For Love of the Game (1999) Script

Your shoulder flaring?


You winced.

I didn't wince.

You grimaced.

My shoulder doesn't hurt, Gus.

How long has it been hurting?

Perry wants me to start tomorrow.

You got to be kidding.

You're not doing it.

No way. It's the end of a shitty season.

I'm gonna talk to Perry.

Sit down, sit down. Relax.

Sir, drink?

Thank you.

It's a throwaway, Billy. It means nothing.

Not to the Red Sox.

If I see you wince even one time...

Oh, God.

I've got the ugliest wife in the league.

That hurts. It hurt my feeling.

Buckle your seat belt.

Are we expecting Ms. Aubrey this evening?

We are.

What name am I registered under?

Mike Nelson.

The Sea Hunt fellow, you know.

All right.

Tell the desk that I don't want to talk to anybody except her, all right?

Fitch, tonight, everything has to be perfect.

Have I ever let you down, Mr. Chapel?

This is Mr. Chapel. Have there been any messages?



Hi, this is Jane. Leave a message and I'll get back to you. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

Jane, it's Billy. I'm worried now, so please call.

Are you there?

Jesus. I've been banging out here forever.

What the hell happened to you?

You weren't at the gym.

Is Jane here?



Chap, a lot of little bottles makes a big bottle.

Hey. That could be her.

You got to throw today, chief.

Gus, do me a favor, all right. Get the door.

Throw some water on your hair.

It might look like you took a shower.

No, not at all. He's in the bathroom back there.

Mr. Wheeler.

Good morning, Billy. Got a minute?

Yeah, sure.

Not easy to get up here.

They treat me right.

They didn't have you on the register.

I can't remember all your names.

Price of fame, huh?

Can I get you something?


Let's just sit.

It's been a rough season.


Always next year.

Not for me.

It's one of those secrets everybody knows.

What you don't know is it's official.

Billy, I sold the Tigers.

Well, that's great.

Is it?

Billy, you've been the heart and soul of this team.

Like family.

All the negotiations, the bastards never said a word.

Said what?

They want to trade you to the Giants.


Is that why you're here?


I don't know how to say this.

You know, I've been watching you for 18 years.

Nothing has given me more pleasure.

You're like the old boys. They were golden.

They had that special pride.

When they were done, they were done.

Nobody had to show them the door.

Are you saying I should retire?

Why not?

It wouldn't hurt the negotiations, and it'd serve those sons of bitches right.

I don't know what to say.

You can't tell me you haven't thought about it.

And you've been smart with money, right? Right?

I've always been a Tiger.

I know, son.

That's why this is killing me.

You know, my dad bought this team when I was seven.

I grew up watching the Tigers.

I was gonna leave the team to my kids, but they don't even like baseball.

Everything's changed, Billy.

The players, the fans, TV rights and arbitrations.

It isn't the same. The game stinks, and I...

...I can't be a part of it anymore.

Billy, you want me to...


Hello? Jane.

Where are you? You're downstairs?

No. Just stay there, all right?

Just stay where you're at. I'm on my way down.

What do you want me to tell them, Billy?

Look, I need more time. All right?

The game doesn't stink, Mr. Wheeler.

It's a great game.

Billy, what's up?

I tried to get her in a cab, Mr. Chapel, but she said she wanted to just go and walk across Central Park.

Go easy on our boys today, Billy.

Jane, why didn't you wait?

Are you crying?

What's the matter?

They didn't have any Kleenex in the hotel bathroom.

What's going on, Jane?

I've been sitting in the lobby for the last two hours.

Doing what?

I'm sorry I didn't call last night.

I could tell that your voice was worried and I...

If something's wrong, just say it, Jane.

I mean, we don't...

We never had to fake it.

I'm leaving. I'm going to London.


There's a job. A good job. An editor's position.

And I've been trying to figure out a way to tell you, but everything sounds so...

What can I say? Tell me what to say.

I can't tell you, Billy.

It's all right. I knew it.

The day I met you five years ago. What?

You knew what?

You don't need me.

You and the ball and the diamond, you're perfect.

A perfectly beautiful thing.

You can win or lose the game all by yourself.

I'm sorry.

I'm so sorry.

Have dinner tonight with me, Jane, after the game.

We'll go to Mario's.

I have a 6:00 plane.

They wanted me there a week ago when you called, and I wanted to see you.

I wanted to say goodbye.

Goodbye, Billy.

Welcome to New York and to Yankee Stadium on a crisp and glorious fall afternoon where the Yankees try to win the divisional title against the Detroit Tigers.

Hi, everybody. I'm Vin Scully, along with Steve Lyons, and welcome to our final telecast of the regular season.

You can smell the fall.

The World Series is just around the corner.

Mr. Chapel?

Hey. Ken Strout. I was your batboy a long time ago.

