.
Hey, Luke.
How would you like a date for tonight?
Fine. I'll go ask my wife if it's okay.
But I'm in a spot. My date for tonight
has some hick gal from Omaha with her
and I can't even afford one gal,
let alone two.
How about loaning me $10?
Shove off, rookie,
you're in me for $20 already.
It's no dice, baby.
But can't you get rid of her?
No, it's too late.
This is a better machine than yours.
Baby, everything's gonna be all right.
Say, Country, is that the only suit you got?
I know, I know. And I told you
I didn't think this was such a good idea.
Oh, forget it. Here they come now.
- Is that mine?
- No, mine. Not bad, huh?
Oh, that's mine.
You always hit the jackpot?
Oh, there's Eddie.
Hi, Dot.
Oh, no.
Eddie's a pretty fast stepper, isn't he?
He's a fast worker, too.
I'm glad I insisted
that Dot bring you along tonight.
Thank you.
Dancing with you
is like dancing on a cloud.
- Well, share it around.
- That's right, Eddie.
On your feet, Dottie.
I'm sorry I can't ask you to dance,
but I don't know how.
Oh, that's all right.
Oh, I guess baseball's about all I know.
Well, that's something.
Seen us work out yet?
- Us? Who's us?
- The Chicago White Sox.
No. No, I guess
that's the one thing I've missed.
Well, the team looks good.
It looks awful good.
We have a nice, tight infield.
Oh, that's nice.
I'll bet you're pretty good yourself.
Well, I don't know. I'm still trying out.
You're a big fella.
I'll bet you can hit a baseball pretty far.
Well, I'm not expected to hit very much.
You see, I'm a pitcher.
Well, I bet you can pitch far.
No, you don't get the idea.
You see, I just have to pitch about 60 feet.
All right, then I'll bet you can pitch fast.
Oh, well, sometimes you have to rear back
and sort of let her go fast,
and at other times
you just sort of whip it.
Like that, curve her in,
or in some spots
you just sort of float her in.
That's what you call change of pace.
You know, you sort of...
Speaking of change of pace,
it probably isn't any of my business,
but would you mind telling me
what that noise is?
- What? The what?
- Jingling noise.
Look at that.
I was gonna get a haircut over at the hotel
and I noticed those machines in the lobby.
I never did see them before.
I sort of wondered about them,
and before I knew it I popped a quarter in
and a whole lot of fruit
started spinning around like...
And then it sort of slid to a stop
and nothing happened.
Well, before I knew it,
I popped in another quarter
and that was the last of the haircut.
I was down to my last quarter.
Well, I figured I might as well be broke
as the way I was,
so in went the last quarter.
Fruit took off again
and slowed up and stopped.
All of a sudden, the quarters
started popping out of that thing
like hens through a busted fence.
Went and got a haircut.
Well, if you don't make it in baseball,
you've a pretty good future in gambling.
- No, I'm through gambling.
- Why?
Well, I found out what it's like to lose
and what it's like to win.
Why keep at it?
Yes, sir.
We're gonna make a big night of it.
There's a lot of spots in California
for having a good time,
and, Ethel,
I'm gonna show them all to you.
Oh, I wouldn't think
of putting you to all that trouble.
Trouble? No trouble at all.
Showing you a good time
will be a pleasure.
Now, there's a little place up at Malibu.
Oh, soft music, dancing under the stars.
But of course,
if you go for hot music, now,
there's an outfit in Hollywood
that really beats it out.
Baby, when I get through
showing you this town,
you won't ever wanna go back to Omaha.
We'll make the rounds.
And what we don't hit tonight,
we'll hit tomorrow night.
Just leave it to me.
Your Uncle Eddie's gonna
take care of everything.
Have fun, I always say.
Now, what's the use of living
if you don't have a good time?
You only live once.
And you can't take it with you.
- And I'm not...
- Let's go.
- Where?
- Home.
Why, Country? The night's young.
- Lots of spots we haven't hit yet.
- Yeah. You hit them.
We're heading home.
I'm very glad to have met you. Good night.
Did it occur to you that I might have
wanted to go on somewhere with them?
Well, what you wanted
wasn't so important.
- Oh, it wasn't?
- No, no.
What was important
was the way Eddie was treating Dot.
If he was trying to shine up to you,
he shouldn't have done it in front of her.
- Or in front of you.
- No. Oh, no, no. That's not what I mean.
Look, I'm sorry about tonight.
You sort of got stuck with me, didn't you?
- Oh, that's silly.
- No, it isn't.
I just never had much experience
with girls.
What's so funny?
- And you got stuck with the check.
- It was worth it to get out of there.
Here we are.
- Well, good night.
- Good night, Monty.
Monty, I'm sorry about tonight.
I behaved very badly.
But I haven't had too much experience
myself, with ballplayers.
Well, I'm not exactly a ballplayer yet.
I still have to make the team.
You'll make it.
Well, how do you know? You said
you didn't know anything about baseball.
I could learn.
When do you go home to Omaha?
A while yet.
- Time for me to come and call on you?
- Should be.
- Good night, Ethel.
