EXT. PARKING LOT – NIGHT
Patrons move in and out of the diner, to and from their
cars. Unseen behind the dumpster, Franco sits huddled
on the ground, his back against the fence. He checks
his watch. It’s after midnight. He gets up and starts
He walks for miles over broken sidewalks, past large,
turn-of-the-century homes, not stopping until he
reaches a ball field behind a school. Hands in his
pockets, collar raised, he sits on the cold bleachers,
staring first around the infield, then out into the
deepest corners of the park. He lifts his head, gazes
at the star resplendent night and shuts his eyes.
EXT. BALLFIELD – LATE SUMMER – UNDER THE LIGHTS
Friends, family and onlookers pack the bleachers to
witness the final game of the Queen City softball
championship. Bang Gang Demoliton in the field,
Rochelle Billiards at bat, the noise is deafening.
Franco sits between teammates, rousing the offense.
Someone taps him on the shoulder.
You just getting here?
Bottom seven. We’re down eleven
Jesus Christ! What the hell you
(looking at the
These boys can play. What can I
How many out?
Christ! You get any hits?
What do you think? You’re talking
to me, Peach.
PATRICK DOWNS, a burly, freckled, handsome player with
lots of red hair on his thick forearms, turns to
acknowledge their late arriving friend.
(holding out his
Hey Peaches, what’s up, buddy?
The two bump fists.
Check it out.
Peaches singles out a young woman walking alone between
the backstop and the opposite bench. Dressed in a tight
red sleeveless t-shirt with strings of beads around her
neck, and a rawhide headband that struggles to contain
her swarming reddish brown hair, she stops behind the
catcher to watch the game.
Fuckin’ hippie broads. Look at that
shit. No fuckin’ bra.
Patrick refocuses on the game, but Franco seems
These people got no morals.
KENNY, a wiry player with shaved head, lines a
single to center. Fans rise to their feet.
Franco, I’m on deck. Coach third.
Still mesmerized, Franco takes NICKY’S spot at
third. Nicky digs in at the plate, looks at two
pitches, then scorches a double down the left field
line. Kenny rounds third and scores standing up. Patrick
follows, placing the first pitch he sees down the right
field line for another double. Nicky scores easily. The
place is rocking.
Kenny, get third. I’m up.
The young woman watching, Franco steps to the plate. He
takes the first two pitches for strikes, then gets under
one, sending it high, deep and out of play. He steps
from the batter’s box and looks behind the backstop.
She’s still there.
Come on, Franco!
Franco shuts his eyes, summoning deep within, and sets
himself. The next pitch drops in his wheelhouse. The
swing pure poetry, the ball screams off his bat, soaring
far, high and very very deep, carrying and carrying to
right center. The entire crowd rises, hushed.
Looking up, Franco breaks for first, pumping his fist.
Opposing players freeze to watch the ball’s majestic
flight. When it lands, far from the field of play, he
hears the buzzing crowd. He rounds third, arms raised in
victory. Raucous fans and teammates gather at the plate.
He looks for the young woman as they greet him, but