My dad was a Tiger.

Joe Strout. I remember. How's he doing?

Good. He and Ma are living in Florida.

He doesn't move around too easy, though.

He's got bad knees. You know, a little arthritis.

What? You playing today?

Don't think so. They just called me up.

Good. Well, good luck to you.

Give your dad my best. He was a great player.

Oh, thanks. I'll tell him.

Live from Yankee Stadium in New York, it's New York Yankees baseball.

Today, on the next to last day of the year, the Yankees have a chance to clinch the pennant.

To do it, they'll have to beat Billy Chapel...

Excuse me. ...and the Detroit Tigers.

Excuse me. Could you turn that off, please? the Yankees are set to clinch the pennant. No.

But standing in their way is the great veteran right-hander of the Tigers, Billy Chapel.

Does anybody else know?


Nobody knows nothing. Not even Perry.

If they knew, that's all they'd be talking about.

Well, what does Jane say?

Jane's moving to London.

Moving to London? What the...

How are you gonna manage that?

We're not.


This ain't your day.

What are you gonna do?

I don't know.

That's Wheeler's nephew.

He sent him down to get your answer.

Guess he's gonna sit through the whole game if he has to.

Poor kid.

He doesn't even know what he's doing here.

Just throw the ball to the glove, son.

Just play catch.

Now since you're throwing bullets, I won't mention you were an hour late and I've been trying to figure out who my pitcher would be if you didn't show up.

Have I ever not showed?

I mean, in 19 years, have I ever not showed?

Well, that's true of everyone till the first time they don't show.

Billy, I had an idea.

I've pretty much made up my mind, but I wanted to run it by you first.

I want Jimmy to catch today.

I know how you feel about Gus, but he ain't hitting, Billy.

He ain't hit for a while now.

I haven't said anything, but we need the left-handed bat.

I want Gus.

I know. And I'd love to take one of these goddamn games.

We're not laying down.

We're not gonna be a red carpet to the Series for these guys.

Gus catches or I don't pitch.

Me and Gus. Nobody else.

I hope you hear me.

Billy, you telling me how to run this team?

No. But today...

It's me and Gus. I've never asked you any other time, okay?


Glad you agree. Can't argue about this right now.

Got to warm up.

I'm sorry. We have a bit of a delay.

We're correcting a bit of a maintenance problem.

So we don't have a bit of a crash?

Is there someplace I can stay?

Yes. The Premier Lounge is down there on your right.


As the sun goes down, it'll actually be an easier time to hit for both teams.

And now talking about shadows and sunlight that might very well sum up Billy Chapel.

Long has he stood in the brilliant sunshine in his great 19-year career, but now, battling back from an 8 and 11 record this year, trying to find his way out of the shadows, back into the sunlight.

He'll be facing Mike Robinson, followed by Jonathan Warble and then Sam Tuttle.

Bottom of the first inning, no score, and the Yankees coming up.

What's he looking at?

He's looking at the clouds.

You okay, Chap? Chappie!

You okay?

Catching, Number 27. Gus Sinski. Number 27.

At shortstop, Number 7.

Trying to take my hand off?


Just let me set for that juice.

Warn me or something.

I'm gonna throw a little harder than usual today.

There's your warning.

Chap, don't throw it away too early.

Today I'm throwing hard, Gus.

You and me? One more time?

Why not?

We got you, Chapel! You're done!

We're gonna stick a fork in you, Chapel!

You're finished!

You are complete. The Tigers are done!

You're done! You're finished!

Get out of town!

I can always tell when I'm in New York.

Chapel! Yo, Chapel!

You suck!

You stink on ice! You couldn't pitch a tent!

Clear the mechanism.

Hello, Mike.

Strike one!

Chapel working on Robinson.

Bottom of the first inning, no score.

And there's a little looper to José Garcia. One away.

This is my lucky day. How are you?

Fine. How you doing? What'll you have?

The Bud on tap is good.

This is a beautiful day for the big ballpark in the Bronx.

Two solid years, and now a third with the Yankees.

Pretty good breaking ball. Did get it up...

A lot of guys would be upset about missing their flight you know, delay this and that, but this works out beautiful for me.

Chapel trying to derail the Yankees and the Yankees trying to end a season that has long been finished by Detroit.

They pushed this guy up to pitch this game, so basically we clinch today and I get to see it.


Hi. What can I get for you?

Chivas and water.

Okay, here we go.

Everything is... Look at that. It's early.

You got nuts, chips? Some?

Got those pretzels.

I can make do.

Thank you.

Good fastball with some movement on it.

Down goes Warble. He swung at that?

This guy, he's got nothing now.

It's like, if I was Boston, I'd be worried.

I'd be like, "What? Are you throwing the game?"

This guy used to be a monster, to tell you the truth.