- Good night, Monty.
Hey, bud!
Hey, you!
Where do you think you're heading?
- How's that?
- I said, where do you think you're heading?
Man, I sure don't know.
Monty, you sure looked good there today.
Boy, that old arm was
really whipping today, wasn't it?
Team's moving east tomorrow, son.
We're gonna take you with us.
When you get dressed, come in the office
and we'll sign you to a contract.
Barney, did you hear that?
What are you gonna do, Barney?
Well, if it's all right with you,
I sure would like to tag along with the boy.
- Can't have people just tagging along.
- Well, look, Mr. Dykes...
Can't have people hanging around
doing nothing.
Well, Jimmy, I'll do anything.
What could you do?
Offhand, I can't think of anything.
Unless you'd like
to coach the young pitchers.
- Hello, Monty.
- Hello, Mr. Dykes.
We didn't have too much time
at that, did we?
- Enough to make me wish it was more.
- Maybe there will be.
What, you got any doubts about it?
California turned out much better
than I thought it was gonna.
Yes, it was nice,
your making the team, wasn't it?
Well, that's not what I mean,
and you know it.
I know, Monty.
All aboard!
- Goodbye, Ethel. Let's get going, boy.
- All right.
- You will write, won't you?
- Well, I don't know.
Well, how will I know you're thinking
about me if you don't write?
Well, I'll never be able
to write down what I'm thinking.
I'm not much of a letter writer.
All aboard! All aboard!
Hey, aren't you coming with us?
Well, goodbye.
Now, this fellow likes an outside pitch.
You gotta keep them inside on him.
Yeah, now this fella, he murders curves.
You've gotta power them at him
high and fast.
Hey now, with a man on first,
the batter will try to hit it
behind the runner into right field.
So you gotta pitch it inside to him.
That's a good thing to know
if I ever get a chance to use it.
Don't rush it, son.
You get an education this way.
Good view of the game.
- I ought to be paying for this seat.
- Easy, boy.
Those Yankees are murder.
- Pretty rough, huh?
- A guy can get killed out there.
What a gang. Dickey, DiMaggio, Gehrig.
You can't power it past them, kid.
If you're gonna get by,
you gotta outthink them,
cross them up,
give them what they don't expect.
I guess what they don't expect is me.
They don't have to worry about me
outthinking them from here.
Boy, every time I get paid,
I feel like I was stealing.
Play ball!
Warm up.
What I've been waiting for. Let's go.
Oh, not at a time like this.
Those Yankees have sent
more pitchers to Omaha...
Now pitching for Chicago,
number 25, Monty Stratton.
Well, Country,
you finally got off the bench.
Now batting for New York, Bill Dickey.
I guess I didn't know when I was well off.
Just another ballplayer.
You gotta face them all.
Play ball.
Come on, rookie, let me see a nice one.
- Hi!
- Hello, darling.
Gee, I'm glad to see you.
What are you doing here?
I thought you were...
I know, I know, I know.
Now come on, sit down.
I want to have a little talk with you.
I got a problem.
But you said in your letter
you might pitch this week.
I did, yeah.
That's what I want to talk to you about.
- What happened?
- Well, everything.
Honey, you know,
when I left you in California,
- I sort of figured...
- What was the score?
That's not important. They murdered me.
The thing that's bothering me is that...
Well, they can't expect you
to win every game.
Honey, they don't expect me
to win any games.
They shipped me down here to Omaha.
Said I needed more experience.
Well, they don't put you in jail
for playing in Omaha.
I know, I know.
There's nothing wrong with Omaha,
but it's just that
I might not even make it here.
I don't know. We're going out on the road
for a couple of weeks.
First thing I know, I'll be back on the farm.
- Don't you like the farm?
- Sure, sure. It's all right.
- But it...
- Well, then?
Well, it's just that
things are different now, that's all.
Now there's you.
Am I your problem?
- Well...
- Would it help any if I said I love you?
That's the problem.
Oh, I see.
Oh, no, you don't see, Ethel. I...
No matter what I was doing,
I kept thinking about you.
And every time I'd see something exciting
that I'd never seen before,
I kept wishing you were there
to see it with me.
I don't know.
If that's love, man, I really got it.
Oh, you had me worried.
Oh, but I had all sorts of plans for us,
honey, going up in the big leagues and all.
Now I don't know where I'm headed.
It doesn't matter to me
whether you're in the big leagues or...
But a man's gotta know where he's going.
- Well, what do you wanna do?
- Well, just give me a chance to make it.
I just wanna make sure
that I'm not gonna let you down.
All right, Monty, if that's what you want.
You're what I want.
Oh, I love you, Monty.
You could never let me down.
- Monty?
- Yes, dear?
What was the score?
- To nothing?
- Nothing.
Honey, do you know
there's a tailor in Chicago
that gives a suit of clothes away
to every ballplayer
that hits the scoreboard in center field?
As of yesterday, the New York Yankees
are the best-dressed team in baseball.
Ted, warm up.
Stratton won another game yesterday.
Yes, sir. That makes six in a row now.
Three of them were shutouts, too.
