George Lundgren (as Wally): And now, stepping up to the plate with bases loaded is rookie, George Lundgren. Lundgren is making his big league debut, facing the most damaging arm in pitching history. Walter "Big Train" Johnson. The train has left the station! Deep, deep, deep into left-field. Back, way back, we're talking feet, we're talking time zones. And a massive grand slam in his first career at-bat, around the bases and around the world with George "Lucky Lundy" Lundgren.
[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]
So, Lucky Lundy, how are you feeling about your first day of Little League practice?
George: Well, Wally, last year I missed the age cut-off by two weeks, so I have been waiting for this day a long time. I'm bringing my A game, but I will be taking my cues from the coach and the rest of the team.
George (as Wally): Modest words from a sports legend. Now back to the drawer for the sock report.
George: And do you know which World Series was lost because of a single strike? 1994. There was no World Series because the players were on strike.
Oliver Frensky: Ha-ha-ha, trick question.
Arthur: Wow, George, I didn't know you knew so much about baseball.
George: It's always been a hobby of mine.
Oliver: Francine, can you hit a few out to George and Arthur?
Francine: Actually, I'm having a little trouble with my swing.
George: Looks like your stance is a little stiff. Have you tried shifting your weight?
Francine: What do you mean?
George: Shift from your back foot to your front while you swing.
Oliver: Good advice. Where did you pick that up?
George: A website about all-time power hitters. Ruth, Mantle, Williams – they compare old-style weight shift versus new style.
Francine: That's Frensky style!
Arthur: Hey, George, any advice for a non-power hitter like me?
Binky: How can I hit the strike zone every time?
Brain: I'm interested in your thoughts on the physics of the knuckleball.
Oliver: We've got a few weeks before our first game. Let's give George some time to get his own practice in. George, welcome to the team.
George: Practice. Day Two. The Grebelings' spring training shows a promising season ahead. On the other hand, it's a good thing for Lundgren there are three more weeks of practice.
George: With opening day a week away, it looks like Lundgren might have discovered his position. Oh! Oh! Horizontal! But sometimes it takes until the last day of spring training for a player to find his strengths. And sometimes even longer to find his bat. So, after a disastrous pre-season performance, what are you thinking about, heading into tomorrow's opening game? I'm thinking I've been holding this ball for five minutes and I only dropped it once.
Buster: See, you are getting better.
George: No, I'm not. If anything, I think I have gotten worse.
Arthur: Most of us weren't any good even after a lot of practices.
Buster: Most of us still aren't any good, we're just a little less not good.
George: Oh, I hope you're right.
Buster: Can I borrow this book about the craziest plays in baseball history?
George: Sure, take anything you want. I don't want to look at them any more.
Neal Lundgren: I made it just for you. It's called the Lundgren Slugger.
George: Wow, it's beautiful. "Stepping up to the plate, it's George Lundgren, the 'Sultan of Swat!' Here's the wind-up, the pitch..."
Francine: Hey, rookie, ready for your first at-bat?
George: Erm, no.
Francine: Just remember to shift your weight. It works for me every time.
Arthur: Come on, George, you can do it.
ALL: George! George!
George: "Stepping up to the plate, George Lundgren, the 'Sultan of Sweat.'"
Umpire: You're out.
Umpire: Yo-ou're out!
Oliver: I want to congratulate you all on an amazing season so far. And, if we win tomorrow's game, we are in the play-offs. Now, before we get to the ice cream, my friend, Harry Mills, from Elwood City Times has something to ask you.
Harry Mills: If it's okay with you, I'd like to come to the game tomorrow and do a story about the Grebelings.
Binky: Wow, in the paper!
Audience member: Cool!
Arthur: Isn't that amazing? They're doing a story just on us!
Buster: Harry, you have to meet George. He knows more about baseball than anyone.
Harry: Then, maybe he would like to join us for the Grebes' game tonight. I happen to have three extra tickets.
