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                               THE SANDLOT KIDS
                         
                         
                         
                                  Written by

                       David Mickey Evans & Robert Gunter
                         
                         
                         
                         
                                                      June 10 th, 1992

                         
          A FADED KODACHROME PHOTO
                         
          Of the 9 best (11-year-old) buddies that ever lived. On a
          makeshift baseball diamond - a sandlot... circa 1962:
                         
          SCOTTY SMALLS, studious-looking; ALAN "YEAH-YEAH" McCLENNAN,
          little, hyper; HAMILTON "HAM" PORTER, tubby with a huge smile;
          KENNY DeNUNEZ, handsome bean pole; TOMMY "REPEAT" TIMMONS and
          his brother TIMMY; BERTRAM GROVER WEEKS, wearing inch- thick
          horn rims; JEFF "SQUINTS" PALLEDOROUS, a transistor radio
          plug wedged in his ear; and BENNY RODRIGUEZ, leaning on
          Scotty's shoulder, sporting the world's all-time hottest
          sneakers... P.F. Flyers.
                         
          One palm up, together like the 9 musketeers they're holding
          forward a baseball... with a mysterious smudge.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Everyone's got that one summer when
           they were a kid... a summer so perfect,
           that it stays with them forever. It
           stays caught in time, like Camelot.
           pause That summer is like a book with
           a million blank pages that you get to
           fill with the greatest story you could
           ever dream up.
                          (BEAT)
           This is a story about a legend. And
           for us, that summer was the one when
           the legend got made.
                         
          WE CLOSE IN TIGHT on the black smudge, which becomes:
                         
          A SERIES OF B&W PHOTOS & STOCK FOOTAGE
                         
          GEORGE WASHINGTON crossing the Delaware. DANIEL BOONE in
          frontier buckskins. ABE LINCOLN giving the Gettysburg address.
          FREDERICK DOUGLAS orating from a podium. SITTING BULL in his
          splendor. THE WRIGHT BROTHERS at Kitty Hawk - this photo
          blends to news reel stock footage of the actual launch. The
          following also blend to stock: JOE LOUIS clobbering MAX
          SCHMELLING. JESSE OWENS in the '32 olympics. ALBERT EINSTEIN
          scrawling on a chalkboard. CHARLES LINDBERG and his Spirit
          of St. Louis land in Paris. As the waiting throngs cheer
                         WILDLY:
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           Everybody sometime in their life has
           met a real live hero.
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          2
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           They're not exactly a dime a dozen,
           but there's plenty of people who've
           done real great things. But hardly
           anyone has ever met a certified Legend,
           because most of them are dead before
           they get voted one.
                         
          CHUCK YEAGER in the X-1 breaking the sound barrier. MACARTHUR
          stepping ashore, pipe clenched. JIM THORPE playing football.
          ELVIS PRESELY on stage in hep-cat duds. NEIL ARMSTRONG setting
          foot on the moon.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           So, to actually be there at the moment
           one gets made... well, forget about
           it. It never happens. Almost never...
           To understand how it all got started,
           you have to go back...
                         
          WE PULL BACK FROM THE MOON - like a baseball in the sky.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           ...to the all-time, hands down, complete
           and undisputed Legend that ever lived.
                         
          A BASEBALL in someone's hand. WE PULL BACK FROM IT.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           In any language, in any country, in
           any world. The Sultan of Swat. The
           King of Clout. The Great Bambino.
           You have to go back to...
                         
          BABE RUTH is holding the baseball.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           ...The Babe.
                          (BEAT)
           There's never been anyone greater than
           The Babe. And when he called his famous
           full count homerun in the 1932 world
           series, he made sure he'd live forever.
                         
                         THE BABE
                         
          hits a homerun. Settles into his signature, locomotive
          basepath chug.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           And it's a good thing he became
           immortal, because without him, what
           happened that summer, absolutely never
                          (MORE)
                         
                          
                          3
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           would've happened. Weird thing was,
           before I moved to the neighborhood, I
           had no idea who he was. And he played
           a game I knew nothing about.
                         
          SLO-MO - THE BABE'S CLEATS
                         
          send up chalky dust at each STEP. His foot hits home plate -
          taking us 30 years into the future. The Babe's antiquated
          leather cleat becomes...
                         
          EXT. DODGER STADIUM - 1962 - DAY - STOCK
                         
          ...the cleat of basepath speedster MAURY WILLS.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Fourteen years later, after The Babe
           was gone, there was another guy who
           had something to do with the legend
           getting made too. A guy who set a
           record that summer that was so awesome,
           some people still don't believe it.
                         
          WILLS TAKES OFF, STEALING 3RD
                         
          so fast that no one knows he's gone. The Pitcher fires to
          rd. The 3rd BASEMAN gloves the dirt. The UMPIRE wings the
          air.
                         
                          UMPIRE
           Safe!
                         
          WILLS' CLEAT becomes
                         
          THE P.F. FLYER SNEAKER of...
                         
          EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - PLAYGROUND - 1962 - DAY
                         
          ...BENNY RODRIGUEZ, as he steps up to the plate.
                         
                         THE PITCHER
                         
          fires.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          cranks one deep to right. He tears around the bases like
          lightning (this kid is real fast). He rounds 3rd. The ball
          comes in home - cutting him off. He's caught in a pickle.
                         FROM
                         
                          
                          4
                         
                         
                          
                         
          BEHIND THE CHAIN-LINK BACKSTOP
                         
          YEAH-YEAH, HAM, DeNUNEZ, REPEAT, TIMMY, BERTRAM and SQUINTS
          come unglued and crowd the basepath.
                         
                          HAM
           PICKLE!
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          pickles the CATCHER and 3RD BASEMAN. He feints n' rubba-legs
          them out of position. He sprints for home. Safe! Just as
          he crosses home plate
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          pulls his transistor radio ear plug out.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Thirty-one! Maury Wills just stole
           number thirty-one!
                         
          THE ON-FIELD TEAM
                         
          throws their gloves 9 different ways in disgust.
                         
                          OTHER TEAM
                          (ABOUT BENNY)
           Crap! Can't beat that guy! Ya dufuses,
           why'd ya get him in a pickle for?! Ya
           know he's the damn pickle king! Rubba
           legs for sure! Truly rubba legs.
                         
          BENNY JOINS THE GANG
                         
          They imitate the big leaguers; skinning five, spittin' 'zooka
          chaw-juice. Yeah-Yeah hands Benny his glove. Squints jots
          the stats in his pee-chee folder.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Game over. Sixteen zip. Murderers'
           Row remains undefeated.
                         
                          OPPONENT
           Hey! We never got our ups!
                         
          The lunch bell RINGS. The gang heads across the playground
          back to the bungalows.
                         
                          OPPONENT (CONT'D)
           All your moms wear boxers!
                         
          Without looking back, eight "birds" hit the air. Nervous,
                         NEW- KID
                         
                          
                          5
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SCOTTY SMALLS
                         
          has been watching nearby.
                         
          EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - DRINKING FOUNTAIN - DAY
                         
          Just as Ham, Squints and Benny go for the 3 spigots, Yeah-
          Yeah taps each rapidfire:
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Milk-milk-pee.
                         
                          HAM
           Great, I'm dyin' a thirst and you pee
           me out!
                         
                          BENNY
           Ham, it ain't really.
                         
                          HAM
           Then switch with me.
                         
                          BENNY
           Do I look stupid?
                         
          Everyone drinks from the 2 "un-cursed" spigots. Ham last.
          As they turn to leave, Scotty goes for the fountain. The
          guys hang - waiting for doom. Scotty drinks from the pee
          spigot! The guys GAG and FAUX-BARF. Scotty has no idea why
          they're laughing at him.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           I moved to the neighborhood about a
           month before school let out. I was
           from another state, and didn't have a
           single friend in a thousand miles.
                         
          INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
                         
          Benny, Ham, Scotty (sitting by himself) and the other STUDENTS
          are clock watching. The BELL RINGS. Summer vacation! The
          classroom empties... papers circle to the floor from 35
          departing cyclones.
                         
          INT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL - HALLWAYS / ENTRANCE - DAY
                         
          Streams of excited KIDS spill into the corridors - a river of
          scrambling tennis shoes and clashing lunch boxes at the
          entrance gate.
                         
                         SCOTTY'S
                         
          caught in the mayhem.
                         
                         
                          
                          6
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         HE SPIES
                         
          the 8 guys forging ahead. He follows them.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           It was a lousy way to end up the 5th
           grade, 'cause I had zip time to make
           friends before summer. And that's
           about where it all started...
                         
          EXT. OLD REDWOOD FENCE - FOILAGE - DAY
                         
          Scotty sneaks close around some dense bushes, clutching books
          and "John Glenn - Freedom 7" lunchbox. He steps through the
          barrier (a secret doorway in the fence) onto the distant
                         OUTFIELD OF
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          The gang's homemade baseball diamond. They're:
                         
          CLEANING THE BLEACHERS
                         
          with broken brooms.
                         
          RAKING THE INFIELD
                         
          with halves of tools.
                         
          LAYING NEW CHALK LINES
                         
          with a holed box of detergent powder.
                         
          CLEARING THE OUTFIELD
                         
          of leaves, trash and sticks.
                         
          RE-ERECTING A PIECE OF RAGGED PLYWOOD
                         
          in left field - painted green and lettered "The Green Monster."
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          maintains cover and
                         
          PERUSES THE LAYOUT
                         
          a row of houses, whose backyards are all chain link fenced.
          The fencing is trimmed individually in wood, bamboo etc...
          One has the world's coolest treehouse. Next to it... is the
                         
          last house. This owner has cordoned his backyard - tall panels
          of that green "tropical-look" privacy fiberglass lashed to
          the fence.
                         
                          
                          7
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          remains undercover, but he's bustin' to join in.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          never notices him. As they work:
                         
                          HAM
           Fifth grade's history, man. A hundred
           days, man. A Hundred days of baseball.
           All Day, everyday, as much as we can.
           That's the best.
                         
                          TIMMY
           We got all summer.
                         
                          REPEAT
           We got all summer.
                         
                          BENNY
           Let's play.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-Yeah... let's play.
                         
          The guys round up in the infield. As they play catch, they
          spread farther and farther apart... until they've each taken
          up the position they most like to play. They fit the paltry
          little diamond; scrappy, happy kids.
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK - DUSK
                         
          Tract homes - everybody's got a different thing going in the
          front yard. The guys (sans Timmons') split up toward their
          homes - slappin' gloves, "so-longing" for the night.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Everyone but the Timmons twins lived
           on my new block.
                         
          FROM HIS DRIVEWAY
                         
          Scotty, shuttling moving boxes to his garage, watches them
          go.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           They lived in a house by the sandlot
           and had the world's greatest tree house,
           because their dad was a contractor.
                         
                         
                          
                          8
                         
                         
                          
                         
          FROM BENNY'S PORCH
                         
          Benny is the last to go in. He sees Scotty watching. So, he
          nods... just a little.
                         
                         THE BLOCK
                         
          clears to empty. The street lamps arc on, drawing soft white
          circles on the sidewalks. FROM THIS HEIGHT, they look like
          baseballs dotting the neighborhood.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           Even before I knew any of them I envied
           that tree house...
                         
          INT. BENNY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          A shrine to the pastime. Pennants, magazine pictures, game
          programs, baseball cards, a whole section of Maury Wills,
          radiating from a picture of Wills caught in a pickle.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           ...later, it would become second only
           to Cape Canaveral as a command post
           for history.
                          (BEAT)
           When I moved in that summer, I'd never
           played baseball, but it wasn't too
           tough figuring out who these guys'
           heroes were. So, after a week of
           watching... I figured baseball seemed
           like the best way to get in with them.
                         
                         BENNY'S
                         
          in bed, oiling his glove, staring out his window at Scotty's
          house. Taped to his footboard is the most important picture
          of all... a picture of The Babe.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Jr. Chemistry set. Heath Kit gadgets. An unbelievable Erector
          Set contraption with little motors and stuff. An autographed
          picture of Mr. Wizard. Scotty's pj'd at his erector set table,
          bothered and unhappy. This stuff is too damn easy for him.
          He whips on a last bolt and connects the itty-bitty motor.
                         SWITCHES ON
                         
                         THE CONTRAPTION
                         
          a tiny scoopelvator snatches up a white marble. Drops it on
          a roller coaster track. The marble whips around corners and
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          9
                         
                         
                          
                         
          loop-da-loops... lands in a mini-catapult. Another motor
          draws it back via a winding string. Boy Scout camping-knife
          scissors ratchet in - snip the string - the catapult fires.
                         
                         THE MARBLE
                         
          leaps a little green fence and WONK! Ouuuhhh! beans
                         
          HIS MOTHER (HAVING JUST COME IN)
                         
          right in the forehead.
                         
                         BEDROOM
                         
          Scotty winces at the shot.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Sorry, Mom.
                         
                          MOM
           I thought we agreed we'd take this
           apart... and not spend so much time in
           here.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (FEELING LOW)
           I know - but it's just nighttime.
                         
                          MOM
           Scotty, have you made any friends yet?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           No.
                         
                          MOM
           Why not, honey?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           'Cause I'm still "new."
                         
                          MOM
           Honey, I don't want you sitting in
           here all summer fiddling with this
           stuff, like you did last summer... and
           the one before that.
                          (BEAT)
           Scotty, look at me. I know you're
           smart, and I'm proud of you. But you
           have to get outside, you have to...
           play.
                         
          She sits across from him, trying to get through.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          10
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          MOM (CONT'D)
           I want you to get out in the fresh air
           and make friends. Run around and scrape
           your knees. Get dirty. Climb trees
           and hop fences. Get in trouble for
           crying out loud.
                          (BEAT)
           Not too much, but some. You have my
           permission. Now how many mothers do
           you think say that to their sons?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           None mothers I guess.
                         
                          MOM
           I want you to make friends this summer,
           Scotty. Lots of them.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I know, but I don't - I'm no good at
           anything. Face it, Mom, I'm just an
                          EGGHEAD -
                         
                          MOM
           - and you'll always be just an egghead
           with an attitude like that. So promise
           me, alright?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           'Kay.
                         
                          MOM
           Maybe tomorrow you'll make some friends.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, maybe tomorrow.
                          (BEAT)
           Mom? Do you think Bill - I mean Dad -
           will teach me to play catch?
                         
                          MOM
           Are you kidding, he'd love it, you
           know what an athlete he wasIn high
           school.
                          (ALTERMNATE LINE)
           You know what a pitcher he was in high
           college.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty slurps a glass of chocolate Quick. Rinses the glass
          too carefully. Gathers courage for something. Breathes deep -
          starts across the house.
                          11
                         
                         
                         
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty peeks through a slightly open door. BILL moves around
          inside, unpacking boxes. Scotty reaches to knock. Stops.
          Almost walks away. Then musters the gumption. KNOCKS.
                         
           BILL (O.S.)
           Yeah...
                         
          Scotty takes a few cautious steps into...
                         
          INT. BILL'S DEN - NIGHT
                         
          ...a trophy room. Ribbons, plaques, trophies. Bill must've
          been some athlete; but he limps now. Scotty lingers...
          gathering more courage.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           My real dad died when I was just a
           little kid. My mom married Bill a
           year before we moved to the
           neighborhood.
                          (BEAT)
           At the time, he and I were still getting
           used to each other.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Um, Dad - sorry, I mean Bill, remember
           you promised you'd teach me to play
           catch?
                         
                          BILL
           Um hum...
                         
          He dusts a batting trophy.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Well, could you teach me?
                         
                          BILL
           Sure.
                         
          He places a pitching plaque. Scotty waits awkwardly. Waits
          for more words. They don't come.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Okay. Great. Thanks.
                         
                          BILL
           Um hum.
                         
          Scotty leaves, bringing the door with him on his way out.
          Through the cracked portal he sees Bill set a silver pedestal
          on the main shelf. On this he sets a baseball...
                         
                          
                          12
                         
                         
                          
                         
          just a baseball.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - THE NEXT MORNING
                         
          Scotty wakes up. Checks his (Theme) clock. 8:30. He bolts
          out of bed. Dashes through the house to the front door.
          Throws it open and runs down to...
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          ...the sidewalk. Fan sprinklers water all the lawns. Way
          far down the block
                         
                         HE GLIMPSES
                         
          Ham, at the HELMS BAKERY TRUCK, buying a donut, then scrambling
          around the far corner.
                         
                          HAM
           Hey-hey, come on! Wait up - wait up!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          panics. Runs back inside and...
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - DAY
                         
          ...strips off his cowboy pj's. Redresses. Digs through his
                         
                         CLOSET
                         
          finding a vinyl, "toy" baseball glove. It's still in the
          package, with a note attached: "To Scotty Boy - Love, Grandma!"
          It's all he's got. He shovels through a pair of Mickey Mouse
          ears - a cowboy hat - finds the closest thing he's got to a
          baseball cap... a long, duck-billed fishing cap with a big
          embroidered trout.
                         