Gave them only two hits yesterday.
That's what we sent him down there for,
to get some seasoning.
Ought to be mighty tasty by now.
Excuse me.
- Please.
- I'm sorry.
- Lose something, sir?
- No, no.
- Pardon me.
- Excuse me.
- What are you looking for, sir?
- I'm not looking...
I'm looking for a girl by the name of...
- Quiet, will you?
- Monty.
My feet.
Darling, what... I'm sorry.
What are you doing out here?
Honey, I got a problem.
Will you take your problem
somewhere else?
Yes, sir. Come on.
- Problem? Again?
- Yeah.
- Let's sit down here.
- All right.
I have to catch the 11:00 train for Chicago.
The White Sox have recalled me.
Oh, then everything's worked out fine.
What's your problem?
I can't figure out what to give you
for your birthday next week.
- My birthday?
- I've looked at a whole lot of stuff,
but I just can't seem to be able
to find the right thing.
Oh, Monty, we don't want
to talk about that here.
No, no, no. We got to.
We gotta get it all settled.
Of course,
I know what I'd like you to have.
- Well, why don't you surprise me?
- You may not want it.
- What do you want to give me?
- Me.
That's just what I've always wanted.
Look, bud, you two ain't bad,
but that's better.
Fine. Fine.
Now, remember,
serve it with the coffee, huh?
- Yes, sir. With the coffee.
- Yeah. Yeah.
Well, still dancing, huh?
That Ted's a pretty good dancer, isn't he?
I don't know. I never danced with him.
I hope it doesn't take Ethel as long
to make good with your ma as it did me.
Well, Ethel's a little better shaped
than you are.
Thank you, Ted. I enjoyed it.
Can't figure out, Ethel, how
Country here got himself a girl like you.
Oh, that wasn't easy.
I just wouldn't take no for an answer.
She's pretty, but she's not very smart.
- Here come the Bombers.
- Bombers?
Yeah, a few of the Yankees.
That's them.
- Hello, Ted.
- Hi, Barney.
- Hello.
- Hi.
- Hello, Ted.
- Hello, Bill.
- You know Barney Wile?
- How are you, Barney?
And Monty Stratton?
- How are you?
- Mrs. Stratton, this is Bill Dickey.
How do you do?
- Met you early this season, didn't we?
- Yeah, everything I threw.
- Are you back up with the Sox now?
- That's right.
- Glad to hear it.
- What, are you running short on suits?
- Nice to have met you, Mrs. Stratton.
- Thank you.
- Good luck, Monty.
- Thanks.
So long.
Why, he's nice.
I told you she wasn't very smart.
You just wait
till you see him tomorrow, honey.
They don't call them the Bombers
for nothing.
Some poor guy's gonna
have a rough afternoon.
By the way, who is gonna pitch tomorrow?
Yeah. A couple of the boys
have sore arms. You'll work.
What do you... Have you unpacked yet?
- Not yet.
- Well, don't.
- Hello. White Sox?
- Yes.
Well, I'm Mrs. Appling, shortstop.
This is Mrs. Piet, third base,
and Mrs. Shea, catcher.
How do you do?
I'm Mrs. Monty Stratton, pitcher.
Come on in.
How do you feel, son?
- Almost as nervous as you are.
- Oh, me? No, I...
Well, this is it.
Give them everything you've got.
All right, Barney.
Play ball!
We're pulling right along with you.
Now batting for Chicago,
number 25, Monty Stratton.
Come on, Monty. Give it to them.
- Lasted a little longer today, Monty.
- Yeah. I'm sticking around.
Hey, there, you Charlie. Cover your boy.
Almost what you might call
a one-man team, huh?
He's getting tired.
He'll get out of it all right.
Now batting, number eight, Bill Dickey.
Come on, Monty. Come on, Monty.
Just one more, boy, just one more.
- You're out!
- Not mad, are you?
Nope. Feel right friendly.
- Loveliest thing I ever read.
- Yeah, I guess we can stay a few days.
Oh, it is too bad
the season's almost over.
Maybe I can manage to win a few more
before it ends.
Listen to this.
"Stratton had the Yankees
eating out of his hand."
Yeah, sort of felt like they were nibbling
on that hand in the ninth inning.
"Stratton got himself out of jams
like a seasoned veteran."
Oh, yeah. Sure make it sound easy.
"Of course, Stratton was helped
considerably by a nearsighted umpire."
What was that?
"The umpire kept seeing home plate
under the ball,
"no matter where Stratton threw it."
And Stratton cut the inside corner!
"When Stratton pitched, the safest place
to stand was on the plate."
Stratton cut the outside corner.
"He was floating them up
like big, white balloons."
Stratton smoked one down the middle.
"And then the infielders..."
Now, now, no, look, how long am I gonna
have to put up with all this abuse?
Oh, about 70, 80 years, I hope.
Ladies, here's one of my favorite recipes
that you won't wanna miss.
Old-fashioned apple pie
like Mother used to make,
with that tasty, crisp, flaky crust...
He's gonna tell me how to make apple pie.
Well, now,
if you'll call off your dog, ma'am,
why, I've got some books here.
