Screenplay Rough Draft: "An Unexpected Pitcher"

"All I know is, that kid can throw."

From the Star Tribune:

Twins catcher Drew Butera was summoned to the mound in the eighth inning to spare the bullpen any more overuse. He pitched a scoreless inning, issuing a walk but giving up no hits.

But his arm was impressive; he threw a few pitches over 90 miles per hour, including one that hit 94 on the stadium radar gun. He struck out former Twins outfielder Carlos Gomez on a changeup.


SCENE 1: FADE IN. TWILIGHT. A DESERTED BASEBALL FIELD OUTSIDE A FARMHOUSE, LIKE THAT FIELD OF DREAMS MOVIE. A YOUNG BOY, MAYBE SEVEN OR EIGHT, STANDS ON THE MOUND, NARRATING TO HIMSELF. HE LEANS OVER, AS IF TO GET THE SIGN FROM AN IMAGINARY CATCHER.

BOY: Bottom of the ninth, runners on second and third, Joe Carter at the plate. The greatest relief pitcher in baseball history looks in. He comes set, and here's the pitch... (HE THROWS) Strike three! He struck him out! The Twins win! THE TWINS WIN!

SFX: A screen door banging against the house, as if slammed.

The boy whirls around to see a man, unshaven and wearing a feed hat and an old pair of jeans, storming out of the house, clearly angry at the boy.

MAN (shouting): What did I tell you? What did I say about that business, boy? YOU GET OFF THAT MOUND!

BOY (cowering): I just wanted to try it, is all!

MAN: You listen to me. The Buteras aren't pitchers. We're catchers. We don't go for the other kind. Now you get in that house and do your two thousand knee bends or I'll give you something to cry about, do you hear me? I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE YOU ON THAT MOUND AGAIN!

Fade out.


SCENE 2: ANOTHER FIELD, THIS TIME WITH A FENCE ADORNED WITH LOCAL SPONSOR LOGOS, LIKE NEWSPAPERS AND DRUGSTORES AND WHATEVER ELSE MAKES YOU THINK SMALL TOWNS. A COACH CLEANS UP IN THE DUGOUT AFTER PRACTICE, AS A GROUP OF PLAYERS WALKS BY. ONE OF THE PLAYERS GLANCES BACK, THEN LOOKS FURTIVELY AROUND TO MAKE SURE NO ONE IS WATCHING.

PLAYER (to group): Listen, I'll catch you guys up, okay?

The player glances around again to make sure nobody's seeing him, then darts over to the dugout.

PLAYER: Coach? I, uh, I was wondering if you might be willing to, uh, watch me pitch for a second.

COACH (straightening up): Now Drew, you know how your father feels about that. Shoot, he called me himself to make sure I knew. Now, your daddy and I go back a long way.

PLAYER: I know that, I know, but - coach, I can do it! I've been practicing in the alley and I really think I can-

COACH (cutting him off): Now, son, I know you can do it. Heck, you've got a better arm than any player I've ever seen. You're a good kid, and I wish I could help you. Dadgummit, I see a little of myself in you. But I'm sorry: As long as I'm the coach here, no Butera will ever pitch for me.

The player's shoulders sag. The camera circles the player's face as he closes his eyes, apparently to keep a tear from squeezing out - but as the camera swings around the other side and the player's eyes shoot open, we see that he's now sitting in a major-league dugout.


SCENE 3: A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM. DREW'S TEAM IS CURRENTLY GETTING KILLED LIKE 22-0 OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WE CUT TO THE FIELD, WHERE A PLAYER ON THE OPPOSING TEAM KNOCKS IN THREE RUNS WITH A DOUBLE, MAKING THE SCORE EVEN WORSE. THE MANAGER, WHO IS A CRUSTY OLD FART LIKE THE MANAGER FROM "THE NATURAL" COMBINED WITH THE GUY WITH THE MUSTACHE FROM "MAJOR LEAGUE", IS BESIDE HIMSELF IN THE DUGOUT.

MANAGER (throws hat down on the dugout floor): Shoot, we're getting killed out there! Scotty, who's left out in that bullpen?

SCOTTY (THE ASSISTANT COACH): Not too much, skip. We got a couple guys whose arms are about to fall off, but that's about it.

MANAGER: Hell, I can't put one of them in. Who else we got?

MUSIC: Rising excitedly.

MANAGER (as the camera zooms in on him): Anybody else in this dugout want to pitch?

The camera zooms down the bench to an excited-looking Drew.

DREW (raising hand): I'll pitch.


SCENE 4: THE MOUND. THE MANAGER AND THE CATCHER ARE THERE, BOTH LOOKING UNHAPPY.

MANAGER (hands Drew the ball): Try not to get us killed. He stomps off in a huff.

CATCHER (to Drew): Well, whaddya throw?

DREW: I don't know. My dad wouldn't let me.

CATCHER: Your dad wouldn't what now?

DREW: I mean, uh, fastball and a change.

CATCHER: Whatever. He leaves discouragedly, but Drew's face is alight with excitement.

Drew starts throwing - slowly, and in the dirt at first. But as he throws, his pitches gradually get better, and faster. We see him pitching to a batter, who looks surprised at first.

BATTER (to catcher): What's this supposed to be, a joke?

We cut to a quick montage, of the batter striking out as Drew blows pitches by him.

CATCHER (to batter, as he walks back to the dugout): Some joke, huh?

We cut back to the dugout, where the manager and assistant coach are staring out at the field.

MANAGER (without looking): Well I'll be danged.

COACH: Did you know he could do that?

MANAGER: Nope. Did you?

COACH: Nope. Guess this explains why he can't hit at all.

They pause for a second, both clearly considering the implications.

COACH: (as he turns away, to leave the dugout, and just within earshot of Drew, who is returning to the dugout) Well, gentlemen, it looks like we've got ourselves a pitcher.

Drew looks thrilled - but as the camera pans up to the crowd, we see his father, who has a murderous look in his eye, storming out of the stadium.

(NOTE: WILL INSERT REST OF SUPER-AWESOME MOVIE HERE AFTER THIS GETS PICKED UP BY 20TH CENTURY FOX)

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