          EXT. ENROUTE TO THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          Scotty runs by (soon familiar places):
                         
                         A 5 & DIME
                         
          A BOYS CLUB
                         
          A LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD,
                         
          where he slows momentarily, envious of the crisply uniformed
          kids... wow. Moving on down
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK OF SANDLOT COMMON HOUSES - DAY
                         
          whose backyards we already know. Scotty flat out stops at
                         
                          
                          13
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE HOUSE
                         
          with the fiberglass panels out back. Scary place.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          Scotty slips quietly through the secret fence doorway, emerging
                         IN
                         
          DEEP LEFT FIELD
                         
          where he hugs the perimeter, moving slowly toward the sandlot
          common houses. Winded, Scotty finds
                         
                         THE GANG'S
                         
          already playing "over the line."
                         
                          NARRATOR
           They never kept score. They never
           chose sides. They never even really
           stopped playing the game... it just
           went on forever. Everyday they picked
           up right where they left off the day
           before. It was an endless "dream game."
                          (BEAT)
           There was only 8 of them, so they didn't
           have a whole team. It didn't matter
           though... Benny was so good he took
           everyone's position when it was there
           ups.
                          (BEAT)
           I didn't know any of that then... I 
           just knew they were having the time of
           their lives and I wanted to be a part
           of it.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          watches and listens (as he goes) to the SHARP, satisfying
          sound of the hardball, SNAPPING CLEANLY in the oily leather
          of their gloves.
                         
          HE LOOKS AT
                         
          his own toy glove... how embarrassing.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          continues around the perimeter, trying to be seen and become
          invisible. He goes unwittingly CLOSER TO those green
          fiberglass panels.
                          14
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          winds up and pitches to
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          who connects big. CRACK!
                         
                         SCOTTY'S
                         
          come too close to the green fence. Something has overcome
          him... fear! He stares with serious woollies at
                         
          A HOLE IN THE FIBERGLASS
                         
          and sees only dust rising in time with some great, SOUNDS OF
          EXHALATION. And then, before he can draw any conclusions...
          disaster.
                         
           GANG (O.S.)
           Hey! Look out!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          whips a look up and sees
                         
          THE FLY BALL
                         
          coming right at him.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          tracks it, frozen stiff. Scared shitless. At the past
          possible moment, he throws his arms over his face and ducks...
          social suicide.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          beans him at the glove covering his noggin.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          hits his butt. The ball rolls a bit. Comes to an "I-dare-
          you" stop: right up against the diseased fiberglass panels of
          that preternatural fence. Scotty pulls his arms away from
          his face.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          LAUGHS uproariously.
                         
                          TIMMY
           Nice catch!
                         
                         
                          
                          15
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          REPEAT
           Nice catch!
                         
                          HAM
           Hey! Throw the ball back!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, hurry up!
                         
                          BERTRAM
           We gotta a game here, man!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          moves for the ball. As he goes, he sweats:
                         
                          SCOTTY
           'Kay, I'll get it!
                          (TO HIMSELF)
           Don't be a goofus - don't be a goofus -
           don't be a goofus.
                         
          He reaches the fence and the ball and stops. It's hard to
          move. The force emanating from the backyard has got him:
                         
          DUST THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE FIBERGLASS
                         
          keeps perfect time with the monster-breathing.
                         
          AN OLENADER BUSH
                         
          moves. It scares the living kapok out of
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          who snatches up the ball and back-pedals 10 feet.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           WE'RE WAITING...
                         
          He throws back the ball. And his chances of getting in with
          these guys are over. Because Scotty... throws like a girl!
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          droops forward in the air. Lands 6 feet from him. Rolls
          slowly up to the gang, finally coming to a dainty stop at
          DeNunez' feet.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          looks from the ball to Scotty... they CRACK UP!
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          16
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          walks away... crying.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (TO HIMSELF)
           My life is over.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          is the only one that isn't laughing. He stares the others
          down.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           Come on, Benny-man, didn't you see
           that throw?
                         
          He imitates it, "flipping" his glove to Ham. The gang BUSTS
          UP again.
                         
                          HAM
                          (TRULY STUNNED)
           That kid's got the gaw'damn panty-
           waistiest arm I ever saw in my whole
           life.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           I seen a guy once that threw like that.
           I mean not that bad, but at least so
           bad that he hadda move in the fourth
           grade 'cause they nicknamed him
           "Bloomers."
                         
          Benny's look stifles the bunch.
                         
                          BENNY
           I bet not one of you knows how The
           Babe got his nickname.
                         
                          HAM
           Easy, 'cause of the way he looked like
           a little kid face.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Bull, it's just 'cause he liked kids
           and stuff.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Wrong. The Babe was called The Babe,
           because he was like the child of Yankee
           Stadium.
                         
                          
                          17
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BENNY
           I knew it. You're all full of crap.
           George Herman Ruth got his nickname
           because his mom died when he was just
           a little kid, and he hadda go live in
           an orphanage.
                         
          Silence. None of the other guys has heard this before.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Nobody liked him there. The bigger
           guys picked on him all the time. And
           when they messed with him he couldn't
           fight back, 'cause he was just... like
           scared. So when they messed with him,
           he cried about it.
                          (BEAT)
           He cried... so they called him The
           Babe.
                         
          This hits home real good.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           How ya think that kid just felt?
                         
          Benny exits the sandlot, leaving the others with a lesson
          learned.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Everyone knew Benny was different.
           Nobody ever voted or anything, but he
           was the leader.
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK - DUSK
                         
          As Benny goes into his house, the other's round the corner
          far behind him.
                         
                         THE MOON
                         
          is up. Full. Like a big baseball.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Even though he seemed like a regular
           guy, he wasn't. Benny was special,
           and he was loyal.
                          (BEAT)
           When they'd all tried out for youth
           league, they'd all made it. But when
           they found out they'd have to play on
           different teams, Benny told 'em that
           if they couldn't play together, they
           shouldn't play at all. So, they stayed
           together.
                          18
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT./INT. BENNY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Benny's at the window, clutching a baseball, staring over at
          Scotty's house.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           So, the only person that ever felt
           sorry for me 'cause I was such a weenie
           was Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez.
                          (BEAT)
           Even though neither of us knew it at
           the time, we were connected. Like I
           had been born for just that one moment,
           when I would perform the world's all-
           time boner, and Benny would bail me
           out.
                          (BEAT)
           Connected as friends... born to meet
           for just that one moment.
                         
          We DRIFT OFF Benny to his PICTURE OF MAURY WILLS in a pickle.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY
                         
          A PICTURE OF MAURY WILLS on a Post Super Sugar Crisp box.
                         
                         BILL & SCOTTY
                         
          at the table. Bill sifting through mounds of paperwork. Scotty
          eating breakfast. Scotty's spoon CLANGS one too many times.
          Bill looks up at him.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Sorry...
                         
          Scotty picks up his bowl and cereal, goes into
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - THE KITCHEN - DAY
                         
          where his mom is making coffee.
                         
                          MOM
                          (QUIETLY)
           Well?...
                         
                          SCOTTY
           He's too busy, Mom.
                         
                          MOM
                          (ENCOURAGING)
           Go back in there and ask. He'll take
           the time. Go on.
                          19
                         
                         
                         
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - DAY
                         
          Scotty comes back in. Stops mutely near Bill. Long, agonizing
          seconds pass. Finally:
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Um, Da -
                         
          Quick look toward the kitchen, then:
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
           (so Mom won't hear)
           - I mean, Bill. Could we... I mean
           could you, like you said - teach me to
           catch today?
                         
                          BILL
           Um, yeah, but later, okay? I gotta
           get this done.
                         
          It ain't much, but it's something.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Okay, thanks.
                         
          Mom comes in behind Scotty.
                         
                          MOM
           Bill, can't you take a break and teach
           him now?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Mom, it's okay -
                          (NOBODY'S LISTENING)
                         
                          BILL
           Honey, I said I would and I will. I'm
           just under the gun here, ya know?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Mom, really -
                         
                          MOM
           - How long could it take? You can't
           spare a half hour to show him?
                         
          Bill drops his pen. Checks his watch. A lost battle here.
                         
                          BILL
                          (ANNOYED)
           Fine. Alright. I'll get my glove.
           Come on.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          20
                         
                         
                          
                         
          Bill exits past them. Scotty's been "Mom-embarrassed." She
          looks at him:
                         
                          MOM
                          (CLUELESS)
           There. See. Told you so.
                         
          Scotty shuffles out back, shaking his head.
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          Bill slides his hand into his glove. He warms up the cradle,
          POPPING the "hardball" into the palm.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          stands ready to "learn" on the other side of the yard.
          Appropriately pitiful in "trout" cap and toy glove.
                         
                         BACKYARD
                         
                          BILL
           Keep your eye on the ball. Put the
           glove up where it goes. Okay?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, okay, I think so.
                         
          Bill throws one to Scotty. The toy glove goes up to the right.
          The ball sails by to the left.
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
           Darn. Sorry.
                         
          Bill's a little amazed at that one. He checks his watch.
                         
                          BILL
           That's alright, just throw it back.
                         
          Scotty eagerly retrieves it. Turns to throw - deja vu - he
          runs over, hands Bill the ball.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Here.
                         
          He runs back across the yard. Turns 'round again. Holds his
          glove up stiffly.
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
           Okay. I'm ready.
                         
          Bill cannot believe this. Checks his watch again.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          21
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BILL
           Keep your eye on the ball. Put the
           glove up where the ball goes.
                         
          He throws again. The ball bounces off the toy glove - breaks
          the webbing.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Darn. My glove got -
                         
                          BILL
           - not bad. Right side at least. Now,
           just throw it back this time.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           But my glove -
                         
          Bill's looking at his watch again. Scotty fetches the ball -
          gulps - "flips" it back.
                         
                          BILL
                          (DISBELIEF)
           Oh, my God.
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK - SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Benny comes out of his house. From the sidewalk
                         
                         BENNY'S POV
                         
          up the side of Scotty's house into the backyard. He can see
          Scotty. Only Scotty. Standing there game as hell, trying to
          catch balls that seem to be coming too fast. The ball comes.
          Scotty ducks. The ball hits the block wall behind him,
          caroming back toward where we assume Bill is throwing from.
                         
                         BENNY'S
                         
          drawing the wrong conclusion.
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          Scotty's still game. Bill's at ropes end. Check his watch
          again.
                         
                          BILL
           Alright, Scott, listen, this one's
           gonna come right at you, easy, okay?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           'Kay.
                         
                          
                          22
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BILL
           Just keep your eye on the ball and put
           your glove up. You'll catch it.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Okay.
                         
                         BILL
                         
          throws.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          comes slowly forward.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          sticks his glove up.
                         
                         SCOTTY'S EYES
                         
          widen.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          hits dead center glove. Rips the "toy" webbing. Flies through
                         AND CLOUTS
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          right in the eye.
                         
                         BILL
                         
                          BILL
           Oh my -
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK - SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
                          BENNY
           - God, whadda jerk!
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                         
          Scotty's mom comes unglued.
                         
                          MOM
           Bill! What happened?!
                         
                          BILL
           Well, he -
                         
                          
                          23
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (PRIDE'S SAKE)
           - just took my eye off the ball, Mom.
                         
          Scotty's mom pulls his hand away from his eye. Great shiner.
          Bill grabs a steak from the fridge, FLOPS it over Scotty's
          eye.
                         
                          BILL
           There. Keep that on for an hour.
           It'll still be black, but it won't
           swell.
                          (BEAT)
           Sorry. We'll try again soon.
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Scotty emerges. Sits on the porch. Pitiful and forlorn.
          Chin in his hands, he looks across the street. He starts.
          His hand moves to cover his black eye... but he thinks the
          better of it.
                         
                         BENNY'S
                         
          on the curb across the street. A moment goes by. Benny raises
          a hand.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          slowly waves back.
                         
                         BOTH
                         
          Benny comes over to Scotty's sidewalk.
                         
                          BENNY
           Gonna go play some ball. Need a extra
           guy. Wanna go?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Naw. Thanks.
                         
                          BENNY
           Why not? Doncha like baseball?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Oh. Yeah. But, ah...
                         
                          BENNY
           But what?
                         
          Scotty searches for a quick way out of this. Gets it:
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          24
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           But my glove's busted. So, ya know, I
           can't go. Thanks, though.
                         
          Benny reaches behind his back. Takes something out of his
          jeans - like he's going for a gun. Smiles a little.
                         
                          BENNY
           That's okay.
                         
          He offers it to Scotty... a "real" glove.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           I got a extra one.
                         
          Scotty SHOUTS over his shoulder:
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Mom! I'm gonna go play some ball!
                         
          As they move away down the block.
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
           Thanks. Cool glove.
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah. Cool shiner. We gotta stop by
           the 5 & 10 first. Need a new ball.
           And chaw and stuff, ya know?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah.
                         
                          BENNY
           You dip chaw?
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (COMPLETELY CLUELESS)
           Sure. A'course.
                         
          EXT. FIVE & DIME - DAY
                         
          Benny & Scotty go inside.
                         
          INT. FIVE & DIME - DAY
                         
          Benny grabs a new baseball on the stride, and handful of
          bazooka from a jar on the soda fountain counter. He leaves
          the money and exits. Scotty follows.
                          25
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. REAR OF FIVE & DIME - DAY
                         
          Benny and Scotty come upon the gang (all their mouths are
          full a' bazooka) as Ham's chompin' on a candy cigar doing a
                         BABE IMITATION:
                         
                          HAM
           Hey! Check me out! I'm the
           Great Bambino!
                         
          The gang laughs.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (OVER EAGER)
           Who's that?
                         
          The gang stifles. They're none-to-pleased. Ham sees why.
          The new kid... "flipper." Eight pairs of eyes burn holes in
          his little soul.
                         
                          HAM
           What?...
                          (BEYOND HIM)
           What did he say?
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Were you born in a barn, man?
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, what planet are you from?
                         
                          SQUINTS
           You never heard of The Sultan of Swat?!
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           The Titan of Terror!
                         
                          TIMMY
           The Colossus of Clout!
                         
                          REPEAT
           The Colossus of Clout!
                         
                          BENNY
           (even he's amazed)
           The King of Krash!
                         
                          NARRATOR
           I had no idea who they were talking
           about. But there was no way I could
           let them know that... so, I lied.
                         
                          
                          26
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Oh! The Great Bambino! Of course. I
           thought you said The Great Bambi.
                         
                          HAM
                          (SHIVERING)
           That wimpy deer?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Ah, yeah - I guess. Sorry.
                         
          The gang goes SILENT. They spit - they're tough. Scotty
          dribbles - he's wimpy.
                         
                          BENNY
                          (W/MOUHTFUL)
           So, Scott, this is Ken DeNunez; Alan
           McClennan, we call him Yeah-Yeah;
           Hamilton Porter, we call him Ham; Tommy
           and Timmy Timmons, Bertram Grover Weeks,
           and Mike "Squints" Palledorus.
                          (TO GANG)
           He's Scott Smalls.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Hi.
                         
          The gang just stares.
                         
                          BENNY
           He's gonna play with us. He makes
           nine. Now we got a team.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          The pack follows Benny onto the diamond. Scotty trails after
          them.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Why'd you bring him for, Benny?
                         
                          BENNY
           'Cause there's eight of us, and he
           makes nine.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Yeah, so would my sister, but I didn't
           bring her!
                         
                          BENNY
           With nine Guys we got a whole team.
                         
                          
                          27
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          HAM
           No, with Elswenger we had a whole team,
           and Elswenger could throw!
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           He ain't game, Benny. He can't throw
           for nothin'.
                         
          Scotty drifts off by himself. He can hear what's exchanged.
                         
                          TIMMY
           Benny, you already play all the empty
           positions since Elswenger moved to
           Arizona.
                         
                          BENNY
           And now I get to rotate 8 positions
           instead of 7. I need the practice.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           No you don't. It's stupid, Benny.
           The kid's an L-7 weenie.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, Oscar Mayer even.
                         
                          BENNY
           Oh yeah, Squints, and you're Willie
           freakin' Mays. You catch like a dork -
           anybody ever bust your chops about
           that?
                         
                          SQUINTS
                          (PALTRY EXCUSE)
           No, but I'm - ya know, I'm -
                         
                          BENNY
           - and you run like a duck, Yeah- Yeah.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
                          (IT'S TRUE)
           'Kay-'kay... But I'm -
                         
                          BENNY
           - part-a the game.
                         
                          SQUINTS
                          (DEFENSIVE)
           Right.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          28
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BENNY
           How come he don't get to be?
                         
          Nobody's got an answer for that one. Base up you blockheads.)
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          hits the field. Their suspicious glares aren't lost on
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          standing off by himself, kinda lost. Benny comes over.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           You take right field, Smalls.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (EAGER)
           Right. Okay. Ah... where exactly is
           that?
                         
                          BENNY
                          (SURPRISED)
           Uh, over there.
                         
          Scotty runs "over there" anxiously.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          takes home plate worried: "Maybe the kid is a weenie."
                         
                         INFIELD
                         
          DeNunez at the mound. Benny's up.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Get two.
                         
          Repeat at 3rd, stabs it effortlessly and fires to 2nd. Timmy
          snatches it down and drag-tags the invisible base runner,
          then fires to Bertram at 1st. SNAP! Outta there. Bertram
          throws back to DeNunez. Benny's ready:
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Smalls! Get one!
                         
          CRACK! THE BALL
                         
          arcs up... comes down right at
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          who raises the glove, and skippers around, as if he were
          tracking a falling leaf. The ball lands 5 feet behind him.
                         