Buster: Go Grebes!
George: Thanks, Mr. Mills, but I'm busy. Maybe another time.
Harry: You know, for a kid who's a big fan, he doesn't seem that enthusiastic.
George: 'Big Train looks like he's working up a lot of steam.'It's too heavy. Ooooooooooh! Strike! Oh!
Oliver: Hey, George, what are you doing here?
George: I came to give this to Francine.
Oliver: Aren't you coming to the game today?
George: I have decided to quit the team.
George: Because I'm no good.
Oliver: I really used to like baseball, now it just makes me feel rotten. I know it's frustrating, but think it over. Maybe you can come to the game today and just sit it out, no pressure.
George: Okay, but I still think Francine should use the Lundgren Slugger.
Oliver: I'm afraid she won't be using it today.
George: You're sick?!
Oliver: I'll get you some soup, sweetie.
Francine: Can you call me and tell me what's happening?
George: But I don't have a cellphone.
Oliver: You can use mine. And you might as well bring the Lundgren Slugger along in case we need an extra bat.
Umpire: You're out.
Harry: Is this seat taken? I'm not going to talk baseball.
George: It's okay. I just...
Harry: You don't have to explain, I had a miserable first year of Little League, too. Anyway, I'll let you make your call.
George: It's Francine, she's home sick, and...
Harry: Yeah, tough break for the team.
George: Hi, Francine, we just finished the first inning. It started off with Binky throwing some wild pitches, but then the Mountaineers got swing happy and Binky struck out three in a row. Arthur singled through the hole, Muffy hit into a double play, and Buster struck out. I'll call you back when the... Whoa! One of the Mountaineers just hit a missile way out to center. Carl is waving Arthur off. Looks like he's under it. Oh no, lost it in the sun. Mountaineer rounding first, Arthur scoops it up on one bounce, he sets, throws to second, it's high, reaches, grabs it, makes the tag, Mountaineer out at second.
George: I'm here with Harry Mills. Harry, do you think the Grebelings might be feeling a little momentum?
Harry: Well, George, they're relieved, but it is a little early to get too confident.
George: Harry, I have to agree.
George: With the leading run on third, and the Mountaineers pitching, the wind-up, the pitch, a sinker. Brain gets under it and bam, it's a hard drive past first, Brain is heading home. Right fielder scoops it, fires to first, Read is... out, on a single!
George: And the Grebelings take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Oh, no, the phone battery's going. Francine, I'll call you right back. Quick, who has got a phone?
George: And, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Barnes up first. It comes down to... Buster Baxter, it's do or die. The wind-up, the pitch... he hit it! Hard to left field.
ALL: Run, Buster, run!
George: Baxter's first hit of the season, a bomb over the head of the left fielder. Binky is hustling to second, as Baxter reaches first. The center-field grass seems to have eaten the ball. And we seem to have a bit of a traffic jam.
Buster: Binky, move, move!
George: The center-fielder has recovered the ball, he launches it in, Binky passing third, the park is erupting, the pitcher cuts it off, throws home. It bounces in front of the catcher, he can't get his hands on the ball. Catcher has control, set to tag...
Binky: Get... out... of... my... way!
George: The catcher has rolled himself into a ball. Harry, in all your years...?
Harry: Never seen anything like that.
George: And the Grebelings literally stampede their way to the play-offs. They have pulled it out with their ace hitter, Frensky, on the DL. Francine, we did it, the Grebelings win! The Grebelings win!
Harry: Looks like your friend might have a career in baseball after all!
George: We have perfect weather for the first game of the play-offs. George Lundgren here with the Grebelings' star powerhouse, Francine Frensky, fresh off the DL. Francine, how does it feel to be back?
Francine: Great, I'm feeling better and looking forward to playing ball. I think I'll head out there right now. You don't know how much I've missed it.
George: Me, too. And that one is out of there!