Monty! Oh, my!
- How's my girl?
- I didn't know you, Son.
New clothes and all.
Yeah, and this isn't the only thing new.
Here's Ethel.
Monty's been writing me about you,
but he don't write as pretty as you look.
Seems to me
you've been running over with luck, Son.
- Sure have.
- Why, you got a new car.
Yeah, I bought myself a bucket of bolts.
- Well, get your things out.
- All right.
- Are you hungry?
- Yeah, sure.
I'd better get busy
and rustle up some dinner.
I'll help you.
She look like that
and know her way around a kitchen, too?
She does all right.
- Oh, Earnie!
- Howdy.
How are you, Earnie?
Ethel, this is my cousin Earnie.
- Hello, Earnie.
- Ma'am.
Hear you're pitching good.
Well, I managed to win a few
before the season ended.
What, you a...
- You a fan now?
- Nope.
Guess you won't be needing me anymore.
Well, I'll tell you, Earnie,
I sort of wish you would stick around
for the winter.
We got a lot of things we can fix up
around here.
We've got to mend the fences
and paint the place up a little
and build one of those nursery rooms.
How about some supper, Grandma?
They're sure hacking away
at Stratton today.
Well, he's gotta lose one sometime.
He's won three in a row,
and the season just started.
Yeah, but he doesn't look right today.
Hey, you forget something?
I've a feeling your mind's not on the game.
Why, I ought to be in Chicago with Ethel.
What are you, a doctor or a pitcher?
I hope she's not having
as tough a time as he is.
Well, this won't happen every day.
Right now, I wouldn't trade him
for any other pitcher in baseball.
Hear, hear.
What a future that boy's got.
Play ball!
Pour it on them, Pop!
It's a boy!
Come on, Pop.
Today you are a man.
If he looks like an umpire, leave home.
Hey! What's going on here?
- Play ball!
- Oh, sure.
Come on, Pop. Put one in here.
Come on, Pop. Out of there.
- Six of each, please.
- Yes, ma'am.
That'll be 36 cents.
Nice going, Monty.
Oh, boy, what a game!
Three measly hits he gave them.
What's with you, Barney?
You act like you pitched the shutout.
Oh, that's the first pitcher in the league
this year to win 14 games.
- Plenty of stuff in there today, Monty.
- Thanks, Ted.
- That's your fourth shutout, son.
- Yep.
Boy, what a flipper.
Barney, you better take a shower
and cool off.
Hello, honey, how's everything?
Good. How's Junior?
Oh, we did all right. 3-0.
Say, honey,
I don't think
you'd better wait dinner for me.
No, I'm gonna be tied up again tonight.
It's another one of those press interviews.
Another? What press interview?
I don't know.
No, honey, I won't be late.
When those country boys go to town,
they really go.
We're gonna go see Grandma.
And she's gonna be so surprised
when she sees you.
You're so big.
We'll look to see who's at the door.
- Ethel.
- Hello, Barney.
Well, you're all set to shove off, huh?
Yes, as soon as Monty gets here.
He phoned and said
he'd be a little late again.
Yeah, those press interviews.
Oh, but what a season he's had, huh?
I knew the boy was good, but I never
expected him to come through this fast.
Leading right-hand pitcher
of the American League.
- Great, isn't it?
- Yes, it is, Barney.
But I'm glad the season's over
and we're going back to Texas.
Yeah, I know.
You'll have him all to yourself then.
Oh, I'm not complaining.
I guess we're pretty lucky.
- Yes.
- Sure.
Don't you guess we're pretty lucky?
Hi, Barney. Hello, honey.
- Hi.
- Hello.
- You all ready?
- Yes, I'll get my coat.
Well, Son, you all set to go down
and see your grandma?
Say, it's none of my business, Monty,
but what's all this with these interviews?
- What?
- And the shenanigans.
You think you can carry him
without dropping him?
I won't make an error, son,
but can we depend on Junior?
There, now, that's the last one.
Now, scat. You just got here
and you've been at it all day.
- Why not? I enjoy it.
- You do?
Why, sure.
I could hardly wait to get down here.
Don't you two have
a good time in the city?
I'd think you'd be on the go all the time.
Believe it or not,
I see more of Monty down here
than I do in Chicago.
For goodness' sakes, why?
Well, part of the time,
the team is traveling,
and rest of the time, Monty has meetings,
interviews, speeches.
Speeches? Monty making speeches?
You may not realize it,
but your son is a big celebrity now.
But down here we have him
all to ourselves, don't we, Junior?
Anyway, I want the baby
to get used to the farm,
so he'll grow up like his daddy.
We won't get anything done
talking this way.
- Hi. Supper ready?
- Hi.
Can't tell with this new contraption.
I don't have to cook no more.
Just turn buttons and off she goes.
Seems like everything's got buttons.
It ain't right.
I been down at the north pasture.
I'll have to clear it out
if we're going to plant there next spring.
Sounds like supper's ready.
Darned if it doesn't always come out right.
My, baseball sure hasn't hurt
Monty's appetite any.
None of those ballplayers are shy
with a knife and fork.