                          
                          29
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          shakes its collective head, exasperated.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          runs to the ball, is about to throw... runs it in to DeNunez
          instead.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Here. Sorry, sorry.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          is stunned.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          runs back to right field. Ready again - a game kid.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          trots out after him.
                         
                          BENNY
           Hey, you can throw it ya know.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           No, I can't... I don't know how.
                          (LUMPY THROAT)
           Um, thanks for taking me here... but
           I think better go.
                         
          Scotty turns to leave. Benny grabs his arm.
                         
                          BENNY
           You think too much. I bet you get
           straight A's and shit, huh?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           No, I got a B once. Actually it was
           an A minus.
                          (QUICK)
           But it shoulda been a B.
                         
                          BENNY
           This is baseball, you're not supposed
           to think, you're just supposed to play.
                          (BEAT)
           You ever have a paper route?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Uh, I helped a guy one time.
                         
                         
                          
                          30
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BENNY
           Throw it like you chuck a paper. When
           your arm gets here... just let go of
           it.
                          (PAUSE)
           Just let go.
                         
          Scotty nods. Benny starts back.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Wait - how do I catch it?
                         
                          BENNY
           Don't worry. Just stand there and
           stick your glove in the air. I'll
           take care of it.
                         
                         HOME PLATE
                         
          Benny mentally calculates the distance. Puts a little rub on
          the ball. Flips it into the air...
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Smalls, get one!
                         
          ...and swings through deliberately. CRACK!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          sees it coming. Stands there stiffly. Sticks his glove up,
          closes his eyes.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Please, catch it. Please, catch it.
           Please, ca -
                         
          SNAP! His glove swings down. He opens his eyes. Looks into
          his glove. The ball is there. He takes it out and chucks
          the ball like a folded paper.
                         
                         BERTRAM
                         
          catches it good and solid at 1st.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Okay! Hey, let's play ball!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          loosens up. From home plate
                         
                         
                          
                          31
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          gives him a "Thumbs Up." The significance of this is only
          outweighed by his sudden fear, when...
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          glimpses something.
                         
                         SCOTTY'S POV
                         
          of some great, lumbering thing moving past a crack in those
          green fiberglass panels.
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK - DUSK
                         
          In good spirits, the guys break off to their houses.
                         
                         SCOTTY & BENNY
                         
          split up in the middle of the street between their homes.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Thanks.
                         
          Already at his door, Benny just raises his glove in answer.
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
           Wait, here - your glove.
                         
                          BENNY
           Keep it.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty opens a new writing tablet, and titles the page:
          "Baseball Stuff to Remember." He writes: "1. The Great
          Bambino?" He hasn't got a clue.
                         
          EXT. VACANT LOT - DAY
                         
          Benny coaches Scotty. Correct batting stance and swing. Benny
          thumb-flicks bottle caps at Scotty from a coffee can full.
          They're tough to hit. But soon Scotty's tagging every one of
          them.
                         
          THE SUN SETS.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          DeNunez fires - fastball. CRUNCH!
                         
                          
                          32
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          tags it. The ball sails over
                         
                         SQUINTS'
                         
          Head in center. From left field
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          gives Scotty another "Thumbs Up." The kid's in.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - DAY - LATER
                         
          Squints arrives with a box of baseball cards.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Everyday, first thing, we'd all pick a
           card from what we called "The Dugout."
                         
          Squints shakes it up. Everybody picks one.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           It was just a shoe box, but whoever we
           picked, we got to be when it was our
           ups. One day, when Ham took his pick
           a little too seriously, the guys let
           me in on the world's most terrifying
           secret...
                         
                          BENNY
           Bingo! Maury Wills!
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Mickey Mou - ah, Mantle.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Say hey, Willie Mays.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           Stan Musial.
                         
                          TIMMY
           Lou Brock.
                         
                          REPEAT
           Lou Brock - I mean, Luis Aparicio.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Frank Robinson.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Oh... Bob Uecker.
                         
                         
                          
                          33
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          HAM
           Hank Aaron. I'm up.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - DAY - MINUTES LATER
                         
          The gang "peppers"
                         
                         HAM
                         
          (at home plate) mercilessly.
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          pitches - strike. Pitches again - strike. Delivers and
                         
                         HAM
                         
          takes a Ruthian cut at it. CONNECTS to deep right.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          tracks it.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          comes down.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          runs beneath it - glove up.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          drops into a backyard. The one with the green fiberglass
          panels.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          stops short. Looks back to
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          who're already packing up in slumped dejection.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          makes a decision. Swallows against fear of the fence. He
          takes one step toward that fence.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Wait a sec, I'll get it!
                         
                          
                          34
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          comes unglued.
                         
                          GANG
           NOOOOOOOOOO! STOPPPPPP!
                         
          They rush over - grab Scotty - pull him back 10 feet into the
          "Fear-Free" zone.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Holy crap, you coulda been killed!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah - truly! Whadda you doin'?!
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Well, you were all leavin', so I thought
           I'd just -
                         
                          SQUINTS
           - if you were thinkin' you wouldn't a
           thought that!
                         
                          BENNY
           You can't go back there, Smalls.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Then how do we get the ball?
                         
                          TIMMY
           We don't.
                         
                          REPEAT
           We don't.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           It's gone.
                         
                          HAM
           Forever even.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           Forget it, it's a memory.
                         
                          BENNY
           Game's over. We'll get a new one
           tomorrow. Just forget it. We'll never
           see it again.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Why not?
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          35
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          GANG
                          (HUSHED)
           The Beast.
                         
          Scotty stares at them; all heads hung.
                         
                          BENNY
           Go over there, real slow, and be quiet.
           Don't touch the fence, just peek through
           that hole in the green stuff... go on.
                         
          As Scotty goes forward, the gang steps back.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          draws his eye close to the hole in the fence. WE SEE
                         
          EXT. MR. MERTLE'S BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          A LIMITED VIEW of 3 feet square. WE SEE nothing but the
          ball... in the small crater it's made in the dirt. There are
          oddly similar craters in the immediate vicinity. Those craters
          are empty.
                         
          A MAMMOTH, HAIRY PAW
                         
          comes down from out of nowhere. As it CLEARS FRAME, the
          baseball is gone. Only the crater remains.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          Scotty snaps his head away from the hole - runs over to
                         
                         THE GANG:
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Something got the ball!
                          (UNNERVED)
           What was that thing?!
                         
          Considered looks are exchanged, then, in unison:
                         
                          GANG
           Campout.
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - NIGHT
                         
          Aglow. (NOTE: Same as Sc. 80)
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          A Boy Scout lantern. Professionally built structure. The
          gang's got sleeping bags. They're roasting marshmallows over
          a Cub Scout camping stove.
                         
                          
                          36
                         
                         
                          
                         
          Ham's brought personal s'mores supplies.
                         
                          HAM
           Wanna s'more?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Some more of what?
                         
                          HAM
           No. You wanna s'more?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I haven't had anything yet, so how can
           I have any more of nothing?
                         
                          HAM
           You kill me Smalls. Look, these are
           s'mores stuff. Pay attention:
                          (CONCOCTING)
           First you take the graham - you put
           the chocolate on the graham, Hershey's
           of course - you hold the chocolate on
           the graham while you roast the mallow-
                         
          He does. The mallow flames to life.
                         
                          HAM (CONT'D)
           -then when the mallow's flamin', ya
           stuff it on the chocolate and cover it
           with the other end.
                          (BEAT)
           Then, you scarf.
                         
          Ham does. The junk squirts half way down his shirt.
                         
                          HAM (CONT'D)
                          (BARELY INTELLIGIBLE)
           Kinda messy... Good though.
                         
          Squints turns the lantern down low...
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Alright, listen up.
                          (TO SCOTTY)
           First time DeNunez heard this story he
                          FAINTED -
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           - Bull, Squints!
                         
                          BENNY
           You did, man.
                         
          DeNunez shuts up. It's true.
                         
                          
                          37
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SQUINTS
           When Yeah-Yeah heard it he peed his
           pants.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Shut up, Squints - did not!
                         
                          HAM
           You did, man.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           And when The Ham heard it he barfed up
           two bags of marshmallows.
                         
                          HAM
           Liar! It was only one.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           So stay away from the door... you
           might fall out. And don't sit on your
           sleeping bag... you could shit your
           pants.
                          (SOLEMN)
           Now, quiet...
                         
          Absolute silence. Kid-reverence equals fright.
                         
                          SQUINTS (CONT'D)
           The legend of The Beast goes back a
           long time... before any of us could
           pick up a baseball. Back to a place
           called Mertle's Acres.
                         
           DREAMY DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          THE STORY OF THE BEAST:
                         
          EXT. "MERTLE'S ACRES" - DAY
                         
          A legendary place... benefitting from years of kid-
          embellishment: a gothic, scrapyard fortress oddly designed to
          keep something in not out.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           The Beast belongs to Mr. Mertle, the
           guy that used to own Mertle's Acres
           Junkyard. And nobody's ever seen him
           since the day it happened...
                         
          INT. MERTLE'S ACRES - DAY
                         
          Blurbling pockets of super-heated muck.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          38
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         BURNED-OUT SHELLS
                         
          of twisted vehicles - strewn carcasses. A battlefield.
                         
                         OLD APPLIANCES
                         
          that form tortured faces in the shadowy recesses.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           Mertle's Acres was a bitchin' place,
           that had everything you could ever
           imagine.
                         
                         OTHER STUFF
                         
          like savaged shopping carts. A school bus graveyard. Scrap
          motorbikes. Cargo ship buoy balls. The gutted shell of a
          fighter plane.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           And the stuff was worth a fortune.
           So, one day Mr. Mertle got him this
           new pup from the pound. They were
           glad to get rid of him, on account of
           while he'd been there, he'd killed
           three dogs bigger than he was.
                          (BEAT)
           That was exactly what Mr. Mertle figured
           he needed to protect his junkyard,
           'cause people kept stealing stuff at
           night, when he wasn't around.
                         
          WE DRIFT THROUGH
                         
          a maze of dark, grimy junk-passageways.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           So he bought The Beast, and set him
           loose in Mertle's Acres.
                         
          SOMETHING LOPES BY
                         
          at the end of a passage. (NOTE: We never fully see The Beast.)
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           The Beast was still just a pup of six
           months, but he already weighed a 150
           pounds... and he kept gettin' bigger.
                         
          A TRASH BAG
                         
          full of meat hits the ground - disappears. SLIFFTHT! It
          spits back INTO FRAME... empty and tattered.
                         
                         
                          
                          39
                         
                         
                          
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           He threw The Beast a trash bag full of
           meat every night, and just left him
           alone. All alone in the whole place
           by himself... to grow.
                         
                         AN EYEBALL
                         
          among a pile of broken headlights. As big as the headlights.
                         
          FLEETING GLIMPSES OF MORE STUFF
                         
          like Mannequins, with bite-chunks missing. Plastic flamingoes,
          brutally mangled. A decapitated "lawn jockey." A plastic
          cow, legs gnawed off. And BREATHING... amongst the artificial
          "life" forms.
                         
          A GARGANTUAN FOOTPRINT
                         
          in the center of an old truck tire.
                         
          THE BEAST'S SHOULDERS
                         
          moving powerfully - as tall as a burned-out VW.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           And so, in a few months, the pup grew
           into The Beast. And he grew big as a
           car. And he grew mean, 'cause nobody
           liked him, and he didn't like nobody
           either.
                          (BEAT)
           And so he only had one thing on his
           mind... to kill.
                         
          INT. MERTLE'S ACRES - NIGHT
                         
          TWO THIEVES in ski-masks. Suddenly, a HEATED WIND strips
          their masks. Two elephantine feet come down on their faces.
          They SCREAM.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           And he did. And he liked it.
                         
                         ANOTHER THIEF
                         
          suddenly enveloped by a shadow. He's dragged into darkness...
          he SCREAMS.
                         
          TWO OTHER THIEVES
                         
          load their van and take off. They skid. CRUNCH! The van
          caves in. The Thieves are dragged out, BLATHERING in horror.
                         
                         
                          
                          40
                         
                         
                          
                         
          FROM HIGH ABOVE MERTLE'S ACRES
                         
          The Beast moves like a murderous phantom. WE HEAR ROARING,
          and primordial bloodlust.
                         
          VARIOUS OTHER THEIVES
                         
          are tossed hither and yon... mixed in with fake flamingoes,
          and a flying plastic cow.
                         
          EXT. MERTLE'S ACRES - DAY
                         
          Police cars. DETECTIVES speak with MR. MERTLE; his shoulders
          slumped, his eyes moist. They show him file photos of (THEIVES
          in ski masks.)
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           The Beast was the most perfect junkyard
           dog that ever lived... a true killing
           machine.
                          (BEAT)
           After awhile, the police started getting
           phone calls from people, reporting all
           the missing thieves. The ones The
           Beast had killed... it added up to
           about 37 guys.
                         
          Mr. Mertle solemnly heads inside the junkyard.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           But they never found a single body...
           not one. Some people say they all got
           away, and were just so scared that
           they ended up in insane asylums and
           stuff.
                          (BEAT)
           But we know what really happened.
                         
          Mr. Mertle emerges from the junkyard. Cops take cover behind
          their cars. Guns are leveled toward Mr. Mertle and what
          follows him at the end of a rusty tow chain.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           The Beast... ate them.
                          (BEAT)
           He ate them bones and all.
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK OF SANDLOT COMMON HOUSES - DAY
                         
          PEOPLE slam their windows - draw their curtains. LITTLE KIDS
          are snatched up by PARENTS, who run inside and lock their
          doors.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          41
                         
                         
                          
                         
          MR. MERTLE
                         
          leads the The Beast on a huge chain. (NOTE: We only see bits
          of The Beast.)
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           The Beast was good at his guarddog
           job. Too good. So the cops said he
           had to be retired. But he didn't have
           to be killed or nothin', on account of
           there was no evidence... no bones...
           no teeth for dental records.
                         
          EXT. MR. MERTLE'S BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          The green fiberglass panels are brand new here in the past.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           The police told Mr. Mertle that if
           wanted to keep The Beast, he hadda
           lock him in his backyard, so he could
           never get out.
                         
                         A CRANE
                         
          lowers a giant bathtub into the backyard. FIREMEN fill it
          with water.
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           And that he hadda chain him up, so's
           in case he tried to get out to eat
           children and stuff, he couldn't.
                         
                         CONSTRUCTION WORKERS
                         
          sink an I-Beam girder. Cement fills the chasm.
                         
          MR. MERTLE
                         
          contructs a huge lean-to from old bullet-holed, tin-ad signs.
                         
                         A WELDER
                         
          Braises chain to the girder.
                         
          MR. MERTLE
                         
          "collars" The Beast with the other end.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          disappears beneath the lean-to. DUST EXPLODES from underneath
          as he lies down.
                         
                         
                          
                          42
                         
                         
                          
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           Mr. Mertle asked the cops how long he
           had to keep his pup chained up like a
           slave.
                         
          EXT. MR. MERTLE'S FRONT PORCH - DAY
                         
          A POLICEMAN "mouths" the word, "F-O-R-E-V-E-R."
                         
           SQUINTS (V.O.)
           They said... until forever.
                         
           DREAMY DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          Ham drools mallow goop. His hands are fisted tight... 'mallows
          squirt out twixt his clenched fingers.
                         
                         REPEAT & TIMMY
                         
          have their pillows 'round their heads like bonnets.
                         
                         DENUNEZ & YEAH-YEAH
                         
          stare and shake.
                         
                         BERTRAM'S
                         
          eyes are shut tight, his bottom lip shudders.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          gulps.
                         
                         SCOTTY'S
                         
          sitting shattered. He checks his pants to see if he's peed
          them. His mallow's a briquette. It SPUTTERS and flames out.
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          is proud of his story prowess.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           And so... The Beast sits there under
           that lean-to, dreaming about the time
           when he can break the chain and get
           out... dreaming of the time when he
           can chase and kill again.
                         
                         
                          
                          43
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
                          BERTRAM
           See, man. That's why you can't go
           over there. Nobody ever has. Nobody
           ever will.
                         
                          HAM
           One kid did, but nobody ever seen him
           again.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           That ain't true -
                         
                          HAM
           - yeah it is! He got eaten!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah - that kid who went to get
           his kite... what was his name?
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           "Boogers" Fleming?
                         
                          TIMMY
           No. It was that guy with the warts on
           his face.
                         
                          REPEAT
           Davy "The Toad."
                         
                          TIMMY
           That's what I said.
                         
          Solemnity spreads among them. Kid-reverence.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Davy "The Toad" Stodenrous.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Yeah, The Toad...
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, poor Toad.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (WEAK)
           Nuh-uh... none of that's true. You
           guys are just -
                         
                          SQUINTS
           - oh, yeah?... Come here. Stick your
           head out the window and look down.
                         
                         
                          
                          44
                         
                         
                          
                         
          Scotty goes slowly... He sticks his head out guillotinely,
          through the small square opening.
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty's head comes out turtle-like. The tree house overhangs
          the common wall.
                         
