Written by Ben Gershman and Bill Freedman
Greg meets L.A. Dodger Don Drysdale, who compliments his pitching and informs him that maybe someday he’d wind up in the Big Leagues. This gives Greg a swelled head and leads him to announce he’ll quit school in favor of a huge career in baseball. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(The episode begins with Greg in the backyard with a baseball, cap and mitt. He shakes his head no twice, then nods a yes. Then he pitches the ball through a tire, with Peter and Bobby throwing it back. Mike is in his den with pitcher Don Drysdale, to whom he just designed a home for his retirement.)
Mike: Well, there it is, the future Don Drysdale residence. You like it?
Drysdale: Gee, that’s quite a shack.
Mike (proudly): Yeah.
Drysdale (jokingly): Hey, I’ll have to get some St. Bernard’s in case I get lost in there.
Mike: That’s all right. We supply a road map with every set of blueprints.
Drysdale: You know, baseball has been real good to me. Mike, thanks a million.
Mike: Hey, Don, there’s another reason I wanted you to stop by the house instead of the office. I wanted my boys to meet you.
Drysdale: Don’t tell me I got some fans left.
Mike: Are you kidding? You better believe it, especially my oldest Greg out there. Ha. He thinks you’re a combination of George Washington, Neil Armstrong and the guy who invented pizza.
(He and Drysdale go outside to meet the guys.)
Mike: Greg, somebody here I’d like you to meet.
Greg: Can we do it later?
(He tries to get him to look Drysdale’s way.)
Greg: I’m busy. (He finally notices Drysdale.) Don Drysdale? Wow!
Peter (coming over with Bobby): Don Drysdale, wow!
Mike: Don, these are my boys, Greg, Bobby and Peter.
Drysdale: Hiya, men.
Greg: Boy, this sure is a big day for me, Mr. Drysdale.
Drysdale: Call me Don, okay?
Greg: Thanks, Don.
Peter: Can I call me Don too?
Drysdale: You bet.
Peter: Thanks, Don.
Drysdale (to Bobby): Tell you what, you call me Don too, okay?
Bobby: Thanks, Mr. Drysdale.
Mike: Don, you and Greg have something in common, he’s a pitcher too.
Greg: I’m in the Pony League. Watch this slider.
(He pitches the ball into the tire.)
Drysdale: Hey, that had good stuff on it. (Peter and Bobby run to retrieve the ball.) Hey, you got a great motion there, you know it? Look it. On your slider, though, when you stride out, just kind of bend your back, make sure your back is bent. Get your arm and try to go right out there in front of you, there you go. Now, when you grip it, get it right there through this, got it? Here, you do it, there you go.
Greg: Oh, gee, you showed me your secret slider. I’ll murder them Saturday.
Drysdale: You might be in the Big League someday.
Drysdale: I don’t know why not, the Dodgers are always looking for a good arm.
Greg: Oh, I’m gonna keep practicing, Don.
Drysdale: At a boy. You know, you’ll probably be a bonus baby too. (He starts to leave and turns to Peter and Bobby) See you later gang, take care.
Peter and Bobby: So long.
Greg (going in a trance): Did you hear what Drysdale said? Big leagues.
Peter: Hey, Greg, you gonna throw some more?
Bobby: Hey, Greg, how about letting me pitch, Greg.
Greg: Bonus baby.
Bobby: Let’s play.
Peter: He’s gone.
Bobby: Yeah, gone.
(The scene fades. The next scene has the girls practicing ballet in their room.)
Marcia: Now, let’s do pas de bras. (They practice.) Side, down.
(Greg comes in to borrow some scotch tape.)
Greg: You girls have some tape? I want to stick this on my wall.
Marcia: Top drawer, left.
(Greg goes in the drawer to borrow the tape.)
Cindy: Who is it?
Greg: My pal Don.
Marcia: Don who?
Greg: Don Drysdale.
Jan: Who’s Don Drysdale?
Greg: The man who discovered me, that’s who. Don’t girls know anything, the big “D”, Don Drysdale.
(The girls resume their ballet practice and Greg leaves. Next, Peter and Bobby are in the garage putting a wagon together and Greg comes by.)
Greg: How about a game of catch?
Bobby: We’re busy.
Peter: Yeah, how about helping us?
(He tries to hand Greg the hammer.)
Greg: And take a chance on smashing my hand? what are you trying to do, ruin my career?
Peter: What career?
Greg: Are you kidding? These fingers are worth their weight in gold.
Peter: Since when?