If appetite means anything,
reckon Junior'll be quite a ballplayer.
He looks a little sleepy,
don't you think, Ethel?
No, let me help you with the dishes first.
Oh, there's nothing to help,
with this newfangled gadget.
Well, a little dressy, ain't you, Son?
Oh, no, not another press interview
down here?
No, no. No, no.
I just thought maybe we'd go out
and do a little celebrating.
You know, Junior's going to be
six months old tomorrow...
- Go on, go on, what are you waiting for?
- Come on.
I have to catch my breath.
This is an event, you know.
We don't get to do much celebrating
in Chicago.
Now, look, if you two girls
are going to sit around
and chew the fat all evening,
I'm gonna go out and celebrate myself.
- Goodbye.
- Oh, no.
- You hold him while I get ready.
- Now hurry up, will you?
Now, hold on, boy.
No southpaws in this family.
Well, now, let's see.
- I think we'll have some champagne.
- Yes, sir.
- Care to dance?
- Monty, you're acting very strangely.
Well, now, it's a fine thing
when a man has to plead
with his own wife to dance with him.
- But you don't dance.
- You like to dance, don't you?
- Yes, I do.
- Well, maybe it's about time I learned.
Besides, this is
one of my old campaign songs.
Now, come on. Come on.
- You'll look funny.
- Won't be the first time.
Come on. Come on.
What do I do now?
This was your idea.
- You're dancing.
- Oh, it's nothing.
- But you said you didn't know how.
- I didn't.
Honey, I just got sick and tired
of everybody dancing with you but me.
Did you ever hear of Inez and Papanya?
Inez and Papanya?
Monty, you've been taking
dancing lessons.
Yeah, they've got schools
all over the American League.
Of course,
you always don't get Inez or Papanya.
Sometimes you get...
Oh, I remember, in Detroit I got Drusilla,
and in St. Louis I got a little short one
by the name of Angelita.
Cleveland, I got...
Oh, then all those press interviews
and meetings...
Boy, I took so many dancing lessons
through the season,
it's a wonder
I had strength enough to pitch.
Say, I got a few fancy steps here.
Do you think you can stick with me?
- Oh, I'll stick with you.
- All right. Here we go.
- Come on.
- I can't move.
I sure got me some fellow.
Shucks, didn't you know that?
Good morning.
It was morning
when you came in last night.
Yes, it was pretty late.
It must have been 4:00.
What could you two
have been doing all that time?
- Dancing.
- Dancing with Monty?
- Sure!
- You were dancing?
We sure were. I wouldn't be surprised
if we did some more dancing tonight.
How about a date, ma'am?
- Why, sure.
- Look, look, look at this.
This is the Inez and Papanya special.
- Are you ready?
- Yep.
One, two, three, four...
This has a twirl in it.
Once more.
- How about that? Let's try it, Ma.
- Oh, no.
Now you clear out.
I got to get the dinner ready.
Hap, what do you want?
Hey, why don't you two girls
get dinner ready,
and Hap and I'll go out
and look for a couple of rabbits, okay?
If it's all right with the rabbits,
- I've got no objections.
- Bye.
Hap, Happy, go home.
Go home, Hap. Get Ethel.
Go on, go on home.
Go on, Hap. Hap, come on.
Go home. Go on.
Hap. Hap, go home.
No, Hap. Hap.
Go on home. Go on home.
Get Ethel. Go on home.
Monty's back.
Well, I guess everything is about ready.
Happy, be quiet.
That dog makes such a racket.
That dog.
Get the butter?
I'll get it.
I don't see Monty.
You don't?
The dog is crazy.
What's the matter with you?
Get back there. Go on.
I wonder why he came back alone.
Monty. Monty, what happened?
I guess I shot the wrong rabbit.
There's no alternative.
It's his leg or his life.
But his legs are his life.
The infection is spreading.
If we don't operate immediately...
But his leg...
He's a ballplayer.
He's a man whose life is in danger.
We must have your permission to operate.
I flew down as soon as I heard.
Oh, Barney.
That's right, kid. Cry it out.
- Barney, his leg.
- I know, I know.
Well, he had some innings.
At least he had that.
Guess you're glad to be back,
huh, Monty?
Hi, young fella.
He's home, Ma.
He hasn't seen me cry.
I've got no tears left.
Hello, Monty.
How's my girl?
- Do you want to rest, Son?
- Yeah, I guess so.
Looks like I sort of gummed things up.
We've always been able
to handle our share of troubles.
Look at the mail today.
Must be hundreds of letters here
from people all over the country.
- Don't you wanna look at them?
- No.
Well, if people are nice enough
to write them, you should read them.
If you like them so much,
why don't you read them yourself?
What do they say,
"Merry Christmas"? "Happy New Year"?
Not enough eggs to pay for their feed.
- Ain't too big, neither.
- No.
Monty gonna start moving around soon?
Trying to get him to.
You figure he's gonna?
That's up to him.
Active fella like he was
ought to get around.
He ever gonna use that leg
they made for him?
I don't know, Earnie.
Ethel's doing the best she can,
but she can't nag him.