          HE LOOKS DOWN INTO
                         
          Mr. Mertle's backyard and SEES an old footed bathtub filled
          with murky water. A steel pole, cemented into the center of
          the yard. A tow chain, snaking away from the pole and
          vanishing under the lean-to. Dust rises and falls from 'neath
          the lean-to.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          hears the ORGANIC EXHAUST that accompanies the dust... rising
          and falling... in POWERFUL EXHALATIONS.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty pulls his head back, scared shitless.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (HUSHED)
           He's down there!
                         
                          SQUINTS
           You bet he is.
                         
                          HAM
           Whatever goes over that fence... stays
           there.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           It becomes the property of The Beast...
           Forever.
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          (NOTE: Same as Sc. 54) FROM THE SANDLOT... a FULL MOON hangs
          ominously over the tree house; a glowing little box of debate
          in the scary night.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           I learned that more than a 150 baseballs
           had gone over that fence... and not
           one of them was ever seen again. Even
           when some brave kid worked up enough
           courage to peek over the fence.
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                          
                          45
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
                          (BEAT)
           Because, when they went over, they
           vanished.
                          (BEAT)
           I knew it was true, because when I
           looked down in there, I didn't see a
           single... solitary... one.
                         
          EXT. FIVE & DIME - MORNING
                         
          Squints and Yeah-Yeah come out of the store in a big hurry,
          with a new baseball in a box. They stop momentarily - open
          it and chuck the box. Yeah-Yeah rams his mouth full of 'zooka
                         WHILE
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          spits into his palm and rubs the ball to get the shine off.
          His eyes go suddenly wide and he stares, and oggles, and gawks:
                         
          SLO-MO - A BEAUTIFUL BLONDE GIRL
                         
          about 19-years-old walks by into the store. She smiles at
          Squints.
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          can only manage a totally embarrassing goofy grin.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MORNING
                         
          The guys are waiting anxiously as Yeah-Yeah and Squints run
          over. Yeah-Yeah tosses Benny the ball. He rubs it up. Passes
          it along. They all take a turn.
                         
                          BENNY
           What took you so long?! We been here
           forever already!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Squints was pervin' a dish.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Shut up, I wasn't!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-Yeah you were! Yer tongue was
           hangin' outta yer head and you was
           swoonin'!
                          (SWOONIN')
           Oh-oh Wendy Peffercorn my darling lover
           girl...
                         
                         
                          
                          46
                         
                         
                          
                         
          Squints goes for Yeah-Yeah. Ham holds him back.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Hold me back! Hold me back!
                         
                          HAM
           I am holdin' you back Squints.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Oh, yeah. Well, lemme go then.
                          (CALMS)
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           So, where'd you get the money this
           time Yeah-Yeah?
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Oh, yeah-yeah! It was great! So I
           went around pretended like I was selling
           perscriptions to magazines. And the
           people asked if they should pay me
           now. So I said yeah-yeah, pay me now!
           And they did!
                         
          The guys are astonished.
                         
                          HAM
           Sonavabitch!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           What-what?! I'll take it back. I
           know it was crappy, but I didn't have
           no money, I -
                         
                          BENNY
           - naw, don't, man. He's just mad he
           didn't think of it.
                         
                          HAM
           Yeah, you know how many lawns I hadda
           mow when it was my turn?! Geez. Let's
           play.
                         
                         THE SUN
                         
          crests the sandlot... it's gonna be a hot one.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - LATER
                         
          A real hot one. Ham sweats uncontrollably. His lunch bag
          drips PB&J.
                         
                          
                          47
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          spits a 'zooka sploink that SIZZLES when it hits.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          simultaneously heads for the bleachers. Everybody but Benny.
                         FINALLY:
                         
                          HAM
           I can't take it no more, Benny. I'm
           bakin' like a toasted cheeser!
                         
                          TIMMY
           It's hotter than the fires of hell.
                         
                          REPEAT
           It's hotter than a fish in a fryin'
           pan.
                         
          The brothers "look" at each other on the miscue.
                         
                          BENNY
           Come on, don't be wimpy.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Face it, Benny. It's not a fit day
           out for man nor beast. We gotta call
           it for the day.
                         
                          BENNY
           Vote then. Everyone that wants to be
           a can't-hack-it panty waist, and wear
           their momma's bra, raise your hand.
                         
          They all raise their hands. Grinning.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Fine. Be like that. So what're we
           gonna do then?
                         
          They look at each other, as if Benny's gone quite mad... it's
                         SO OBVIOUS:
                         
                          GANG
           Scam Pool Honeys!
                         
          EXT. PUBLIC POOL - DAY
                         
          TEENAGE POOL HONEYS arranged particularly on their beach towels
          along the deck, soak up the rays in their polka-dot bikinis.
                         
                          
                          48
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          rushes out in cut-off shorts, and banzais the shallow end.
          Ham leaps over the water like a graceful Manatee.
                         
                          HAM
           Hamonball!
                         
          KERSPLASH! A Ham-tsunami SLOSHES the Coppertone'd bods of
                         
                         POOL HONEYS
                         
          They're up and SCREAMING at him.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Benny would've played ball all day and
           all night... rain shine, tidal wave,
           whatever, it didn't matter. Baseball
           was the only thing he cared about and
           everything else was just a waste of
           time.
                          (BEAT)
           But, of all the things we ever did
           besides baseball, goin' to the pool
           was what he tolerated best. Even though
           none of us had ever seen a Playboy
           magazine - which we constantly lied
           about - we figured the pool was the
           next best thing to being there.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          dunks each other, play "attack-sub," etc...
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           It wasn't the Pool Honeys like we said,
           'cause if any one of them had come up
           to any one of us, we'd of peed our
           pants.
                          (BEAT)
           We went for... the Lifeguard.
                         
                         THE LIFEGUARD
                         
          is unbelievable. In fact, it's WENDY PEFFERCORN. She slides
          Coppertone up and down her legs.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          one by one, stop foolin' around. Chest deep in the shallow
          end, they're a detached and frozen pocket of leering dopes.
          The OTHER 80 KIDS in the pool play on around them.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          49
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          is suddenly afflicted.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           And one day, it became too much for
           Michael "Squints" Palledorous. And he
           did the most desperate thing any of us
           had ever seen.
                         
                         THE LIFEGUARD
                         
          oils up and down.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          gawks on. (Cool Hand Luke scene):
                         
                          BENNY
           Oh, man...
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, too cruel.
                         
                          TIMMY
           She don't know what she's doing.
                         
                          REPEAT
           She don't know what she's doing.
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah she does. She knows exactly what
           she's doing.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           I've swum here every summer of my adult
           life... and every summer there she is.
                          (LOSING IT)
           Lotioning... oiling... smiling.
                          (TEETH CLENCHED)
           I - can't - take - this - no - more!
                         
          THE GANG WATCHES AS SQUINTS
                         
          pushes through the water, pulls himself out, and walks really
          fast to the diving board (taking off his glasses to impress
          her as he passes.)
                         
                          SCOTTY
           What's wrong with him?
                         
                         
                          
                          50
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
                          (WORRIED)
           Don't-know, but that's the deep end,
           and Squints can't swim!
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          walks the plank to the end. Looks wantingly toward
                         
                         THE LIFEGUARD
                         
          who smiles back at him.
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          holds his nose. Takes the deep leap. Hits the water and...
                         
                         UNDERWATER
                         
          ...sinks like a stone. Squints grins as he founders.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          lines the edge of the deep section.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Squints!
                         
                          HAM
           Oh my God! He's drowning!
                         
                         THE LIFEGUARD
                         
          to the rescue. Seconds pass... she surfaces and lays a limp
                         SQUINTS
                         
          ON THE DECK
                         
          Everybody at the pool gathers 'round. The Lifeguard lays
          Squints flat. She administers mouth-to-mouth.
                         
          The gang watches on tense as hell.
                         
          Squints peeks at them through a secretly opened eye. As the
          Lifeguard is "saving" his sneaky life, Squints can no longer
          restrain himself, he grabs her - gives her a sloppy SMOOCH!
          She tears away. Stands up over his wimpy little form:
                         
                          LIFEGUARD
           You little pervert!
                         
          She grabs Squints by the scruff of the neck. Run-walks him
          toward the exit, and...
                          51
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. PUBLIC POOL - DAY
                         
          ...chucks his boney butt into the hedges. The guys scramble
          out, dragging their clothes after them. They help Squints
          up.
                         
                          HAM
           Did you plan that?!
                         
                          SQUINTS
           A'course I did. Been plannin' it for
           years.
                         
          They let Squints walk out front:
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Michael "Squints" Palledorous walked a
           little taller that day. And we had to
           tip our hats to him. He was lucky she
           hadn't beat the crap out of him. We
           wouldn't have blamed her. What he'd
           done was sneaky, rotten and low.
                          (BEAT)
           And cool.
                          (BEAT)
           Not another one among us would've ever,
           even for a million dollars, had the
           guts to put the move on the Lifeguard.
           He did. He had kissed a woman. And
           he kissed her long and good.
                          (BEAT)
           We got banned from the pool forever
           that day... but every time we walked
           by after that, the Lifeguard looked
           down from her watchtower, right over
           at Squints... and smiled.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty pours over his "Baseball Stuff To Remember" list: 2.
          Maury Wills, 3. Mickey Mantle, 4. Willie Mays, 5. Hank Aaron,
          6. Stan Musial, 7. Lou Brock, 8. Luis Aparicio, 9. Brooks
          Robinson, 10. Frank Robinson, 11. Bob Uecker. Right Field is
          near the green fence. Left Field is in the left. Double play
          gets two outs. Triple play is impossible. Single is good.
          Double is better. Home run is best. And, ominously, "Don't
          get in a pickle or you're dead!" And one entry that's double
          question marked: 1. The Great Bambino??
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - SUNSET
                         
          The Guys play in magic hour. CRACK!
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          52
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          jolts a high fly to
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          in right field. No problem now. He backpedals, judging.
                         CLOSER TO
                         
          MR. MERTLE'S FENCE
                         
          then, SNATCH! Scotty makes a clean catch.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          gives Scotty "Thumbs Up." Just as
                         
                         SCOTTY'S
                         
          gonna throw the ball back, he shivers, noticing that the sun
          has fallen to a precise declination; its rays focused behind
          the glowing green fiberglass of
                         
          MR. MERTLE'S FENCE
                         
          against which a hulking black form rises in the backyard...
          blocking out the sun against the panels. A gargantuan shadow.
                         
          THE SUN GOES DOWN
                         
          The shadow vanishes. TRIBAL DRUMS SOUND far in the distance.
          The oleander bushes rustle menacingly, like...
                         
           MATCH DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          EXT. JUNGLE - B&W - NIGHT - (ORIGINAL "KING KONG,"
                         1932 - STOCK)
                         
          ...a wall of tropical foliage. Frightening. Primordial.
          (NOTE: the scene with NATIVES atop the wall when Kong grabs
          Fay Wray.)
                         
          INT. BOYS CLUB AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
                         
          ON THE PROJECTOR SCREEN King Kong rips through the jungle.
                         
                         THE GANG'S
                         
          here with 100 OTHER BOYS at the afternoon show.
                         
          EXT. BOYS CLUB AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
                         
          The gang gathers. Ham bursts out behind the gang as Kong!
                         
                         
                          
                          53
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          HAM
           Eee! Eee! Eee! Oh! Oh! Oh!
                         
          The guys SCREAM - spin to face the Ham. He BUSTS UP.
                         
                          HAM (CONT'D)
           Hey, check me out! I'm the mighty
           King Kong!
                          (DODGING BLOWS)
           Hey! C'mon! It was a joke, ya dopes!
           Do I _look_ like a monkey?!
                         
                         A GROUP
                         
          of other kids comes out behind them. LITTLE LEAGUERS. Matching
          caps and shirts. The gang straightens up.
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Yeah. Ya smell like one too. Hey
           guys, it's the sandlot babies!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 2
           Skin yer knees lately sliding on rocks?!
                         
                          HAM
           Shut up, blockhead.
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 2
           What're you gonna do, Porter, sit on
           me?!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Rodriquez, why do hang around with
           these rejects, man? You could be
           playin' with us on a official American
           Youth League certified big time diamond.
           You'd make the Allstar team easy.
                         
                          BENNY
           Play us and you'll find out why,
           Phillips.
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Forget it, we play real ball, not with
           toy bats and sneakers!
                         
          The punks head off, LAUGHING as they go. Benny glares at
          them.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Benny, man, are we gonna let 'em get
           away with that?!
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          54
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah. For now. Let's go.
                         
          EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD SIDEWALK - NIGHT
                         
          The guys 'round a corner and continue on. They fall serious.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           You think he really died in the end?
                         
                          BENNY
           Who?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           King Kong...
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Not possible. He's so big that fallin'
           off the Empire State's just like us
           fallin' off a roof... he's alive.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           So whadda you think happened to him?
                         
          Heads are scratched. Chins are rubbed. Thoughts are thunk.
                         
                          TIMMY
           Most likely.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Hey, guys? Has anyone ever really
           seen The Beast?
                         
          THE GANG STOPS
                         
          except Scotty, he goes forward - turns back.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Look, Smalls. You ever seen King Kong
           for real? In person, I mean?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           No. But -
                         
                          SQUINTS
           - well, he's real right?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, a'course.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           And he's still out there somewhere
           right?
                         
                         
                          
                          55
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           See, there's just somethings that are.
           Ya know, stuff that it's better not to
           talk about... 'cause thinkin' about it
           just makes it worse.
                          (BEAT)
           Nobody has to see The Beast to know
           he's there.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (HORRIFIED THOUGHT)
           You don't think that The Beast is
           really...
                         
          Motionless silence. No one's ever considered this. They
          suddenly realize where they are:
                         
          EXT. MR. MERTLE'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Denial kicks in as they carry on:
                         
                          GANG
           King Kong? Naw! God is that stupid!
           No stinkin' way! Oh boy, had me feelin'
           like a douf there for a minute! Whew,
           what a relief!
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT ALLEYWAY - NIGHT
                         
          FROM THIS HEIGHT WE SEE them round the corner, and carry on
          past the sandlot. Little debating specks, far away from us,
          and the cares of the world.
                         
                          HAM
           Hey, who d'ya think'd win in a fight,
           King Kong or Godzilla?
                         
                          GANG
           Godzilla. King Kong. 'Zilla! Kong!
           'ZILLA! KONG!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, wait a sec, maybe they'll
           do a movie someday and we'll find out.
                         
                          GANG
           Yeah. That would be cool. I'd see
           that. Kong would kick his ass. No
           way, 'Zilla's got that fire breath
           stuff, he'd fry the monkey!
                          56
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. DODGER STADIUM - ESTABLISHING - 1962 - DAY
                         
          The gang heads toward hallowed halls.
                         
          INT. DODGER STADIUM - TUNNEL - DAY
                         
          Footsteps echo as the gang walks along, alone, in awe.
                         
          EXT. DODGER STADIUM - INFIELD - DAY
                         
          The '62 DODGERS (and our gang's Home Team) are taking batting
          practice.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          and a bunch of kids at the infield railing. Autograph signing.
          Benny sticks his glove through the crowd up to a certain
          player.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Besides The Great Bambino, who I still
           had no clue about, Benny had one living
           hero.
                         
                         MAURY WILLS
                         
          autographs Benny's glove. Hands it back to...
                         
          INT. BENNY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY
                         
          ...Benny who's suddenly here watching a baseball game. The
          gang's with him.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, here he comes. He's gonna
           steal second.
                         
                          BENNY
           Naw he ain't, not yet.
                         
          TELEVISION - STOCK '62 DODGER GAME
                         
          Maury Wills on 1st. Taunting the pitcher. Big lead off.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           A guy that would break the stolen bases
           record that year that had stood for as
           many years as there were baseball's
           lost to The Beast.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          can't wait for Wills to go.
                         
                         
                          
                          57
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          GANG
           He's gonna go, Benny. Here he goes,
           man. Right now, watch, watch. There,
           there!
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          leans forward seriously.
                         
                          BENNY
           No... not yet.
                         
          TELEVISION - STOCK '62 DODGER GAME
                         
          Maury Wills gets ready to steal.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Maury Wills became a hero for what he
           did.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          watches intensely.
                         
                          BENNY
           He's... gonna... go... riiiight...
           now.
                         
          TELEVISION - STOCK '62 DODGER GAME
                         
          Maury Wills steals second.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          smiles to himself.
                         
                          GANG
                          (CLUELESS)
           How'd you know that? How'd you guess?
           How'd ya know?
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Benny... would become a Legend.
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DUSK
                         
          Scotty opens the front door, BENNY'S THERE. 4th of July party
          inside. All ADULTS.
                         
                          BENNY
                          (URGENT)
           Get your glove, c'mon.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          58
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           What's the big deal?
                         
                          BENNY
           Nightgame!
                         
          EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD HORIZON - DUSK
                         
          The sun is setting.
                         
          EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET ON WAY TO SANDLOT - DUSK
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          hurries along with their ball gear, through a Block party of
          bubble-topped BBQ's attended by APRONED DADS grillin' dogs n'
          burgers.
                         
                         KIDS
                         
          clutching "Red Devil" fireworks, timing the sinking sun.
                         
                         MOMS
                         
          pouring iced tea.
                         