Greg: You heard Drysdale. He said one of these days I’d be in the Big Leagues.
Peter: He didn’t say you would be, he said you might be.
Greg: He said would.
Bobby: I heard might.
Greg: Well, that’s not what he said, the way he said it. (He walks a few feet, then has an imagination.) Now pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the national league strike out king, Lefty Brady! (He blows on his hand.) How did that sound, huh?
Peter: Great, except for one thing. You’re right handed.
Greg: I know, but it’s a good name.
Bobby: What’s wrong with Greg? That’s a good name.
Greg: Sure, but you gotta have a name that looks good on the sports page, like Bobo, or Duke, or Dizzy, or Catfish.
Peter: That’s the one.
Peter: No, Dizzy, that really fits you perfect.
Greg: Just for that, wise guy, when I’m pitching in the World Series, you’re gonna have to pay to get in.
(Next, Carol and Mike are in bed early the next morning and Carol is awakened by a noise.)
Carol: Mike, wake up.
Mike (barely awake): It’s 5:00 in the morning.
Carol: I heard a strange sound.
Mike: Mmm, what kind?
Carol: Well, it went ka-boom, ka-boom, ka-boom. kind of like Bela Lugosi wearing wet sneakers.
Mike: I told you not to watch that horror movie.
Carol: Oh yeah, maybe I did imagine it. I’m sorry I woke you. (She turns off the light and goes back to bed.) Good night.
Mike: You mean good morning.
(He hears the thudding sound which also wakes Alice. She wakes up with a flashlight. Mike also wakes up and turns the light on.)
Carol: There you see, you heard it too.
Mike: It must be that hot water heater acting up again.
Carol: No, it was definitely a ka-boom, ka-boom, ka-boom. When the heater acts up, it goes bloop, bloop. bloop.
Mike: It must be trouble. I’ll go see.
(He gets out of bed to go downstairs, where Greg is lifting weights. Mike, Carol and Alice go down.)
Mike: Greg, do you know what time it is?
Greg: Oh sure, that’s why I’m working out down here. Did I wake you?
Carol: Oh no, I’ve always wanted to rise before dawn to greet the coming of a glorious new day. Thanks a lot, Greg.
Mike: Listen, what is the sudden urge for muscles?
Greg: If a guy’s got to pitch, he’s got to be in shape.
Mike: I can’t quarrel with that.
Greg: I got seven innings to go Saturday.
Mike: That’s the spirit, if you’re gonna do something, you’ve got to give it all you got.
Mike: Yeah, well, there’s just one thing, there are other people in this house who don’t have to pitch on Saturday.
Alice: There are others who can’t afford to miss one minute of their beauty sleep, like me.
Mike: She’s right.
(He then looks back on her.)
Greg: Okay. (He puts the weight down.) I’ll do my jogging now.
(The next scene has Greg and Peter going up to Mike in the garage.)
Mike: Mmm hmm.
Greg: What’s the biggest bonus any ball player ever got?
Mike: The biggest bonus? Well, I seem to remember that the Angels paid one guy about $200,000.
Peter: $200,000, man oh man.
Greg: Huh, what did I tell you, I’m gonna be loaded.
Mike: Oh yeah, well listen bub, before you start spending all that money, you better realize that out of a thousand young hopefuls, only one makes it.
Greg: Oh, well, I’m not worried, I’ll be the one.
(Next, Greg is in the family room studying a baseball encyclopedia. Carol comes in to take a shirt form the couch, where he is sitting.)
Carol: Do you mind? I’ll just be a second, oh, thank you.
Greg: That’s okay. I’m just memorizing some important dates.
Carol (collecting more clothes and items): Oh, well, that’s one nice thing about history, you never run out of dates.
Greg: Yeah. You know what real important thing happened in 1839?
Carol: 1839, well, I’ll take a stab at it. Was that the year Samuel Morse invented the telegraph?
Greg: I don’t know about that, but 1839 was the year Abner Doubleday laid out the first baseball diamond.
Carol: Now, that really was a memorable event.
Greg: I’ll say. You know what happened in 1903?
Carol: Babe Ruth threw the first forward pass.
Greg: Oh, Mom, that was the year of the First World Series. It’s all right here in this baseball encyclopedia. You want me to explain the infield fly rule?
Carol: I don’t think so, but I would like to ask you a question. Have you finished your homework yet?
Greg: I’ll get to it.
Carol: Greg, how about right now?
Greg: In a minute, Mom, in a minute.
Greg: Mom, please!