When he first came up, unhittable. Now he's a junker.

...three years in a row. In baseball circles, we all know that there's no love lost between these two.

They don't like each other too much.

At third base, Number 13, Sam Tuttle.

Sam Tuttle.

I can't think of a better reason not to be a Yankee.

Sam Tuttle hit. 625.

He went 5 for 8 against Chapel this year.

That would make me not like a guy.

I would think so.

Fastball on the inside corner. Strike one.

Wasn't that inside?

Never do swing at the first pitch, do you, Sam?

No. We're off the page now, Gus.

This is between me and Ugly. Straight heat.


Strike two!

That shit's outside.

No wonder nobody likes you, Tuttle.

Everything's a goddamn debate.

Fastball, and it runs right on that outside corner.

So 0 and 2 the count to Sam Tuttle.

I saw that shitty little Hollywood movie you did.


I guess Sinski wanted that one.

So did Chap. You see the reaction on his face.

That's a good pitch on the outside corner.

Tuttle didn't like the first two calls, and now he gets a break on that outside corner.

That's not the kind of pitch that Chapel's gonna like being called a ball all day long.

Don't crowd me, Sam.

I hate being crowded.


One and two the count, and Tuttle has really moved up on the plate.

He's all over the plate right now.

Now you got the idea.

Down goes Tuttle.

What a knockdown pitch that was.

There's a message being delivered.

Yankee Stadium is like a schoolyard and Bill Murdie looks like a teacher who sees trouble.

They say in every great athlete there's a mean streak and Billy Chapel's no different.

Bill Murdie goes from umpire to referee.

Anytime I played against this guy, if he felt like he had good stuff, he'd flip you like this.

He'd throw a ball right over your head just to let you know, "I can throw the ball anywhere I want today."

You know, I've been a Yankee fan since 1958.

I can name a Yankee for every number.

Oh, God. Please don't.

Number One: Billy Martin, Bobby Richardson.

Number Two: Frank "The Crow" Crosetti and Bobby Murcer.

Number Three: The Babe. Number Four: Gehrig.

Five: DiMaggio. Six... Excuse me.

...Clete Boyer, Roy White.

Would you mind?

You can't smoke in a bar.

What, now you can't talk in a bar?

This ain't church, lady.

Oh, what a restore. Tuttle back up to the plate.

Two and two!

Same shit, different day?

I'd throw it at you again, but I'm afraid Murdie'd run me.

Strike three!

Oh, good breaking ball.

Got him looking.

What a great job setting up the hitter.

Let's take another look.

Tuttle looks like a deer caught in the headlights.

Chapel jelly-legged him.

So at the end of one, Tigers nothing, Yankees nothing.

All right. Here we go now.

Four, five, six. Let's get something started.

José, atta-baby. It's all about positioning. All right?

You got to wait on this guy.

Mike, can I have some water?

Sure thing, Billy.

You all right?

You got it going good out there.

Make sure you save something.

Birch wants to play golf tomorrow.

You know, I played golf with Birch the day I met Jane.

You doing all right?


I'm not hearing them at all out there.

Yeah, that'll fix it.

I don't need any help.

I can see that. I can see you got your car kicked completely into submission.

I mean it. Just go away.

I can always tell when I'm in New York.

Do you really know anything about cars?

You want me to have a look at it?

Okay. It's not mine. It's just a trashy rental.

Yeah. Mine, too.

Why don't you try the key, see if we can't get it started.

I should've paid attention in auto shop. Ouch.

What did you do? Well, I was...

I have no idea. I don't...

I don't know anything about cars.

I was just trying to be manly.

That was great, thank you. You saved my day.

Of course I did. I said I would.

Where you headed?

I'm not sure.

Bear Mountain, maybe.

I just threw my stuff in the car and took off.

Had to get out of the city.

How come?

'Cause summer's over and I missed it.

I work all the time. It makes me feel old. I don't know.


Well, thanks again.

So, what's the problem?

My problem seems to be solved.

Oh, no.

Wait a second. The car's fine.

Yeah, but listen, honey.

I gave up on four calls hauling my ass out to you.

Okay? That's $100 to me, so if nothing's wrong with this car now there will be when I bring it down to the city. Okay?

Everything all right?

Everything's peaches, mac.

You're Billy Chapel.

I can't believe it.

It's a pleasure to meet you. I can't believe this.

Oh, I'm sorry.

You know, you're the greatest freaking ballplayer out there.

I'm sorry. But you really are.

I'm gonna go get that. You stay right here, okay?

Billy Chapel.

Nice to meet you. Jane Aubrey.

You know, I got this problem.

See, I'd like to keep talking with you, but I got to go to work.

Just a sec. Hey!

I'll get there when I get there.

Can you do me a favor? Anything.

We got a bum deal on this rental here, so if you could...