He's gonna have to want to do something
before he does it.
I've been straightening out the shed.
A lot of stuff's piled up.
Maybe you ought to come out and tell me
what you wanna keep
and what you wanna get rid of.
Get rid of it all.
Well, I suppose there is a lot of stuff
lying around we don't need.
But I thought maybe there would be
some things you'd wanna hang on to.
Like this ball the team all signed.
I'm sorry.
What are we gonna do, Ma?
Guess there's nothing you can do
except keep on trying and hoping.
But he isn't interested in anything.
Or anybody.
Everything I do or say
seems to drive him further away.
He's all by himself.
I just can't seem to reach him.
Well, I guess it wouldn't be right
if he was letting it roll off his back
like it was nothing.
I know Monty.
He's taking a bad beating now,
but one of these days
he'll start swinging back.
But will he, Ma?
Do you think he will?
Well, there's something about Monty.
Good sense, I guess you'd call it.
But whatever you call it, if you got it,
no doctor can amputate it.
- How's the cotton look, Earnie?
- Good.
What you figure it'll come to?
Might go half a bale an acre.
Pretty good, huh, Son?
Sonny wants to say good night.
He talking now?
Well, of course.
You say good night to Uncle Earnie.
What'd he say?
Well, he said good night.
Regular little blabbermouth, ain't he?
He sure is an armful.
Come on to Uncle Earnie.
Well, he took a step.
- He's really trying to walk.
- Darned if he ain't.
Come on, Sonny.
Let's see you do that again.
Come on, come on. Here, come on.
Oh, look, Monty,
he's really starting to walk.
Isn't that wonderful?
What's so wonderful about it?
He's got two legs, hasn't he?
Look at that road.
I used to do 10 miles on that road
like it was nothing,
just to pitch a game.
Now I can hardly reach it,
let alone walk on it.
And then to top everything else,
now I'm ornery into the bargain.
I shouldn't have sounded off before.
I know you have it rough enough as it is.
- I'm not complaining.
- No. Maybe it'd be better if you did.
You can't keep it all stored up inside you.
You told me once,
"A man's got to know where he's going."
Where are you going, Monty?
I don't know.
I guess I'm just not going.
And you said you couldn't let me down.
What about the baby, Ma, yourself?
- Are you gonna let everything down?
- Do you think I want to?
What do you want?
It's not clear in my mind, I...
Before, I could do things, but now...
Nothing's really changed.
You're still the same fella
I've always been in love with.
I've made out much worse than you.
You lost your leg.
But I lost you.
Oh, honey,
I still feel the same way inside.
I know you do, darling.
That's what I've been trying to tell...
I guess I got a squawk coming, too.
Sure wasted a lot of money
on those dancing lessons.
Gee, I sure got me some gal.
Shucks, didn't you know that?
We're going to town to do some shopping.
Will you watch the baby?
Sure. What's he gonna do?
Very funny.
Nothing like having a comedian
in the family.
You're not doing that so good, young fella.
Here, I'll show you.
Looks like we got our work cut out for us.
Sure is trying, ain't he?
- More coffee?
- No, thanks.
- But you always have two...
- No, no. No, no.
He'll be up and down now,
getting into everything.
- He'll be all right.
- Oh, upsy-daisy. There.
I kind of think
Junior needs a little sunshine.
Go on, get his coat on.
We mustn't keep Daddy waiting.
Put your little arms in.
Now you be a good boy.
Please be a good boy.
Come on. There we go.
Sure is a mess.
Yeah, I guess we ought to save some of it.
I guess so.
Want to keep this?
Yeah, I guess so.
All right, then. Keep it.
Well, no, put it in the box.
If you wanna throw so much,
let's go outside
- before you wreck the shed.
- No, honey, I don't want...
Too much rich living.
A little exercise isn't gonna hurt you.
Come on, let's throw a few.
You're a fine-Iooking baseball player.
Can't even see you behind the mitt.
Say, this is fun.
No, I'm all right. I'm all right.
I think I know what I did wrong.
Come on, let's throw some more.
That's the first time
I ever been kissed by a catcher.
Oh, catchers don't do that, huh?
Not as a rule, no.
Sort of slows up the game.
Well, don't just sit there.
Let's see the big pitch.
Come on. Lay it in there, Country.
- Hi.
- Hi, there.
You're late for practice.
Well, I was finishing up
out in the north pasture.
All right, now, let's see something today.
Come on.
Come on.
Just throw it right over the plate.
Oh, that's pretty bad.
You can do better than that.
Come on, right over the plate.
Now let's see the fastball.
Well, even if I did have one,
what would you do with it if I threw it?
Well, just throw it and find out.
Come on, get it right over the plate. Come.
You call that a fastball?
You had more hop on it a month ago.
Hey, you're fixing
to get your head knocked off.
Don't argue with the catcher.
When I say a fastball, I mean a fastball.
Now come on.
Put it right in here, right over the plate.
Right in here.
- Gee, honey, I'm sorry, you hurt?
- No, no, I'm all right.
But you've just lost yourself a catcher.
Never had a catcher quit me before.