(Later on, Carol is talking to Mike about Greg’s over-obsession with baseball.)
Carol: He eats and sleeps baseball. It’s become an obsession.
Mike: Well, maybe he has gone overboard a little.
Carol: A little? To him, American history doesn’t even begin until 1839.
Carol: The year Abner Holiday invented baseball.
Mike (laughing): Abner Doubleday. Oh, honey, I think Greg’s acting fairly normal under the circumstances.
Carol: What circumstances?
Mike: Well, the fact that he’s pitching for his team now. A great player like Don Drysdale pats him on the back. That’s the dream of every American boy.
Carol: Well, far be it for me to be un-American.
(They kiss. the next scene has Carol on the phone with one of Greg’s teachers, as Mike comes in from work.)
Mike (walking in the door): Hi, honey.
(Carol is on the living room phone. Mike comes in and tries to kiss her, but she shields.)
Carol (on the phone): No, I appreciate your calling, Mrs. Pearson. I’m just as concerned as you are. No, it just isn’t like Greg. Believe me, his father and I will have a talk with him, and we really appreciate your calling, Mrs. Pearson. Right, bye.
(She hangs up the phone.)
Mike: What’s up?
Carol: I can tell you what isn’t up, Greg’s grades this week. That was one of his teachers.
Mike: I don’t get that, he’s always done real well.
Carol: Not this time. Do you know he didn’t even turn in his history assignment?
Carol: And when the teacher asked him what the most important victory was in American history, do you know what he replied? (Mike shakes his head no.) 1969, the year the Mets won the Pennant. (Mike laughs.) Don’t laugh, Mike.
Mike: Okay. (He calls upstairs) Greg!
Greg: Yes, Dad.
Mike: Come down here for a minute? (to Carol) Well, he’s a pretty levelheaded kid and I think we can straighten it all out.
Carol: I hope so.
Greg (coming down with baseball and mitt in hand): What is it, Dad?
Mike: Sit down. (Greg sits) Look, son, your teacher, Mrs. Pearson called, and said you didn’t turn in your history assignment, true?
Greg: I didn’t have time.
Carol: But you did have time to memorize the batting averages of every player in the Major League.
Greg: Well, that’s important.
Mike: Your schoolwork isn’t?
Greg: I’m gonna be a baseball player. They don’t have to now anything, well, I mean, except for baseball.
Mike: Look, just the same, you start hitting those books, right?
Carol: Greg, you’re going to need good grades to get into college.
Greg: College, who cares about college? I didn’t even know why I have to finish high school, I got a great career ahead of me in baseball.
(He drops the ball on the table as the scene fades out, with Mike and Carol looking on with disbelief.)
(The next scene has Mike and Carol at the table with Carol pouring tea and Mike reading the paper. They discuss the situation with Greg.)
Carol: Mike, are you sure we shouldn’t have a talk with Greg?
Mike: Oh, honey, I’m sure he didn’t mean what he said. I don’t think we have a high school dropout on our hands.
Carol: I guess not.
Mike: Kids say a lot of things they don’t really mean.
Peter (coming down the stairs): Mom, Dad, can I ask you something?
Carol: Sure, anytime, what’s up?
Peter: Well, if Greg doesn’t have to finish high school, why do I have to finish junior high school?
(Mike and Carol start to get upset as Bobby comes down as well.)
Bobby: And if he doesn’t have to finish junior high, why do I have to finish grammar school?
Mike (to Carol): Well, I think we better have that talk with Greg.
(Cut to the boys room, where Mike and Carol come to have another talk with Greg.)
Greg: Talk about what?
Greg: Oh, well sure, what do you want to know?
Mike: Look, Greg, baseball is a great sport.
Greg: I know.
Mike: All right, wait a minute, but there are other things in life just as important.
Carol: Or even more important.
Mike: Yeah, look, you can go into baseball, if you’re good enough. But there’s nothing wrong with going to college first.
Greg: What about guys like Joe DiMaggio, or Mickey Mantle, or Yogi Berra. Now, they never went, and they did all right.
Carol: Greg, you can’t pin all your hopes on just one thing in life.
Mike: Right, it doesn’t hurt to be able to do several things well.
Greg: I know, that’s why I’m working on my hitting and fielding, in case my pitching arm goes. (He grabs a towel and goes into the bathroom.) Boy, I sure am glad I have a Mom and Dad who understand.
(Next, Mike and Carol have Drysdale over to speak to Greg. They are in the den talking about the situation.)