                         HAM
                         
          pilfers dog makin's from various Q's. Concocts a two-fisted
          doglog! He catches up to
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          marching away into the SETTING SUN.
                         
          A LONG LINE OF FIREWORKS
                         
          in the street.
                         
                         MATCH HEADS
                         
          are lit.
                         
          YELLOW MATCH FLAMES
                         
          The SAME SIZE IN FRAME as our guys at the end of the block,
          are set to fuses.
                         
          DADS AND KIDS
                         
          rush for the curbs... and
                          59
                         
                         
                         
                         
          THE FIRECONES FLOW INTO THE SKY
                         
          in kaleidoscopic columns of star-hot colors.
                         
           MATCH DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - NIGHT
                         
          BURSTING FIREWORKS IN THE SKY down from which WE TILT TO
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          playing hard beneath them. Snap throws. Basket catches.
          Snatching grounders.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           There was only one nightgame a year.
           On the Fourth of July, the whole sky
           would brighten up with fireworks, giving
           us just enough light for a game.
                          (BEAT)
           We played better then too. Because I
           guess, we all felt like Big Leaguers
           under the lights at some great stadium.
                          (BEAT)
           Benny felt like that all the time.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          Knocks dirt from his p.f. flyers. Twirls the bat. Cocks it
          back. Coils up 'round his back leg.
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          delivers. Fastball.
                         
          CRUNCH!
                         
          Ash meets cowhide.
                         
                         FIREWORKS EXPLODE
                         
          high above them.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          stops play and marvels up at the colors.
                         
                         SCOTTY'S
                         
          a little kid with a too-big mitt and floppy cap, goggling up
          at the fireworks. The ball lands by him. He retrieves it.
          Is about to throw - stops.
                         
                         
                          
                          60
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         EVERYONE'S
                         
          staring at Benny up at
                         
                         HOME PLATE
                         
          bat slung second-naturedly over his shoulder... a real ball
          player.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           We all knew Benny was different. We
           knew that he was gonna go on to bigger
           and better games.
                          (BEAT)
           Because everytime we stopped to watch
           the sky that night like regular kids,
           Benny was there to call us back.
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          pitches.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          cranks one to kingdom come.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           For him, baseball wasn't just a game.
           For Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez...
                         
          A FINAL FIREWORK EXPLODES
                         
          in a beautiful burst above them.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           ...baseball was life.
                         
           MATCH DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          The gang is still in the same positions. As if having never
          left.
                         
                         HAM
                         
          fires to 3rd from home.
                         
                         INFIELD
                         
          Ham and Repeat catch Benny in a pickle. Benny feints, dodges
          and rubba-legs them. He crosses home easily.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          61
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          TIMMY
           Truly rubba legs.
                         
                          REPEAT
           Truly rubba legs.
                         
          THE LITTLE LEAGUERS
                         
          show up on their bikes.
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 2
           It's easy when you play with rejects
           and fat kids, Rodriquez.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          marches over. The gang follows.
                         
                          BENNY
           What'id you say, crapface?
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           He said, they shouldn't be allowed to
           even touch a baseball. They're an
           insult to the game.
                         
          That did it! Ham rushes the punk. The gang holds him back.
                         
                          HAM
           Come on! We'll take you on right here,
           right now! Come on! Right now!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           We play on a real diamond, Porter. And
           you ain't good enough to lick the dirt
           off our cleats.
                         
                          HAM
           Watch yer mouth, jerk!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Shut up, dipshit!
                         
                          HAM
           Asshole!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Scab eater!
                         
                          HAM
           Butt sniffer!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Pus licker!
                         
                          
                          62
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          HAM
           Fart smeller!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Dog crap for breakfast eatin' geek!
                         
                          HAM
           You mix yer Wheaties with your momma's
           toe jam!
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           You bob for apples in your toilet, and
           you like it!
                         
          The teams GASP. Then:
                         
                          HAM
           YOU PLAY BALL LIKE A GIRL!
                         
          THUNDERING SILENCE. The ultimate baseball insult.
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           What did you say?
                         
                          HAM
           You heard me.
                         
                          LEAGUER PUNK 1
           Tomorrow. Sun-up. At our field. Be
           there, buffalo-butt breath.
                         
                          HAM
           Count on it, pee drinkin' craphead.
                         
          EXT. LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD - DAWN
                         
          Ham raises his catcher's mask:
                         
                          HAM
           PLAAAAAAAY BALLLLLLLL!
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
                         STRIKES OUT
                         
                         BATTER 1
                         
          Whif. Whif. Whif.
                         
                         BATTER 2
                         
                         GROUNDS TO
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          63
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH
                         
          at short. He stabs it. Fires to
                         
                         FIRST BASE
                         
          outta there.
                         
                         BATTER 3
                         
          hits a lazy fly ball to
                         
          RIGHT CENTER FIELD
                         
          where Scotty and Bertram run for it - watching the ball, not
                         EACH OTHER:
                         
                          SCOTTY/BERTRAM
           I got it. I got it.
                         
          They stop - the ball drops between them.
                         
           SCOTTY/BERTRAM (CONT'D)
           I thought you had it.
                         
                         BATTER 3
                         
          rounds 2nd base.
                         
                          BENNY
           Somebody get it!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          picks it up and fires for home for all he's worth.
                         
                         BATTER 3
                         
          rounds 3rd.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          rockets toward Home.
                         
                         BATTER 3
                         
          slides in a cloud of dust.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
                         BLASTS INTO
                         
                          
                          64
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         HAM'S MITT
                         
          and Ham drags the baseline.
                         
          THE DUST CLEARS
                         
          Ham's got him tagged. Ham goes Jackie Gleasonaic:
                         
                          HAM
           You - are - out - of - here! Out!
           Gone! Dead! To the moon! Roger,
           Wilco, Over and OUT!
                         
          Ham abruptly stops Cramdoning because
                         
                         EVERYBODY'S LOOKING
                         
          at him.
                         
                          HAM (CONT'D)
           Ah, you're out.
                         
                          DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          EXT. LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD - DAY
                         
          Benny's at bat. BANG! Single to left. Throw to 1st - too
          late. Throw to 2nd - too late. Throw to 3rd - he's on his
          way home. Throw to home - safe!
                         
                         THE LEAGUERS
                         
          gawk; an inside the park home run.
                         
                          BENNY
                          (TO CATCHER)
           That's one. Get used to it.
                         
          HIGH ABOVE FIELD, A SERIES OF ECU'S OF
                         
          the gang belting shot after shot. Rounding base after base.
          Crossing home.
                         
          EXT. VACANT LOT - DAY
                         
          (Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah" scene.) The
          guys strut along, air-batting, mime-catching. Benny RIPS a
          momentous victory slide.
                         
          EXT. CARNIVAL - NIGHT
                         
          The gang comes down the midway and stops at a ticket booth
          for a ride we don't yet see. As they buy their tickets:
                         
                         
                          
                          65
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BENNY
           Crack! Boom! Outta here! You see
           the looks on their faces? Did ya? It
           was like, "Duh... so that's how you
           play baseball."
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Crap! I almost forgot. Chaw!
                         
          He holds up a pounch of chewin' 'baccy.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          gathers 'round.
                         
                          BERTRAM (CONT'D)
           I was savin' it for a good time.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           What is it?
                         
                          HAM
           Geez, Smalls... I s'pose you don't who
           The Babe is either. It's chaw. Plug.
           Wad. Chewing Tobacco!
                         
          Bertram passes it around. Everybody sniffs.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Whadda you do with it?
                         
                          HAM
           You're killin' me, Smalls. You chew
           it, of course.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           All the pros do.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, gives ya tons of energy.
                         
                          TIMMY
           Let's dip.
                         
                          REPEAT
           Let's dip.
                         
          Bertram pinches a too-huge wad. Stuffs it in his mouth. The
          bag goes around. All cud up.
                         
                          BENNY
           Smooth.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          66
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          HAM
           Juicy.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Tangy.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Kinda tastes like an ashtray smells.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           Supposed to.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Let's ride.
                         
          The gang gets on the ride: THE ANTI-GRAV!
                         
          EXT. CARNIVAL - ABOARD ANTI-GRAV - NIGHT
                         
          As they ride, and spin round and round and round... the brown
          glop falls from their mouths. They all watch
                         
                         BERTRAM
                         
          who turns salmon... yellow... green. Then, presumably
                         
          EXT. ANTI-GRAV - NIGHT
                         
          yawns breakfast, lunch, and dinner like a firehose. At least
          that's what WE HEAR as the ride spins vertical - that, and a
          host of blood curddling SCREAMS from vom-victims. As the
                         RIDERS DISEMBARK
                         
          A BARF CHAIN REACTION
                         
          ensues. They all running SCREAMING from the ride and lose
          it.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT ALLEYWAY - NIGHT
                         
          The gang wobbles, MOANING as they go. Ham is strangely
          unaffected he unpockets a fistful of some digusting glorp:
                         
          The guys lose it. WE DRIFT off them and their predicament to
                         
                         THE HOLE
                         
          in the green fiberglass fence. An EYEBALL - big, bloodshot
          and amused. GUTTURAL PANTING... The Beast is LAUGHING at
          them.
                          67
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Scotty's cod belly white and jelly fish limp, from a long
          bout of the chuckies.
                         
          Bill tosses his luggage in the car trunk. Scotty's mom leans
          out the driver's window.
                         
                          MOM
           I'll be back in an hour, Scotty, I'm
           taking Dad to the airport.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (STILL WOOZY)
           'Kay. Where you goin'?
                         
                          BILL
           Chicago, on business for a week. Listen,
           Scott, while I'm gone, you're the man
           of the house. Understand?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, I guess so.
                         
                          BILL
           We'll take another stab at catch when
           I get back, okay? So, take care of
           things while I'm gone. I'm counting
           on you.
                         
          He offers his hand to Scotty. They shake.
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (PERKING UP)
           Okay. I will.
                         
          EXT. FIVE & DIME - DAY
                         
          The gang comes out with a new boxed baseball. Each has a
          pack of Topps. A bag of Bazooka.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Once we got over trying to be big shots,
           we just stuck to what we could handle,
           and swore off the hard stuff forever.
           When we finally got back together for
           some baseball, something amazing
           happened.
                          (BEAT)
           It was an omen... one that was meant
           just for Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez.
                          68
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          They tear open their packs of baseball cards. First things
          first - they eat the gum sticks. Then, shuffle through the
          cards looking for gold.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Whad'ya get, Ham?
                         
                          HAM
           A Mickey Mantle and 7 guys I never
           heard of. How 'bout you?
                         
                          SQUINTS
           A Brooks Robinson and a Koufax. Pretty
           good.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           I got junk.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           One Drysdale, a bunch a duds.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, me too. Four bombs, but
           one Whitey Ford.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Benny, whad -
                         
          The guys notice
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          staring down at the cards in his hands. He slowly shuffles
          them top to bottom... top to bottom.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          moves over, concerned.
                         
                          HAM
           Hey, Benny, whatsa matter?
                         
                          BERTRAM
           You okay, man?
                         
          Benny slowly raises his eyes. Slowly holds the cards out to
          Squints, who takes them cautiously. Squints shuffles them
          forwards and backwards. He passes the eight cards amongst
          them all.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Oh, my God...
                         
                          
                          69
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          TIMMY
           Imfuckingpossible.
           (ALTERNATE LINE, same
                          BELOW)
           Unstinkinbelievable!
                         
                          REPEAT
           Imfuckingpossible. Don't tell mom I
           said that tim.
                         
                          TIMMY
           I won't.
                         
                          HAM
           This can't happen... can it?
                         
                          BERTRAM
           It just did.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, it's an omen.
                         
          Squints hands the cards back to the Benny, who takes home
          plate alone.
                         
          EIGHT IDENTICAL MAURY WILLS CARDS
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          can only stare at him. Suddenly, Squints clutches his ear
                         PLUG:
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Oh geez... Oh geez. I - I don't believe
           it. Maury Wills just stole 80 bases!
                         
          The guys are boggled.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          picks up a bat.
                         
                          BENNY
           We gotta play. I gotta play right
           now, guys. Right now.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          obeys. They hurry into the field. As they go:
                         
                          SCOTTY
           What's it mean?
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          70
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SQUINTS
           It's a miracle, Smalls. A damn miracle.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           We all expected something to happen
           right then... during that game. What
           we had just witnessed was bordering on
           the supernatural... we knew that greater
           hands than ours were at work.
                          (BEAT)
           And it happened alright.
                          (BEAT)
           It happened right in front of our
           noses... and we didn't even know it.
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          delivers.
                         
          CRACK!
                         
          Magic dust EXPLODES from Benny's bat. The red lacing BURSTS!
                         
                         THE BASEBALL
                         
          dermis flays. The string-wound innards fly into
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH'S GLOVE
                         
          in left field. The cowhide "figure 8's" lay there in
                         
                         THE INFIELD
                         
          like huge swatted moths. The guys gather 'round.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Bitchin'.
                         
                          BENNY
           Naw, it ain't.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           C'mon, Benny, maybe two, three guys in
           history have ever busted the guts out
           of a ball. That's what the omen was.
                         
                          GANG
           Truly. Sure. Absolutely. Yeah-yeah,
           Benny. It must be so.
                         
                          BENNY
           All's it means is that we can't play
           no more. It's only noon, and I just
           blew the whole day for us.
                         
                          
                          71
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           No, you didn't. It's the most amazing
           thing I ever seen.
                         
                          BENNY
           Anybody got any money?
                          (NO ANSWER)
           Then it ain't okay, 'cause now we can't
           play no more.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, we can.
                         
                          BENNY
           What, you got 98 extra cents just layin'
           around at home, Smalls?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           No, but I got a ball.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          INT. BILL'S DEN - DAY
                         
          A BASEBALL on a silver pedestal (Bill's baseball). Scotty's
          HAND ENTERS FRAME. His indecisive FINGERS almost touch the
          ball... then, SNATCH!
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          Scotty dashes across the schoolyard.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           (out of breath)
           I got it! Let's play!
                         
          He tosses the ball to
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          who catches it.
                         
                          BENNY
           Bitchin'. Your ball, your ups.
                         
          Benny hands Scotty the bat, heads to right field, leaving
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          alone at home plate with Ham (the catcher).
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          tosses DeNunez the ball on his way by.
                         
                          
                          72
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          almost misses it. He rounds up, throws to
                         
                         BERTRAM
                         
          at 1st. Bertram throws to
                         
                         TIMMY
                         
          at 2nd. Timmy almost drops it. There's a smudge on the ball.
          Timmy tosses to
                         
                         REPEAT
                         
          at 3rd. Repeat fires to
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH
                         
          in left. The ball caroms off Yeah-Yeah's glove, comes down
          fast! Yeah-Yeah barehands it. Safe. He launches to
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          in center. It's gonna be short! Squints sprints - Willy
          Mays basket catch. He throws to DeNunez.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          digs in.
                         
                          HAM
           Batter up!
                         
                         DENUNEZ
                         
          fires. Scotty swings - WHIFF. Again - whif. Once more...
                         
          BOOM! Goodnight, Irene! Scotty drops the bat. Trots for
          first base in "home run" fashion.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          backpeddles.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          watches him, slowing, worrying.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          drops over the green fiberglass fence.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          73
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          stops dead in the base path.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
                         CHEERS:
                         
                          TIMMY
           Nice crank, Smalls.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           Decent cut.
                         
                          BENNY
           It's outta here! Who's got the big
           bat now, boys!
                         
                          GANG
           Smalls. Smalls. Smalls. Smalls.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          is drawn to the fence with mounting terror.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          starts over.
                         
                          HAM
           What the hell's he doing?
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Maybe the shock of his first homer was
           just too much for him.
                         
          AT THE GREEN FIBERGLASS FENCE
                         
          Scotty runs right up to it - clutches desperately. Panting.
          Trembling. The guys arrive. Scotty turns back to them... he
          has aged 25 years.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           We gotta get that ball back.
                         
                          HAM
           Right! Good one, Smalls.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Sure. We'll just hop over and say,
           excuse me Mr. Beast sir, could we have
           our ball back, oh, and please don't
           kill us while we're here!
                         
                         
                          
                          74
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          BENNY
           It was a great shot, but forget about
           it... game's over. We'll get another
           ball.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           You don't understand!
                         
                          BENNY
           Sure we do. You feel bad 'cause you
           belted a homer, and now we can't play
           no more.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           No! You don't understand! THAT WASN'T
           MY BALL!
                         
          THE GANG'S POV
                         
          of something moving in the backyard. Just a rippling shadow
          and trailing dust accompanying it over the fence top.
                         
                         THE GANG'S
                         
          eyes go to Scotty.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Whadda you mean it wasn't your ball?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           It's my stepdad's. I stole it from
           his trophy room. It was a present or
           soemthing - somebody gave it to him.
           We have to get it back. He's gonna
           kill me!
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Smalls... listen to me. This is a
           matter of life and death.
                          (THINKS)
           Where did your old man get that ball?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I dunno... I think some lady gave it
           to him.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Some lady?...
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, she even signed her name on it.
                          (THE END)
           Some lady named Ruth... Baby Ruth.
                         
                         
                          
                          75
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         EYEBALLS
                         
          pop from their sockets.
                         
                          GANG
           BAAAYYYBE RUUUUUTH?!
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          sprints for the fence. Scramble up it. Just their eyes peer
          over the top.
                         