You never had a catcher before
who was going to have a baby.
Come on, Hap, come on. Come on.
You're slowing up the game. Here we are.
That's a boy.
Hey, can a fella catch a meal here?
- Ethel.
- Gee, I'm glad to see you.
I was on my way down to Houston.
I couldn't pass through
without seeing my kids.
Prettiest sight in Texas.
Oh, you've been looking
at too many ballplayers.
Oh, no. I don't believe it.
Junior, come to your Uncle Barney.
- How is Monty?
- Oh, he's just fine.
What in the heck is that?
Better get used to it
if you're figuring on staying awhile.
Oh, Ma. Don't you worry,
I'm not planning to stay all winter.
Oh, go on.
Come on, Happy. Lots of pepper.
That's a boy. Nice boy.
Say, what's going on here?
Come on. That's the way to go, Hap.
Now you're working in there, boy.
Hey, let's see that big one, Country.
Why, Barney, you old son of a gun!
How are you?
What are you doing out here?
Well, I came down to scout
that All-Stars game in Houston.
Oh, I see.
Say, you look in pretty good shape.
No use in my asking you
how things are going.
No, no complaints, Barn.
- Hey, bag-snatcher!
- Oh, you gotta keep your eye on her.
You're gonna stay awhile,
aren't you, Barney?
- If I'm cornered, I might stay all night.
- You're cornered.
- Afternoon mail.
- Thanks, Earnie.
- Howdy, Mr. Wile.
- How are you, Earnie? You're looking well.
Fancy suit. Yes, sirree, that's real fancy.
Great conversationalist, that fellow.
- What is it, Monty?
- This is from Josh Higgins.
He manages one of the All-Star teams
Barney's gonna scout.
He wants me to come down to the game.
How about it, honey?
Well, if you want to, Monty.
Well, why not?
As long as Barney's going down...
Well, sure, it's a great idea.
We'll all go together.
- Sure.
- Like old times.
I'll tell Ma. Maybe she'd like to go, too.
Might as well do this up right.
You've done wonders with him, Ethel.
- He did it himself.
- No, he couldn't come this far alone.
Barney, I don't know whether
he ought to go to the game or not.
It might bring back memories.
Well, sooner or later,
he's gotta find out
that he's not a player anymore,
just a spectator.
It can't do him any harm
just to watch a game.
No, I guess not.
- I'm glad we're all going.
- Yeah.
- It'll be fun.
- Yeah.
230, that's us.
Say, I think I'll go back
and say hello to some of the boys.
- That's a good idea. I'll go with you.
- Don't you think you better...
No, no, you go on,
but don't gab back there
and hold up the game.
Ma, you'd have made a great umpire.
Yeah, he's got the good knuckleball.
Good pitcher.
- Left-handed.
- Hello, Matt.
How are you, boy?
- Hello, Monty.
- Hello, boy.
Wally, you old walrus,
give me five.
What are you doing down here?
Chuck, how are you?
You better be good today.
I just talked to the umpire
and the Western manager.
Now, if you get a hit,
you got to get to first base on your own.
Then we can put a runner in for you, okay?
Those Western guys want
to win their share of this game.
They're not gonna give you any breaks.
That's the way I want it.
Let's just play a ballgame.
Good luck.
But this is big baseball.
They're playing for important money.
- They're gonna be tough.
- I know.
That's the reason I wrote Josh
and asked him to let me pitch this game.
The tougher they are,
the better I'll know just what's what.
Your arm is probably all right,
but, you know,
you don't just pitch with your arm.
I know what you're thinking.
I don't even have a knee.
But I got to pitch a game, Barney.
I just got to find out.
I understand, son.
Suppose they start bunting?
- How you going to get around? It's all...
- I know, I know.
I'll just have to figure that out
when I get to it.
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
Here are the batteries for today's game.
For the Western All-Stars,
Gene Bearden pitching,
Partee catching.
For the Southern All-Stars,
Milliken catching.
And in his first comeback appearance,
Monty Stratton pitching.
- Ethel.
- Barney, please don't stop me.
- Why didn't you tell me about it, Monty?
- I wanted to surprise you.
I got so I was throwing the ball
pretty good
and I was all steamed up and I...
But now I'm afraid.
Afraid? Afraid of what?
- You've been beaten before.
- No, this is different.
I keep saying to myself
that I'm just the same as everybody else,
but I wanted to prove it.
I wanted to show you.
You don't have to prove anything
to me, darling.
Well, maybe I don't have to,
but I wanted to.
But I can't go through with it.
Monty, I came down to stop you.
I was just as afraid as you are.
But you can't turn back now.
That won't solve anything.
You're a ballplayer.
I used to be.
You still are, or you wouldn't have
come this far yourself.
Us saying I'm still a ballplayer
doesn't make me one.
Well, then let's find out.
Maybe I won't like what I find out.
Would you rather stop trying?
Good luck, darling.
Do I look all right?
You look just fine.
Monty! Monty!
Yeah. Ma, you see
how the fans feel about our boy?
- Is this your idea?
- No, I...
He wanted to surprise us.