Drysdale: Oh, boy. Me and my big mouth.
Mike: Well, nobody is blaming you, Don.
Drysdale: Well, it’s just that I love the game so much and I like to encourage the kids, that’s all.
Carol: Oh, you encouraged him, all right.
Drysdale: Well look, you name it and I’ll do it.
Mike: I think right now Greg thinks that baseball is just one big bed of roses, see.
Carol: Yeah, maybe you can make him realize that there are a few thorns in it.
Drysdale: Hmm, a few thorns. I tell ya, I’ve been stuck as much as anybody.
(They all laugh.)
Mike: Well, that’s what we’d like to get across to Greg.
Drysdale: Great, let’s go.
(They head out to the backyard where Greg is practicing pitching.)
Greg: Hi Mr. Drysdale, I mean Don.
Drysdale (shaking Greg’s hand): Hello Greg, how are you, son?
Greg: Great. Oh, guess what, I’m pitching today.
Mike: You know how he feels before the game, don’t you, Don. The old nerves twitching?
Drysdale: Oh, listen, I’ll tell you, when those butterflies start kicking you in the stomach, I don’t know. I can hardly eat the day that I pitch.
Greg: Not me. For breakfast, I had hotcakes, sausage and a couple of eggs.
Mike: Yeah, but I bet the jitters really hit you when the fans start riding you, don’t they?
Drysdale: Oh, and do they ride you. You know it’s funny, you’re a hero one minute and a bum the next. You serve up a couple of home run balls, and, I don’t know, you feel you want to sneak out of the ballpark.
Greg: I’ll bet that never happened to you.
Drysdale: Oh, many times, I’ll tell you, I used to keep a false beard and dark glasses in my locker.
Mike (laughing): Oh, wow.
Drysdale: Go on down, let’s see something.
(Greg runs a few feet and he and Drysdale play catch.)
Mike: I guess being a baseball player probably is more glamorous from the bleachers, huh, Don.
Drysdale: Well, I’ll tell you, baseball isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. (He throws the ball to Greg.) Look at me, 34 years old and my career is finished.
Mike: Yeah, but you can do something else. I mean, when you went to college.
Drysdale: Well, that’s true, but there’s a lot of guys that I broke in with, they’re still in the minor leagues trying to make a living.
Mike: Well, I guess baseball isn’t all fun and glory.
Drysdale: Far from it. Sitting up all night in broken down buses, sometimes you get stuck in second rate hotels, sleep all night with your arm packed in ice. Oh yeah, that’s some fun and glory.
Mike: Yeah, well, that really makes you think, doesn’t it, Greg?
Greg: Yeah, it sure does.
Drysdale (leaving): Greg, take it easy, okay? See you later.
(He hands the ball back to Mike.)
Mike: Thanks, Don.
Greg: Thanks for everything, Don.
(Next, Mike is inside with Carol reporting the conversation between him, Greg and Don.)
Mike: But you know, actually he told Greg nothing but the truth.
Carol: Well, how did Greg take it?
Mike: Oh, he got the message.
Carol: Mmm, good.
(Greg comes in eating an apple.)
Greg: Boy, what Don said sure made me think.
Carol: It did, Greg?
Greg: Yeah, I’m not gonna let those things happen to me.
Mike: Hey, good boy.
Greg: I’m gonna start right at the top. None of that minor league stuff for me.
Mike: Well, what about the things he said? The jitters and the pressure and the aches and pains, the arm packed in ice?
Greg: Oh, heck, a cold arm isn’t bad for all that money.
Carol: That’s all you got out of the conversation?
Greg: Oh, no, he told me a lot of stuff about buses and cheap hotels. But he meant the guys who weren’t good enough, and I’m going to be a star. Yep, they’ll be lucky to get a foul tip off me today.
(He leaves the room.)
Mike (to Carol): Somebody is riding for a big fall.
Carol: And I know who’s going to be there to pick up the pieces.
(The next scene has the girls bringing their breakfast dishes into the kitchen, while wearing their ballet outfits. Greg is mixing a health shake in the blender.)
Greg (to the girls): Hey, where are you going?
Marcia: To our ballet lesson, it’s Saturday.
Greg: Ballet! When you can see me pitch?
(Greg starts to pour the drink, which resembles a milkshake.)
Jan: Hey, what’s that?
Greg: Oh, it’s a quick energizer I got from a health magazine.
Cindy: What’s in it?
Greg: Turnip tops and beet bottoms, wheat germ and cod live roil.