          WHAT THEY SEE
                         
          a baseball in a little impact crater. A ball that has most
          clearly been autographed by... BABE RUTH.
                         
          A long, hideous forelimb thrusts from 'neath the lean-to. A
          massive paw-thing comes down on the ball. Drags it slowly
          away... leaving a baseball-deep furrow in the dirt. The
                         
          CANINE "LAUGHTER" comes again...
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          drops from the fence - turn to face Scotty.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           The Beast got it.
                         
                          TIMMY
           You're dead as a doornail, Smalls.
                         
                          REPEAT
           You're dead as a doornail, Smalls.
                         
                          TIMMY
           Nice knowing you.
                         
                          REPEAT
           Nice knowing -
                         
                          TIMMY
           - shut up, Tommy.
                          (STUNNED)
           Smalls, you mean to tell me you went
           home and swiped a ball that was signed
           by Babe Ruth, and brought it out here
           and actually played with it?
                         
                          REPEAT
           And actually played with it?!
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          76
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, but I was gonna put it back.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           But it was signed by Babe Ruth!
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Well, who is she?!
                         
                          HAM
           What?! What?!
                          (OVERCOME)
           What did he say?!
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           The Sultan of Swat!
                         
                          BERTRAM
           The King of Krash!
                         
                          REPEAT/TIMMY
           The Colossus of Clout!
                         
                          GANG
           BABE RUTH!
                         
                          HAM
           (for good measure)
           The Great Bambino!
                         
                          SCOTTY
           (that did it)
           OH, MY GOD! THAT'S THE SAME GUY?!
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah. Smalls, Babe Ruth is the greatest
           baseball player that ever lived. People
           say he was less than a God, but more
           than a man. Ya know... like Hercules
           or somethin'.
                          (BEAT)
           The ball that you just aced to The
           Beast is worth... well, more than your
           whole life.
                         
          Scotty falls to his knees. Grabs his stomach.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I don't feel so good.
                         
          They all step back, expecting the worst. Then, they fan him
          with their baseball caps.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          77
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
                          (HEARTFELT)
           We gotta get that ball back.
                         
                          BENNY
           When does your old man get home from
           work?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           He's gone on business for a week.
                         
                          BENNY
           Okay, we need 98 cents. So, everybody
           spread out and find some soda bottles
           and cash 'em in. We need a new
           baseball.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          A BRAND NEW BASEBALL
                         
          Benny's hand signs B A B E R U T H across the leather in
          ridiculous chicken scrawl.
                         
          EXT. FIVE & DIME - DAY
                         
          Forgery in progress. Benny does the honors.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           I dunno, Benny-man.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, it's pretty crappy.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           He ain't gonna buy that, Benny. It
           doesn't look anything like the Babe's
           signature.
                         
                          BENNY
           It doesn't matter what it looks like.
           His mom's never gonna know the
           difference. This'll just buy us some
           time, ya dorks.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          INT. BILL'S DEN - DAY
                         
          Scotty's HAND ENTERS FRAME. Little anxious FINGERS wrapped
          around the phony "Babe Ruth" baseball. The second the ball
          is back on its pedestal:
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          78
                         
                         
                          
                         
           MOM (O.S.)
           Scotty?
                         
                         DEN
                         
          Scotty whips 'round like he's been slapped by a wet mackerel -
          Mom's in the doorway.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Huh?!
                         
                          MOM
           Honey, what are you doing in here?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Ah... just looking at Bill's - I mean
           Dad's baseball.
                         
          Scotty hurries away from the "autographed" ball.
                         
                          MOM
           You know he doesn't like you touching
           his things.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yeah, I know. Sorry, Mom.
                         
                          MOM
           Has he ever told you about that ball?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Uh - no, not really, I don't think so -
           no, he hasn't at all - I don't know
           _anything_ about it.
                         
                          MOM
           It's signed by Babe Ruth...
                         
          Sweet mother of - Mom knows! Scotty may collapse.
                         
                          MOM (CONT'D)
           ...the greatest baseball player that
           ever lived.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Um... really?
                         
                          MOM
           It sure is. Dad's father gave it to
           him. Maybe someday, he'll give it to
           you.
                         
                          
                          79
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (DAZED)
           Uh... neat.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           It was salt in an open wound. Even my
           own mom, who was only a grown-up girl,
           knew who Babe Ruth was.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          The gang's all here. Big plans. War conference.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           So, how do we get it back?
                         
                          SQUINTS
           I have no idea.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           I was dead meat. I knew it. They
           knew it. We had thought that those
           cards Benny had gotten meant that
           something great was going to happen.
           Now I figured that they'd just meant
           my life was over.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Can't we just hop the fence and get
           it?
                         
                          HAM
           Remember Davy Stodenrous.
                         
                          TIMMY/REPEAT
           Poor Toad.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Oh, yeah. I forgot.
                          (A THOUGHT)
           Hey? Why don't we just go over there
           and knock on the door, and ask Mr.
           Mertle to get it for us?
                         
          Everyone looks at Scotty - the kid just sprouted a dunce cap.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Are you outta your mind?! Mr. Mertle
           is the meanest old man that ever lived!
           He's the one that sicked The Beast on
           The Toad!
                          (BEAT)
           That's not an option, Smalls. Forget
           about it.
                         
                          
                          80
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Oh. Okay. I will.
                         
          Silent moments... not a single blinking idea between them.
          Then, suddenly:
                         
                          SQUINTS
           We need to assess the situation!
                         
                          GANG
           (better than nothing)
           Of course! Right! Good one, Squints!
           Access (sic) the situation! Okay!
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Um, Squints? How do we do that?
                         
                          SQUINTS
           First we survey the enemy's environment,
           then we make note of the surrounding
           terrain.
                         
                          HAM
           What?...
                         
                          SQUINTS
                          (COPPING)
           I heard that on "Combat." Let's just
           look out the window.
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          The gang pokes their heads-only through the window. They
          look down into:
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS (MR. MERTLE'S BACKYARD) - DAY
                         
          The house is a godforsaken stucco'd corpse.
                         
                         THE YARD
                         
          is the final resting place for: melted frisbees, withered
          kickballs, skeletons of heat-crumbled paper kites, an airforce
          of exposure-splintered balsa wood gliders, and a fleet of
          model rockets - their drag-chutes turning to dust. And
          hundreds of little empty craters - that used to cradle
          baseballs.
                         
          THE RUSTY TOW CHAIN
                         
          snakes through the dirt - buried then exposed. It terminates
                         'NEATH
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          81
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE LEAN-TO
                         
          from under which rises hazy twirls of dust. The dust is kept
          from ever settling by some enormous ORGANIC EXHAUST.
                         
          A GIANT PAW-THING
                         
          emerges from under the lean-to, pushing the Babe Ruth
          autographed cowhide into full view - "I dare you..."
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          The guys jerk their heads back inside.
                         
                          TIMMY
           He's darin' us!
                         
                          REPEAT
           He's darin' us!
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           He's waitin' for us, man. Just like
           he did with The Toad.
                         
                          GANG
                          (REVERENT)
           Poor Toad.
                         
                          HAM
           We're on his territory now.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Think he's pissed?
                         
                          BENNY
           Is Doby Gillis a dork? Anybody got
           any bright ideas?
                         
          THE BIG MONTAGE STARTS WITH:
                         
          A tree house debate. Much shouting. Much disagreement.
          Many hands miming mechanical contraptions.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           We had absolutely no idea what the
           hell we were gonna do. So things
           started primitively.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MR. MERTLE'S FENCE - DAY
                         
          The gang hurries out from the Timmons' yard carrying a broom
          stick. They wriggle it under the fiberglass fence. Squints
          peers through the peep hole motioning directions to Ham.
          Suddenly - SNAP! Ham pulls the stick back. 'Tis toothpick'd.
                          82
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          The guys fell the clothes line pole with a hack saw. 6 feet
          of inch thick pipe. They heft it up - go out to
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MR. MERTLE'S FENCE - DAY
                         
          and shove the pipe under the green fiberglass. HORRIBLE SOUNDS
          ERUPT from the Badlands. Dust mushrooms over the fence. The
          pipe draws under in FEROCIOUS JERKS. Gone. Moments. The
          pole sails back over the fence - bounces on the asphalt with
          ANGRY CLANGS. 'Tis pretzel'd.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Bertram arrives. Hands "it" over. How embarrassing:
                         
                          BERTRAM
           It ain't mine. I told you, it's my
           little sister's!
                         
          A Cootie Toy. They
                         
          ASSEMBLE THE INSECT
                         
          putting a hunk of chewed 'zooka on each Cootie foot. Attach
          it to a plastic parachute - ah-ha! Genius. An airborne
          assault!
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MR. MERTLE'S FENCE - DAY
                         
          Squints indicates "go."
                         
          INT./EXT. TREE HOUSE - THE BADLANDS - DAY
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
                         DRIFTS THE
                         
          COOTIE N' CHUTE
                         
          out the tree house window. It floats silently toward the
          baseball. The Cootie lands right on the Babe Ruth. The gum
          sticks.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          hauls it in.
                         
                         THE BALL
                         
          slowly rises. Suddenly
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          83
                         
                         
                          
                         
          THE BEAST'S JAWS
                         
          erupt from 'neath the lean-to and CHOMP the Cootie whole.
          The string snaps.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          pulls up the frayed end.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          Now a War Room. Map of the Badlands: crazed trajectories,
          distances to The Beast, etc. Coffee can PBX system. Cardboard
          periscope. X's on a calendar counting down "Bill's Return."
          The new retreival system:
                         
          THREE EUREKA CANISTER VACS
                         
          all connected. Ham's catcher's mask bolted to the end pipe
          for ball securing.
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - OVER THE BADLANDS - NIGHT
                         
          Toy flashlights and BSOA lanterns hang from the structure,
          semi-illuminating the Badlands.
                         
          OUT THE WINDOW
                         
          goes the vacuumtraption, 30 feet of wobbly pipe.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MR. MERTLE'S FENCE - NIGHT
                         
          Squints directs the operation, looking
                         
          THROUGH THE CARDBOARD PERISCOPE
                         
          WE SEE the vacupipe-mask... 12 inches from the baseball.
                         
           SQUINTS (O.S.)
           (coffee can muffled)
           A-okay. Roger, affirmative. Initiate
           retreival suction.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          They throw eureka switch one. WEOHH!
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - NIGHT
                         
          The baseball moves itty-bittily.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          They throw eureka switch two. WEEOOOHHH!
                          84
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. BADLANDS - NIGHT
                         
          THE BASEBALL moves a lot!
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          They throw eureka switch three! RRRWWEEEOOOHHH!
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - NIGHT
                         
          The baseball leaps from the ground - sticks in the catcher's
          mask collection basket.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MR. MERTLE'S FENCE - NIGHT
                         
           SQUINTS (O.S.)
           We have suction! Pull it up! PULL IT
           UP!
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          The gang reels it in. Suddenly, the whole apparatus JOLTS.
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - NIGHT
                         
          A great beef-paw yanks the end pipe under the tree.
                         
                         STEEL TEETH
                         
          pinch the metal tube shut.
                         
          INT./EXT. TREE HOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          The vacuums build pressure fast. WHINE crazily.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          leaps from tree house.
                         
                         SQUINTS
                         
          lingers in the trap doorway a second too long:
                         
          EXT. TREEHOUSE - NIGHT
                         
          The gang (minus Squints) is face down in the dirt - arms over
          heads. The vacuums explode. Foggy clouds of dust pour out
          of the treehouse. Squints appears. He's battleship grey.
          Takes his glasses off. Only his eyes show white.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           We've been going about this all wrong.
           I blame myself. We need total surprise.
                          (MORE)
                         
                          
                          85
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SQUINTS (CONT'D)
           Therefore, we tunnel. The Beast will
           never expect it.
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          The guys all wield a shovel, and have flashlights taped to
          their baseball caps like coal miners.
                         
          INT. UNDERGROUND TUNNEL - DAY (DARK)
                         
          Flashlight beam at the fore, Scotty crawls with a safety rope
          'round his waist. He pokes the cardboard periscope up through
          the dirt.
                         
          THROUGH THE PERISCOPE
                         
          the Badlands from ULTRA LOW ground level. WE SCAN 360 degrees.
          Suddenly, the scan stops. The name B A B E R U T H, FILLS
          the periscope's lens.
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          Scotty's hand feels for the Babe Ruth. He grabs it. It's
          slimey.
                         
           SCOTTY (O.S.)
                          (SUBTERRANEAN)
           I got it! I got it!
                         
          The ball SQUIRTS out of his fingers.
                         
          THE BALL ROLLS
                         
          beneath the lean-to. It hits
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          in the nose. With a SEISMIC ROAR The Beast leaps out. WE
          DON'T SEE MUCH. He's too big. We're too close.
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Yeah-Yeah SHOUTS to Ham at the tunnel entrance.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           It's huge - oh, my God! It's huge -
           pull him out! It's huge! PULL HIM
           OUT!
                         
          EXT. BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          THE BEAST'S JAWS dive toward Scotty's hand. They get within
          an inch of Scotty's hand, and his fingers vanish - THWOOOP!
                          86
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          The gang pulls Scotty out of the hole. Yeah-Yeah is
          unconscious on the grass. The guys turn a hose on him. He
          comes 'round SCREAMING:
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           It's huge - pull him out! Oh God,
           it's like a dinosaur! Wh - Wh - Where
           am I?!
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Yeah-Yeah! Get hold of yourself! What'd
           you see?!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           (accelerating to lunacy)
           Oh-oh, it was like hugeness and darkness
           and like the world was ending and the
           devil came up through the ground and
           the - and the - and the -
                         
                          HAM
           - somebody slap him quick! We're losin'
           him!
                         
          WHAP-WHAP! Squints administers. Yeah-Yeah snaps out of it.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Thanks. I needed that.
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          Construction completes. A kid crane. A tricycle, block 'n
          tackle, fishing-pole n' body harness. In a line, the guys
          step on and off a scale. Everybody stares at Yeah-Yeah.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, I know - I'm lightest. But
           I ain't goin' over there! NO WAY!
                         
          All eyes to the ground.
                         
                          BENNY
           Sorry, Smalls. It was a good idea
           anyway.
                         
                          DENUNEZ
           Yeah, tough luck, Smalls.
                         
                          HAM
           It won't be that bad, Smalls. Your
           dad'll probably only shoot you or
           something.
                         
                          
                          87
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Hey-hey, don't blame me! I didn't hit
           the ball over there, man!
                         
          Silence. Yeah-Yeah considers.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH (CONT'D)
           Yeah-yeah, okay. But if I say pull me
           up, you guys better PULL ME UP!
                         
          Benny takes Yeah-Yeah aside. Hands him all over Ham's
          catcher's gear.
                         
                          BENNY
           Here. Put these on.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Wha -? Why? Whadda I need All this
           stuff for Benny? I mean, why a mask
           and a gonad Protector?
                         
                          BENNY
           Oh, ah, nuthin', ya know, just
           For, ah... Altitude leveling
           And stuff. Put it on.
                         
          Benny hurries off as Timmy and Repeat approach with a
          frightening looking harnass assembly. Yeah-Yeah backs away:
                         
                          TIMMY
           Don't worry. We're professionals.
                         
                          REPEAT
           Our Dad's a contractor.
                         
          EXT./INT. OVER THE BADLANDS - INSIDE THE TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
                         HAM'S
                         
          strapped in at the tricycle winch.
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH'S
                         
          dangling over the lean-to.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           (into can phone)
           Okay-okay, I'm right over it. Let me
           down - slow!
                         
                         HAM
                         
          lets go. Oops. WHIZZZZ!
                         
                         
                          
                          88
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH
                         
          plummets.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH (CONT'D)
           Ahhhh! Stop! STOP!
                         
                         HAM
                         
          back-cranks.
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH
                         
          comes to a twirling halt four feet off the ground.
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH'S POV
                         
          into the lean-to. Blackness and dust.
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH (CONT'D)
           'Kay-'kay, tip me, hurry up. I'm
           gettin' the woollies.
                         
          Yeah-Yeah reaches... Gets it!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH (CONT'D)
           Okay get me outta here!
                         
                         HAM
                         
          struggles.
                         
                          HAM
           HELP! I'M LOSIN' HIM!
                         
                         YEAH-YEAH
                         
          looks down from the guys on the tree house - back to level -
          "4 foot" eye-level with: THE BEAST'S MOUTH!
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
                          (QUAKING)
           H - h - help! Help! HELP-HELP- HELP!
                          (TRYING ANYTHING)
           Hail Mary Father who art star light
           twinkle twinkle hey diddle diddle -
                         
          INSIDE THE TREE HOUSE
                         
          hands crank the trike wheel. Yeah-Yeah's to window level in
          seconds. He's got the ball!
                         
                          
                          89
                         
                         
                          
                         
          THE BEAST'S JAWS
                         
          leap into view.
                         
          THE TOW CHAIN
                         
          goes taut. The jaws abruptly disappear.
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          The Beast's shadowy form RUSTLES contentedly under the lean-
          to. Yeah-Yeah dropped the ball.
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          Yeah-Yeah's shattered. Balling. The guys sniff. Oh no, bad
          news. He shoves them away:
                         
                          YEAH-YEAH
           Yeah-yeah, I did it! SO WHAT?! You
           jerks, I told you to pull me back
           faster!
           (starin' them down)
           You - you penises.
                         