Well, Stratton's on the mound,
taking his warm-up throws.
This is a big moment for Monty.
before his unfortunate accident,
he was the leading right-handed pitcher
in the American League.
This comeback attempt must mean
an awful lot to the big fellow.
Play ball!
All right, Monty, go.
Hang right in there now, Monty. Come on.
In you go, Monty.
Quick-fire at him now, Monty.
Come on, boy.
Get in there and pitch.
Fire, Monty.
Come back. Come back.
Come on, boy.
Play ball.
Get on that pitch, Monty.
Start him off right.
Attaboy. Never mind him now, Monty.
Come on.
Get back here. Come on.
Well, Stratton's off to a bad start.
Two clean hits in a row.
Zarilla on first. Beringhele on second.
Steve Messner up.
Hurry up there! Come on.
Both runners advance to scoring position
after the catch.
Runners on second and third.
They're hitting everything he throws.
Have Fred warm up.
Fred, warm up.
There goes Dobernic
out of the bullpen to warm up.
- Safe!
- Safe!
Safe all around. Ed Stewart's
chop infield hit drives in the first run.
Well, Stratton's really in trouble now.
One run in, one out, men on first and third.
He'll settle down in a minute.
Get back there. Come on, run.
Another sensational catch by Maddern
for the second out.
His quick peg holds the runner on third.
Just a second.
There goes Higgins out to the mound.
That may be all for Stratton.
Will he take him out, Barney?
How do you feel, Monty?
I can't seem to get anything on the ball.
Boy, these fielders are gonna be
all worn out if this keeps up.
Don't let that worry you, fella.
They're all with you.
Loosen up, Monty.
This is just another ballgame.
Make them play it your way.
Bockman's the next batter
stepping up to the plate.
- Men on first and third. Two outs.
- Batter up!
Strike two!
Come on, Monty. You can do it, boy.
Strike three!
Nice going, Monty. Attaboy.
- Nice pitching.
- Okay?
- Come on, Jerry, get ahold of one.
- All right.
Play ball!
Come on, Monty.
Come on, boy. Hit one, boy.
I guess I started my slide too soon.
You're all right.
Well, they're getting to Bearden now.
Two hits in a row.
Come on, Eddie. Hurry up.
Get down. Down.
It's been a pitchers' duel
since the first inning,
but the Southern All-Stars have two on
with two out.
And Milliken, a very good hitter,
is coming up.
They need a hit now.
This may be their last chance.
This guy can hit, Gene.
Let's walk him and work on Stratton.
Barney, they're going to walk him
to get at Monty.
Yeah. That's baseball.
Ball two!
Ball three!
Ball four!
We got a pinch hitter now for Stratton,
with the bases loaded and two out.
Monty, I'd sure like to see you
finish this game if it was just up to me,
but these guys have a big stake
in this game.
I think I can get them in.
Well, I'd sure like to see you do it, son,
but we're a run behind and the bases full.
I've got to put in a pinch hitter.
Get ahold of one, Monty.
- Come on, Monty.
- You can do it, boy.
Come on, Monty, take your cut.
- Attaboy, Monty.
- Get them.
No, wait. Wait a minute.
Here comes Stratton.
They're not taking him out.
Well, that's not good baseball percentage,
but they're going all the way with Monty.
Listen to that crowd. Are they with him.
Come on, Bearden, get this guy!
Ball one!
Stay with it, Monty. Come on, boy.
Nice hitting, Monty.
Well, you gave us a one-run lead.
Now get out and hold it.
- Nice hitting, Monty.
- Nice hitting and pitching.
Hey, Al, Stevie.
I hate to do this, but we gotta get on.
Bunt him.
All right, come on. Get in there.
Get them, Monty.
Quick-fire at him now, Monty.
Come on, boy.
- Move it.
- Safe!
Stratton's in a bad way now.
Two on. Nobody out.
They're bunting this game right out
from under him.
I'm afraid there's nothing
he can do about it.
There's Milliken, the catcher,
out to talk to him.
That looks like the pattern, Monty.
What can we do about it?
Well, I'll just have to
get off the mound quicker, that's all.
- I'll get out there.
- All right, fella.
Play ball!
All right! Batter up there!
Monty was off the mound with the pitch
and nailed that man at first.
But he's not out of the woods yet.
The runners advanced to second and third.
Only one out.
Hey, Eddie.
He's moving around too good now.
Take a cut at it.
Play ball!
Now they're taking their full cuts again,
but any kind of a hit will do it.
Even a long fly will tie up this ballgame.
Strike two!
One more! One more, Monty.
Strike three! You're out!
And Bockman went down swinging
for the second out.
This next one can be
the big out for Monty.
But look who's coming up.
The power hitter of the league,
Big Johnny Lindell.
Here we go, Monty.
Quick-fire at him now, Monty.
Come on, boy.
You're out!
Monty Stratton has not won
just a ballgame.
He's won a greater victory.
As he goes on pitching, winning,
leading a rich, full life,
he stands as an inspiration to all of us.
As living proof of what a man can do
if he has the courage and determination
to refuse to admit defeat.