Marcia (from the sink): I think I’m going to be sick.
Greg (taking a sip): Mmm, it’s delicious. But I better not get too much energy at once. You can have the rest of it if you want.
(He puts his cap on and goes up to Marcia.)
Greg: How does it look?
Marcia: Aren’t you gonna wait for Dad?
Greg: No, I’m riding my bike over. I wanna get there early, in case there are any Big League scouts around. (to Jan and Cindy) As long as you’re not gonna be at the game, I guess you can have it now.
(He writes his name on a slip of paper and gives it to Cindy.)
Cindy: Greg Brady, what do I want your name for?
Greg: That’s not just a name, it’s an autograph. Hang on to it, it’s going to be worth a lot of money someday.
(He leaves. Next, we have Mike, Peter and Bobby leaving for the game.)
Mike: Let’s go kids, we’re moving out.
(They’re coming down the stairs.)
Peter: Dad, can I sleep on the couch tonight?
Mike: What’s wrong with your room?
Peter: Nothing, but after the game today, it’ll be too small for Bobby and me and that big head of Greg’s.
(Mike kicks Peter’s butt as they head out the door.)
(Next, we see several scenes with the game going on and with Greg pitching. Then, we see Carol coming home with groceries.)
Alice: How was the ballet lesson?
Carol: Wonderful, you ought to come some time.
Alice: Yeah, in my tutu. In my case, you better make that a two-two by four-four.
(Carol laughs, then we see a dejected Greg coming home.)
Greg: Hi Mom, Hi Alice.
Carol: What are you doing home so soon?
Alice: Did they call off the game?
Greg: Can’t a guy come home without a lot of questions?
Mike (coming in): Hi, honey.
Carol: Mike, what’s the matter with Greg? Is the game over already?
Carol: Well, didn’t he pitch?
Mike: Oh yeah, he pitched all right.
(Peter and Bobby come in.)
Peter: They clobbered him.
Bobby: He couldn’t get anybody out.
Peter: Yeah, they scored 12 runs in the first inning, then the coach gave Greg the hook.
Mike: Yeah, all right boys, that’s enough. Come on, take this upstairs.
Alice: Was it really as bad as all that, Mr. Brady?
Mike: Oh, it was a massacre. He was so cocky, he wouldn’t listen to the couch, and he really got his lumps.
Carol: Aw, the poor kid.
Mike: Well, it had to happen.
Carol: Mike, I think you better start picking up the pieces.
(Mike goes up to the boys room to look for Greg. he finally finds him on the top bunk, on the verge of tears.)
Mike: Mind if I come in?
Mike: Listen, uh, about the game today.
Greg: Who cares about a stupid old game.
Mike: Well, anybody can have an off day, come on, next time you’ll mow them down.
(Greg shakes his head no.)
Greg: There won’t be any next time. I’ve got more important things to do.
Mike: Do you really?
Greg: Who wants to travel around in old buses and have to worry about being traded? And butterflies in your stomach. (He is about to cry.) I’m never gonna play that dumb game again.
(Mike sits next to him and pats him sympathetically.)
Mike: You’re going to go way overboard the other way. Listen, baseball is a great game. But it’s just one part of life, but there are others things important, too. Come on. Education is important, listening to people, like the coach, yeah. You’ve got to strike a balance of some kind.
Greg: But I thought you’d be happy if I gave up baseball.
Mike: No, no, listen, Make it one part of your life, for now. Greg, not everybody can be a Don Drysdale. All right, maybe you can, but maybe you can’t. Now, in the meantime you just go in there and you do, you do the best you can.
Greg: I did the best I can and they clobbered me.
Mike: All right. Yeah, they did, they did. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to do it the next time. Right?
Greg (getting up): Maybe, maybe if I work some more on my slider.
Mike: At a boy, see.
Greg: And developed a change-up.
Mike: Ah, sure, you can do that.
Greg: And improve my curve.
Mike: There’s no reason you can’t. If you work at it.
Greg: Boy, I’ll get so good, some scout will come around and offer me a bonus.
(Greg goes over to look himself in the mirror. He puts on a frown, then a smile.)
Greg: Why didn’t you stop me, Dad?
Mike: Because I think you just proved you’re smart enough to stop yourself.
(The scene fades.)
(The final scene has Greg and Mike still in the boys room.)
Mike: Come on, you wanna play catch?
Greg: You mean it?
Mike: Sure, on one condition.
Mike: Well, if any scouts come along, they have to take us as a team.
(They leave to go outside.)