          Yeah-Yeah waddles away. The guys rush to hold the fence door
          up for him. He goes through stiff-legged (can't bend over).
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          Yeah-Yeah heads across the field... waddle-waddle.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           Yeah-Yeah grew two feet in our eyes
           after that. There was no stinkin' way
           any of us would've showed back up, if
           we'd loaded our drawers.
                          (BEAT)
           Yeah-Yeah did. He showed back up and
           got right to work, like nothing ever
           happened.
                         
           MATCH DISSOLVE TO:
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT/TREEHOUSE - MORNING
                         
          (LOCK OFF. Same as Sc. 157) - Yeah-Yeah returns across the
          sandlot and goes up into the treehouse.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         158
                         
          According to the calendar - 1 day till Bill's back. Scotty's
          got the conch.
                         
                          
                          90
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I think I know how to get it.
           (they're all ears)
           Anybody got an Erector Set?
                         
          Eyes dart. Brows feint.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           That thing with the nuts and bolts and
           tiny wrenches that you can build junk
           out of?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Exactly.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           Never heard of it.
                         
                          HAM
           I used to have one when I was like I
           dunno, a little kid.
                         
                          GANG
                          (LIARS)
           Might have some pieces. Gee, I don't
           think so. I'd have to look. Maybe in
           the attic. Not in our room though.
                         
          INT. TREE HOUSE - DAY - 20 MINUTES LATER
                         
          The guys re-arrive. Each holding huge arm loads of Erector
          Set stuff.
                         
                          GANG (CONT'D)
           Guess I had more than I thought. Forgot
           my grandma got me some for my birthday.
           It's my little brother's.
                         
          Scotty's brought his "Set." A footlocker full of neatly
          arranged pieces. Nut and bolt compartments. Electric motor
          sections.
                         
                          BERTRAM
           Bitchin'.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I really like Erector Set.
                         
                          GANG
                          (ATTITUDINAL 360'S)
           Me too. I was just thinkin' the same
           thing. Couldn't agree more, Smalls.
           I play with mine all the time.
                         
                         
                          
                          91
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Let's get to work. Here's the plans -
                         
          FURLSNAP! Holy cow! Scotty unfolds them - amazing crayola
          blueprints drawn on taped-together grocery bags.
                         
          INT./EXT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          The guys swarm the tree house. Scotty supervises from the
          backyard, wearing a plastic hardhat. They build. Scotty
          hooks up electric motors. Throws one toggle, and...
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - DAY
                         
          ...it comes to life. A 35 foot hollow erector-beam and
          electric catapult-car assembly. They tilt-n'-tip it over the
          fence. Scotty pilots the little car from the treehouse deck.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          Benny's got his glove - waiting.
                         
          EXT. TREE HOUSE - TIMMON'S BACKYARD - THE SANDLOT - THE
          BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          Scotty on controls. Squints on periscope, with Bertram on
          the Yuban-comm for him. Others at support points.
                         
          THE CAR drives down.
                         
          THE BEAST strirs.
                         
          THE CAR rolls out the end.
                         
          THE CATAPULT BUCKET scoops the ball.
                         
                          SQUINTS
                          (CLEANLY)
           Fire!
                         
          GIANT SLEEPY EYEBALLS
                         
          roll open. A THUNDERROAR!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          flips the toggle.
                         
          THE "RAT-TRAP" CATAPULT
                         
          fires.
                         
                          
                          92
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE BASEBALL
                         
          is airborne.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          runs for it.
                         
                          BENNY
           I got it! I got it!
                         
          THE AIRBORNE BEAST
                         
          blocks out the sun. CLUNCHEENK! The Beast's FRONT TEETH
          SNATCH the Babe Ruth ball delicately out of the air.
                         
          THE UNSEEN BEAST
                         
          crash lands beyond the fiberglass paneling, right on top of
                         THE
                         
                         ERECTOR CONTRAPTION
                         
          wrenching it viciously.
                         
                         THE STRUCTURE
                         
          comes tumbling down - bending into flimsy knots as it CRASHES!
                         
          EXT. TIMMONS' BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          Scotty stands alone on the tree house roof... staring down
          into the Badlands. A little, wrecked shell of a kid, who is
          now dead meat. The guys look up at him sorrowfully.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           My life was over. Just as Bill had
           finally warmed up to me, and asked me
           to be the man of the house, I had to
           knock a priceless chunk of history
           into the clutches of a monster. Great.
                         
          END THE BIG MONTAGE.
                         
          EXT. THE BLOCK - DUSK
                         
          The gang, minus Timmy and Repeat, shuffle along home without
          a word exchanged.
                         
          FROM HIS PORCH
                         
          Benny watches a dejected Scotty slowly head inside across the
          street.
                          93
                         
                         
                         
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          Scotty stares up at the ceiling in oceans of worry.
                         
          INT. BENNY'S ROOM - NIGHT
                         
          The room is dark. Benny's in bed. He clicks on a "baseball-
          bat" flashlight. Shines the beam toward his footboard...
          illuminating the photo of The Babe.
                         
                          BENNY
           We can't get it back, Babe.
                          (BEAT)
           I'm sorry.
                         
          Suddenly, a RACKET from inside Benny's closet. A bright LIGHT
          GOES ON in there. Then, smoke comes out.
                         
          Benny jumps up on his bed - flattens against the wall. Hasn't
          done this in years:
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           M - M - Mom?...
                         
          The closet door CREAKS open... by itself. Everything inside
          is oddly devoid of color.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Who's there?!
                         
          BABE RUTH steps out of the closet. He exists in the only way
          any kid from 1962 has ever seen him: BLACK & WHITE.
                         
                          THE BABE
           Now don't go peeing your pants or
           nuthin', I'm just here to give ya a
           hand.
                         
          The Great Bambino PUFFS on a massive stogie... the source of
          all the smoke.
                         
                          BENNY
           B - B - But, you're...
                         
                          THE BABE
           ...dead? Legends never die, kid.
                         
          Benny comes off the wall. The enormous Ruth towers over him.
                         
                          BENNY
           You're really him. You're The Babe.
           The Sultan of Swat. The King -
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          94
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          THE BABE
           - of Krash and a hundred other dopey
           names. Forget about that, we ain't
           got much time. I'm here 'cause you're
           in some kinda pickle, right?
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah.
                         
                          THE BABE
           A baseball with my John Hancock on it
           went over a fence, and you can't get
           it back. Right?
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah, right.
                         
                          THE BABE
           (clear and simple)
           Then just hop over there and get it.
           There ya go. Problem solved.
           (tips his cap)
           See ya, kid.
                         
          The Babe turns to go back to wherever he came from. Benny
          grabs his arm - shocked that he actually feels something
          "real."
                         
                          BENNY
           Wait! I can't.
                         
                          THE BABE
           Can't what?
                         
                          BENNY
           Go into that backyard.
                         
                          THE BABE
           Why not?
                         
                          BENNY
           There's a Beast back there.
                         
                          THE BABE
           What kind?
                         
                          BENNY
           A giant gorilla-dog-thing that ate one
           kid already.
                         
                          THE BABE
           Is that a fact? Listen to me, kid.
                          (MORE)
                         
                         
                          
                          95
                         
                         
                          
                         
           THE BABE (CONT'D)
           Everybody gets one chance to do
           something great. Most people either
           never take the chance 'cause they're
           too scared, or they don't recognize it
           when it spits on their shoes.
                          (BEAT)
           This is your "big chance," and ya
           shouldn't let it go by.
                          (PAUSE)
           Remember those cards you got the other
           day?
                         
                          BENNY
           Sure, yeah, five Maury Wills all in
           the same pack.
                         
                          THE BABE
           What're the odds on that?
                         
                          BENNY
           About a zillion to one.
                         
                          THE BABE
           More even. Someone's tellin' you
           somethin', kid. And if I was you...
           I'd listen.
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah, but what?
                         
                          THE BABE
           You're the one with the rubba legs.
           Figure it out.
                          (BEAT)
           You gotta do what your heart tells
           you, else you'll spend the rest of
           your life wishin' you had.
                         
                          BENNY
           You mean, I should hop that fence -
           and pickle with THE BEAST?!
                         
                          THE BABE
           Lemme tell you something... you
           remember that called shot homer I hit?
                         
                          BENNY
           Sure, the greatest most famous and
           legendary home run of all time.
                         
                          THE BABE
           Yeah, right, well said.
                          (MORE)
                         
                          
                          96
                         
                         
                          
                         
           THE BABE (CONT'D)
                          (BEAT)
           Well, you think I knew I was gonna
           swat that?
                         
                          BENNY
           Sure ya did, Babe.
                         
                          THE BABE
           Not a chance. Matter of fact, all the
           way down to first I kept sayin' to
           myself, "you lucky bum."
                          (BEAT)
           Think about that, kid. I'll see ya
           later.
                         
          The Babe disappears back into the closet, then:
                         
           THE BABE'S VOICE
           Remember, kid. There's heroes and
           there's Legends. Heroes get
           remembered... but Legends never die.
                          (BEAT)
           Follow your heart, kid, and you'll
           never go wrong.
                         
          A RACKET in the closet matching:
                         
          INT. SCOTTY'S ROOM - DAY
                         
          KNUCKLES on glass. Scotty hurries sleepy-eyed to the window
          and opens it. Benny stands outside, holding a shoe box.
                         
                          BENNY
                          (WITH PURPOSE)
           I had a dream. Get dressed. We're
           goin' to the sandlot.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          The guys march toward the rising sun - across the sandlot
          behind Benny. Toward destiny.
                         
          THE GREEN FIBERGLASS FENCE
                         
          They stop here. Benny steps forward. He opens the shoe box.
          Laces on brand new P.F. Flyers. Moves for the fence. Scotty
          grabs his arm.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Benny - wait. It's okay, it was my
           fault. I'll just take whatever I get.
           You don't have to do this.
                         
                         
                          
                          97
                         
                         
                          
                         
          A look in Benny's eyes. Kismet.
                         
                          BENNY
                          (PREDESTINED)
           Yeah I do, Smalls. I have to.
                         
          Benny turns from him - swallows hard. Swings himself onto
                         THE
                         
          TOP OF THE FENCE
                         
          and balances - deciding.
                         
           THE BABE'S VOICE
           (in Benny's head)
           ...Follow your heart, kid, and you'll
           never go wrong.
                         
          Benny turns back one last time. Gives Scotty "Thumbs Up."
          With a pearl diver's breath - he plunges into...
                         
          EXT. BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          ...here. He stands fixed, staring hard 'neath the lean-to.
                         
                         DUST RISES
                         
          from thereunder. ORGANIC EXHAUST. The LAZY CLINKS of heavy
          chain links... The Beast is rising to its feet.
                         
                         IT MATERIALIZES
                         
          piece by piece: fore feet the size of a catcher's mitt, bulking
          head and shoulders, hulking flank and haunches.
                         
                         BENNY'S
                         
          mouth hangs open. He's frozen, staring at
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          and it's worse than Squints recounted... because it's real.
          This is the biggest dog that ever lived! 300 lbs. 4 1/2
          feet tall. And ugly. This was a bad idea. The Beast lingers
          8 feet away with slack in the chain.
                         
          THWOOOP! It spits something out, which rolls in the dirt...
                         STOPS EXACTLY
                         
                         BETWEEN THEM
                         
          A goo-slobbered ball. Dirty Beast-foam drips off, revealing
          the smeared signature, B A B E R U T H. "G'head kid, I dare
          you!"
                         
                          
                          98
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         A PICKLE
                         
          Benny measures The Beast. Times its ballooning chest.
                         
          The Beast's eyes glue to Benny. Flopping, hot-water-bottle
          tongue PANTS. Licks chops. Leather'd nose twitches - smelling
          for movement.
                         
                         THE TOE
                         
          of Benny's P.F. Flyer digs into the cracked earth.
                         
                         CLINK
                         
          the Beast leans forward - one chain link lifts from the ground.
                         
          SHTHUFT!
                         
          Benny spits, blowing his tanks.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          bristles.
                         
                         BENNY'S EYES
                         
          widen, focusing.
                         
          WAR BREAKS OUT!
                         
          Benny goes for the ball.
                         
                         THE BEAST'S
                         
          knotted muscles quaver and UNCOIL.
                         
                         BENNY'S
                         
          P.F. Flyers leave behind tiny dust roosters.
                         
                         THE BEAST'S
                         
          claws dig deep furrows. FOG BANKS of dust spread out behind
          it. Forelegs gallop at flared, over-anxious angles.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          leaves scrambling footprints. He slides - grabs the ball -
          "Pops-Up" Maury Wills fashion - heads back for the fence.
          The ball slips from Benny's fingers. Re-grabs it - shoves
          the ball in his teeth, freeing his hands for the leap up the
          fence.
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          99
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          gains. SHNAPP! Jaws SHUT like a tripped bear trap.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          springs off the ground. He's on the fence.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          reaches chain's end - it goes taught. Breaks! The two foot
          length still attached to The Beast's neck bullwhips - the
          chain catches Benny in the butt.
                         
                          BENNY
           YOWWWWW!
                         
          He vaults over the fence.
                         
          EXT. SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          The gang looks up. A great shadow envelopes them.
                         
          THE BEAST IS LOOSE!
                         
          The guys turn to stone. Benny takes off.
                         
                          BENNY
           OOOOH SSSSHIT!
                         
          The Beast tears by the guys after Benny. The two vanish out
          of the sandlot.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           What're we waitin' for?! Let's go
           after 'em!
                         
          EXT. SIDEWALK - NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY
                         
          Benny runs. The Beast is gaining. In its wake: dichondra
          lawns RIPPED to shreds. Scotty and the guys make tracks a
          block behind.
                         
          EXT. FIVE & DIME - DAY
                         
          On display: Pinwheels, Mailbox Propellers and Puddle-Jumpers.
          Benny flies by. The Beast follows. As they pass, contact:
          the whirly-gigs take off!
                         
          INT. CAR - TRAVELING - DAY
                         
          A MOTHER drives. In the passenger seat, her TODDLER fingers
          a "scooter-pie" in marshmallowy strings.
                         
                         
                          
                          100
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          TODDLER
                          (BEAMING)
           Mommy, mommy - wook! Ah, ah - goggy!
                          (BEAT)
           Big goggy.
                         
          The Mother looks out the passenger window.
                         
          ON THE SIDEWALK
                         
          Benny and The Beast run even. Then pull ahead.
                         
          EXT. "SNELGROVE'S" ICE CREAM - DAY
                         
          Gag per storyboards - t.b.d.
                         
          EXT. ALLEYWAY - DAY
                         
          Benny's cookin'. The Beast follows - TRASHCANS SCATTER like
          bowling pins.
                         
          Scotty and the guys follow. All slow to check out the garbage
          bins... so many crushed beer cans.
                         
          Benny darts in the rear entrance to a "random" building. The
          Beast tears after him - KNOCKING the door off its hinges.
                         
          INT. BOYS CLUB AUDITORIUM - DAY
                         
          ON THE MOVIE SCREEN Kong does battle with T Rex.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          comes sliding AT US across the waxed stage floor - from under
          the movie screen. He slides off the stage - into midair -
          lands on his feet. Splits up the aisle between the rows of
          folding chairs and blasts out the door.
                         
                         KIDS' HEADS
                         
          turn to watch him. KONG ROARS! They look back at
                         
          THE MOVIE SCREEN
                         
          where, just as Kong proclaims himself king over the dead T
          Rex,
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          Leaps through the center of the silver screen - leaves a 6
          foot hole - lands 20 feet down the aisle - CRASHES through
          the doors and disappears.
                         
          Moments pass. Our guys follow.
                          101
                         
                         
                         
                         
          EXT. SIDEWALK - DAY
                         
          Hot-rubber SQUEAKS from Benny's P.F. Flyers. The Beast's
          claws leave jagged scars in the concrete.
                         
                         CATS HISS
                         
          in terror and faint.
                         
          EXT. PUBLIC POOL DECK - DAY
                         
          POOL HONEYS lounge, all bedecked with rock-hard, Annette
          Funicello hairdo's.
                         
          Benny blasts out of the pool building, "tire stepping" over
                         
          the Honeys. They're up and RANTING at him. Until, The Beast
          comes...
                         
          ...sliding across the water-slippy deck like an out-of-control
          anvil. He "bowling pins" the Pool Honeys. The Honeys HIT
          THE WATER.
                         
          Benny cuts back through the pool building. The Beast follows -
          parting our guys and the other Kids.
                         
          EXT. LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD - DAY
                         
          Game in progress. From outta nowhere, Benny jams across the
          diamond. The game stops... EVERYONE gapes at:
                         
          Some huge dog-beast charging after a kid.
                         
          EXT. CITY PARK - PICNIC AREA - DAY
                         
          Big banner: "FOUNDER'S DAY!" Perfectly arranged picnic
          blankets covered with wonderful spreads of goodies.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          zips under the banner - runs through - grabs a Coke like a
          long distance runner.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          rages after him, through:
                         
          A DEADEND! MIDWAY
                         
          of neatly arranged display booths. (This is pie n' cake booth
          gag per storyboards - allow 2 pages.)
                         
          EXT. TOWN SQUARE - NEARBY - DAY
                         
                         
                          
                          102
                         
                         
                          
                         
          Founder's Day parade (et al).
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          rips into the square. He rubba-leg zigzags, nimbly avoiding
          everything and everyone.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          Is a runaway freight train. He PLOWS through CLOWNS. CHILDREN
          are snatched from the dog's path by terrified parents. The
          Beast tears through the concession stands:
                         
                         VATS & DISPENSERS
                         
          EXPLODE! The VOLUNTEERS dash out SCREAMING - "tar n' featherd"
          with baked beans and potato chips.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          zips through the MARCHING BAND - ducking trombone slides -
          leaping glockenspiels.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          ain't so graceful. He "barn-doors" the band. CRASH! An
          instrument tangled heap.
                         
                         THE ONLOOKERS
                         
          pour into the street, knocking the MAYOR from his convertible,
          and the FOUNDER'S DAY QUEEN from her float.
                         
          FROM THIS HEIGHT
                         
          this all looks like the end of a "Dr. Suess" book!
                         
          SCOTTY AND THE GANG
                         
          search through the confusion. _They've lost Benny_! Suddenly,
          doubling back on them
                         
                         BENNY
                         
                         SHOOTS BY:
                         
                          BENNY
           Sandlot!
                         
          Benny's gone. Seconds later - The Beast follows.
                         
                          SQUINTS
           This way! Shortcut!
                         
                         
                          
                          103
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          forges through the disaster.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - MR. MERTLE'S FENCE - DAY
                         
          The gang's GASPING for BREATH. And then, unbelievably
                         
          BENNY & THE BEAST
                         
          Are coming right at them! They race across the sandlot.
          Kill- anxious beast-drool splashes the seat of Benny's pants.
                         
                         THE BEAST'S
                         
          muscles flex.
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          just runs. He runs as if a big dog was chasing him. He
          lurches a step - RIP! A pants pocket flaps from an incisor.
                         
                          BENNY
           LOOK OUT!
                         
          He lays down the world's all-time most perfect SLIDE. He
          careens toward the bottom of
                         
          MR. MERTLE'S FENCE
                         
          hits it and, defying gravity, RUNS STRAIGHT UP THE GREEN
          FIBERGLASS PANELS!
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          jets upward, leaving smashed green fiberglass footsteps -
          standing out from the fence 90 degrees - the Donald O'Connor
          "Singin' In The Rain" trick!
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          sucks air - ROARS - EXPLODES from the ground - soars, gaping
          maw first, right for
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          who pushes off the top of the fence.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          GNASHES up at Benny's heels - misses by an inch. He plummets
          toward the Badlands. Then, the unspeakable happens,
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          104
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         BENNY
                         
                         DROPS
                         
          THE BABE RUTH AUTOGRAPH
                         
          and comes tumbling down after the ball.
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
           Oh noooooo!
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          Benny HITS the dirt with a gut twisting THUD! Dust everywhere.
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          The gang climbs the fence. They look down into
                         
          EXT. THE BADLANDS - DAY
                         
          where, when the dust clears, they see
                         
                         BENNY
                         
          holding the Babe Ruth Autograph up high like a trophy.
                         
                          BENNY
           I GOT IT!
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          hops down and races over. Suddenly, from the
                         
                         FENCETOP
                         
          His shirt snagged:
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Help him! I'm stuck! I'm stuck! Help
           him!
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          is hanging from the fence. His chain has caught. He struggles -
          choking to death - right below Scotty.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          petrifies where they stand.
                         
                         
                          
                          105
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          tears his shirt loose. Scrambles to where The Beast hangs.
          Tries to lift the tow chain free - too heavy! He'll die in
          seconds.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Pick him up! Scoot him up so I can
           let him off!
                          (DESPERATE)
           COME ON!
                         
                         NOBODY
                         
          moves. They wanna but they can't!
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          goes for broke. He reaches out and puts his hand on The
          Beast's head.
                         
                          SCOTTY (CONT'D)
                          (CONTACT)
           Easy. Easy, boy.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          whimpers. Scotty balances atop the fence. Grabs the tow
          chain. Lifts with all his might... his fingers bleed. The
          Beast goes limp. An inch. That did it! The beast falls.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          goes with him - 8 feet to the dirt. The FENCE COMES DOWN -
          breaking the barrier to the sandlot. He lands on the ground
                         
          NOSE TO NOSE
                         
          with The Beast.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          leaps to his feet.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          rises with him.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          freezes solid.
                         
                          
                          106
                         
                         
                          
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          watches in horror.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          scans them instinctively - He might kill them all where they
          stand.
                         
                         SCOTTY'S
                         
          about to load up his fruit o' da looms.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          sticks his mammoth head right in Scotty's face. SNIFFS. That's
          it! The kid is lunch! His jowls part - hot BEAST-BREATH
          BLOWS Scotty's hair back.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          closes his eyes.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          SLAP their hands to their eyesockets.
                         
                         THE BEAST
                         
          leans closer. Mouth opens. Cold-leather nose presses against
          Scotty's forehead. Then... He licks Scotty's face.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          wipes away the Beast slob. He doesn't even have to kneel
          down to read the name on The Beast's "doggy tag." It says...
                         
          ...Hercules.
                         
          This time Scotty gives Benny "Thumbs Up."
                         
          UNDER THE LEAN-TO
                         
          Hercules digs, then stands away.
                         
                         THE GANG
                         
          steps closer. Look into the hole. Their faces light up with
          wonder. In
                         
                         THE HOLE
                         
          Are 150 baseballs.
                         
                         
                          
                          107
                         
                         
                          
                         
          THE GANG'S BLOWN AWAY
                         
                          BENNY
           We can play forever now.
                         
                         SCOTTY
                         
          takes The Beast by the collar. He and Benny go to
                         
          MR. MERTLE'S BACK DOOR
                         
          Scotty KNOCKS. MR. MERTLE answers the door. An old man with
          dark glasses. He comes out on the porch.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           Hello?...
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Um, we brought your dog home.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           Hercules? How'd he get out?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Well, sir... um, we kind of, well,
           what happened was -
                         
                          BENNY
           - we hit a baseball into your yard.
           Then we tried to get it and -
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           - why didn't you just come to the
           door... I'd have gotten it for you.
                         
          Squints, Yeah-Yeah, Ham, DeNunez, Repeat, Timmy and Bertram
          faint.
                         
           MR. MERTLE (CONT'D)
           Well, thanks for bringin' him back.
                          (BEAT)
           Why don't you boys come in... we can
           talk about baseball.
                         
          INT. MR. MERTLE'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Fairly spartan, except for one room, where it seems that Mr.
          Mertle spends most of his time. He leads Benny and Scotty
                         INTO
                         
          THE BASEBALL ROOM
                         
          Mr. Mertle sits at a table. Benny and Scotty stare at the
          tabletop.
                         
                          
                          108
                         
                         
                          
                         
          It holds a scale model Baseball Diamond: green felt field and
          little bases, outfield wall and miniature player figures. A
          picture on the wall of Mr. Mertle and Babe Ruth.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           You knew Babe Ruth?
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           Yeah. And he knew me too.
                          (BEAT)
           They never let us play together, but
           we were friends. Good friends. He was
           almost as great a hitter as I was.
           But, he'd of told you he was better.
                         
          The picture is signed: "To Thelonius Johnson Mertle, the second
          greatest slugger I ever saw... Babe Ruth."
                         
          A baseball game on the RADIO. As each play is CALLED, Mr.
          Mertle's hands deftly put his tiny players in the correct
          positions. Mr. Mertle is blind.
                         
           MR. MERTLE (CONT'D)
                          (HOLDING BALL)
           This the one that went over my fence?
                         
                          BENNY
           Yeah.
                         
          Mr. Mertle brushes his fingers over the leather.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           This is an old ball, boys. Really
           old.
                          (BEAT)
           Hercules gave it a good chewing, didn't
           he?
                         
                          SCOTTY
                          (WEAK)
           Yes, sir.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           You sound upset, son - what's wrong?
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Well, you see... that ball belongs to
           my stepdad... and, uh - it was signed
           by Babe Ruth.
                         
          Mr. Mertle shakes his head... hands the ball to Scotty.
                         
                          
                          109
                         
                         
                          
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           Hmm. Well, I'm sure your dad will
           understand.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           I don't think so.
                         
          On the RADIO, Wills steals second.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
                          (TO BENNY)
           Son, move Maury Wills to second base
           for me, will ya?
                         
          Benny moves the little figure to second base.
                         
           MR. MERTLE (CONT'D)
           If he steals third that'll be number
           100.
                          (TO SCOTTY)
           Helluva pickle you're in, boy.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Yes, sir...
                         
          Mr. Mertle retrieves something from a glass case. A baseball.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
           I'll make you a deal. If you boys
           come over once a week and talk baseball
           with me, I'll trade you balls.
                         
                          BENNY
           Well, that's really nice of you... but
           this ball really is signed by The Babe.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
                          (CHUCKLES)
           This one really is too... and all the
           rest of the '27 Yankees.
                         
          He hands his baseball to Scotty... Benny stares at it in
          disbelief.
                         
                          BENNY
           Oh my God - Murderers' Row.
                         
          As they ogle the ball:
                         
                          BENNY (CONT'D)
                          (AWED)
           Lou Gehrig...
                         
                         
                         
                          
                          110
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Babe Ruth.
                         
           MR. MERTLE
                          (SMILING)
           They're all there.
                         
          Scotty hands Mr. Mertle the chewed up Babe Ruth ball. Shakes
          his hand.
                         
                          SCOTTY
           Deal.
                         
          On the RADIO, Maury Wills steals 3rd for his 100th stolen
          base. Scotty notices the wall clock:
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - DAY
                         
          Mom's car is in the driveway. Scotty goes up the walkway
          slowly. Benny just behind him. The gang lingers at the
          sidewalk. Scotty sets one foot on the
                         
                         PORCH
                         
          and Bill comes out. He looks none-too-pleased. He towers
          over Scotty. The gang hangs their heads.
                         
                          BILL
           This better be good.
                         
          Benny unpockets a little felt bag. Hands it to Scotty. He
          holds the bag up to a perplexed Bill, who opens it. He looks
          from Scotty to Benny and back again. Then...
                         
          ...stares down at the "Murderers' Row" ball.
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          EXT. SCOTTY'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY
                         
          A BASEBALL sailing through the air. SMACK! it's caught in a
          brand new glove. Scotty's new glove. Scotty snap throws the
          ball back to Bill. He and Scotty are having a great game of
          catch.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           It was weird that Benny said Babe Ruth
           was like the Hercules of baseball, and
           then The Beast's name turned out to be
           Hercules.
                          (BEAT)
           It was also strange that Mr. Mertle
           had a Murderers' Row ball to replace
           the one signed by The Babe.
                         
                          
                          111
                         
                         
                          
                         
          Bill and Scotty smile as they fire the cowhide back and forth.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           Some people might say that it was all
           a coincidence... but looking back at
           it now, it seems like everything was
           connected, just like me and Benny.
                          (BEAT)
           It was like we were a part of the same
           myth as The Babe... the Myth of
           Baseball.
                         
          Scotty's mom sticks her head out the back door. She smiles,
          watching her "two boys" toss the ball around.
                         
                          MOM
           Guys, supper's ready.
                         
                          DAD
                          (FORMERLY BILL)
           Give us another ten minutes. I'm
           helpin' my boy break in his new glove.
                         
          INT. MR. MERTLE'S BASEBALL ROOM - DAY
                         
          Mr. Mertle sits contentedly behind his little "diamond." The
          RADIO ANNOUNCER calls Maury Wills' 104th steal of 1962.
                         
          MR. MERTLE'S DIAMOND
                         
          HIS HAND moves a wooden figure from 1st to 2nd. This tactile
                         
          "playing field" becomes...
                         
          EXT. THE SANDLOT - DAY
                         
          ...this one, where the guys are playing ball. There's a new
          addition to their team. A mascot. A big mascot.
                         
                         HERCULES
                         
          in a t-shirt and cap.
                         
                         THE GUYS
                         
          all play as if, somehow, this may be the last time they ever
          get to be a team. As they play, they're "sponged" from the
          PICTURE in this order: Yeah-Yeah, Repeat and Timmy, Ham,
          DeNunez, Bertram, Squints, Hercules, Scotty, Benny.
                         
                          NARRATOR
           That was the last summer that we all
           got to play together.
                          (MORE)
                         
                          
                          112
                         
                         
                          
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           But it would stay with us forever.
           (as they all dissolve:)
           Yeah-Yeah's parents shipped him off to
           military school. Timmy and Tommy grew
           up to build skyscrapers. Ham went to
           college and became a pediatrician.
           DeNunez played triple A ball and never
           got to the majors. Bertram got really
           into the sixities and no one ever saw
           him again. Squints grew up and married
           Wendy Peffercorn; they bought the Five
           & Dime and they still own it to this
           day. Hercules lived to be 199 years
           old... in human years.
                         
          Everyone but Benny has vanished from the Sandlot.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           After Benny pickled the Beast, his
           reputation spread all over town. From
           then on he was known as Benny "The
           Juet" Rodriguez.
                         
          BENNY'S P.F. FLYER
                         
          comes down on home plate and vanishes, leaving
                         
                         THE SANDLOT
                         
          empty.
                         
                          NARRATOR (CONT'D)
           The nickname stuck with him the rest
           of his life.
                         
          EXT. CHAVEZ RAVINE - PRESENT - DAY
                         
          Dodger stadium. A ROAR goes up inside the ballpark.
                         
           ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
                          (FAMILIAR)
           That's a triple, and that'll put the
           winning run on third, with two out in
           the bottom of the ninth. What a shot!
                         
          EXT. DODGER STADIUM - INFIELD - DAY
                         
          From the dugout, TOMMY LASORDA calls for a pinch runner. A
          PLAYER comes out of the dugout, stripping off his warm-up
          jacket.
                         
                          
                          113
                         
                         
                          
                         
           ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
           Lasorda's sending in a pinch runner -
           and it'll be...
                          (DRAMATIC PAUSE)
           I don't believe it! Lasorda's calling
           up the "Old Man" to pinch-run in the
           biggest clutch situation this season!
           They say the veteran's lost a step or
           two. But if I were you, I'd get ready
           for some fireworks.
                         
                         THE CROWD
                         
          is on its feet as 40-year-old BENNY "THE JET" RODRIGUEZ takes
          over third base from the PLAYER already there. They shake
          hands on the exchange. The 3rd base COACH walks over to The
          Jet. Pats him on the back.
                         
                          COACH
                          (GRINNING)
           Give 'em hell, Jet.
                         
                          THE JET
           I'll do my best, Maury.
                         
          The Coach moves into the coaching box... turning his back to
          us. Emblazoned across his jersey, is the name W I L L S.
                         
                         THE PITCHER
                         
          takes the signal.
                         
                         THE JET
                         
          leads off 3rd base - ten steps! The Pitcher fires to 3rd.
          The Jet hand tags.
                         
                         THE PITCHER
                         
          settles.
                         
                         THE JET
                         
          leads off. Eleven steps.
                         
                         THE PITCHER
                         
          fires to 3rd again. The Jet gets back.
                         
                         THE JET
                         
          leads off again. Twelve steps. The pitch - strike. The
          CATCHER tosses it back. Just then...
                         
                         
                          
                          114
                         
                         
                          
                         
          ...The Jet moves. So fast that no one knows he's gone till
          it's too damn late. The Pitcher awkwardly throws home. The
          Catcher wipes the baseline. Too late...
                         
          ...the dust clears. The UMPIRE eagle-wings the air.
                         
                          UMPIRE
           SAFE! SAFE! SAFE!
                         
          The tag missed by two feet. It's all over. The Crowd jumps
          to its feet. The Dodger dugout is all over The Jet.
                         
           ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
           The Dodgers win the pennant! The
           Dodgers win the pennant!
                         
          The Jet breaks through his adoring teammates just long enough
          to give "Thumbs Up" to...
                         
           ANNOUNCER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
           I don't believe it, the Old Man stole
           home! The Old Man -
                         
          INT. ANNOUNCER'S BOX - DAY
                         
          ...39-year-old SCOTT SMALLS - The Announcer - who returns
          "Thumbs Up."
                         
                          SCOTT
           (after a pause)
           The Jet stole home! The Jet stole
           home!!
                         
          EXT. DODGER STADIUM - INFIELD - DAY
                         
          The Jet signs autographs for swarming KIDS. As the CROWD'S
          CHEERING CONTINUES and ECHOES into the past, we
                         
                          CUT TO:
                         
          A FADED KODACHROME PHOTO
                         
          of the 9 best (11-year-old) buddies that ever lived. On a
                         
          makeshit baseball diamond - a sandlot... circa 1962. They're
          all holding something forward - displaying - one palm up,
          hand beneath another - together like the nine musketeers:
                         
          A baseball. A baseball with a familiar smudge.
                         
          END TITLES.
                         
           FADE OUT.
                          
                         
                          THE END



Sandlot Kids, The



Writers :   David Mickey Evans  Robert Gunter
Genres :   Comedy  Drama  Family


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