If you could haul this back to town for us, I'd really appreciate it.

I can't take that.

Wait a second. What are you doing?

You like baseball? What?


No, not really. Hey...

You ever been?


Would you like to go?

Would you like to go to a baseball game with me?

Billy, if she don't want to go, I'll go.

Don't let that happen.

Lady, you can't just stand in the middle like that.

Oh. Sorry.

Let me see your ticket.

You're with the players' wives. Follow me.

Thanks. Excuse me.

Sorry. Sorry.

Hey there, excuse me.

Who are you here with, honey?

Billy Chapel.

Oh, how nice.

This week's blonde.

No, stay. You're cool. Trust me.

I've been there, all right?

I'm Kisha Birch.

Hi. Hi.

Jane Aubrey. Nice to meet you.

Strike three!

You got a ball? Yeah.

You don't lose much, do you?

I lose. I've lost.

About 134 times.


That's over, like, 15 years, okay?


You count them?

We count everything in baseball. I mean, God, that's all we do.

All right, quit stalling.


You haven't told me anything about you. Nothing.

I figured if I kept my mouth shut, I could pass for elegant and mysterious.

You're forgetting I saw you on the highway, kicking the hell out of your car.

Where are you from?

Oh, God.

Three questions.

Syracuse, New York. That's one.

What are the pads for?

This one is my article on lip gloss for Elle magazine this one is on skin peels, and my grocery list.

Last question.

How do you like to be kissed?

You know, I've always thought that men and women should just carry around signs.

You know, if you're poor and you can't afford it, you would make yours out of cardboard and string.

And if you're rich, you could have it lettered in gold leaf or pounded out of tin by Mexican craftsmen, it doesn't matter.

But you wear them around your neck. See?

And they say things like "shallow" or "horny."

It just would be a hell of a lot easier.

What would yours say?

Billy, isn't this your floor?

I think so.

We've been here twice before.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Got to go.

Sleep as long as you want.

You can take a shower, anything you want.

Nobody'll bother you till you take the sign off the door.

Okay. Thanks.

What's this? A souvenir?

It's my number.

Billy, you don't have to give me this.

I know I don't have to do this, but I wanted to.

When will you be back?

I already checked.

Four weeks from Thursday I'll be back in New York, so...

That Thursday night meet me in the bar downstairs at 10:00, okay?

I'll be there waiting for you.

If you don't show up, if you leave me standing in that bar, it'll ruin this.

Well, then I guess I'll just have to show up.

I'm serious.

I'll be there, Jane, okay?

Okay, Billy Chapel.

Birch, baby! Kiss that bitch goodbye! Take it over!

Clear the mechanism.

You look old, Davis.

Are we that old?

And the fastball sinks at the knees, picks up the corner and the count 0 and 1.

Don't smile at me, Davis. I hate that.

It was a sad day in Detroit when Gary Wheeler, the owner of the Tigers and a somewhat beleaguered franchise, was forced to trade Davis Birch, who was a free agent.

Detroit could not come up with his monetary demands.

The Yankees were waiting with open arms and an open wallet.

It was your team, too.

I mean, how much money we got to make?

You want to see my team?

Let's go play. That's my team over there.

You got it. I'll be out in a second, okay?

Billy, are you gonna just sit there and mope or are you gonna help?

I ain't carrying no books. Where's the pillows?

You're the best, kiddo.

The best around. The worthy opponent.

The 0-1 pitch, and the bottom just drops out of it. Strike two.

Look at Birch staring out at Chapel saying, "Where's that curveball coming from?

"You never had that curveball when we played together."

It don't happen that often, but I got you mixed up, don't I?

You're guessing now, aren't you?

Well, here's your fastball.

Right down the pipe so you don't walk away thinking I was afraid to give it to you.


Fastball runs on the inside corner.

Strike three called.

Jesus, Birch, I could've hit that.

So, Billy Chapel all business, taking care of Birch on three pitches.

Lenny Howell will follow.

If you don't show up, if you leave me standing in that bar, it'll ruin this.

Cab, Mr. Chapel?

You leaving?

Yeah, I was supposed to meet someone, but they...

I'm sorry. I wasn't gonna come.

I actually sat in my apartment, counting the hours to the time when I was not gonna show up to meet you and then I just...

Oh, God.

Billy Chapel.

Why do you always use both my names?

So I know what I'm up against.

I had a great time with you last month.

It's not that. Don't get me wrong.

It's just that...

I don't mean to sound like anything or anything.

But, but I don't do that.

And I'm not saying anything about it. What?

I just don't do it, not since college. What don't you do?

I just... You know what?

I think I should go home. Why?

Because I just don't screw like that!

And I hate that word.

You want the cab, Mr. Chapel?

Give it to somebody else.

I don't go to hotel rooms with men I don't know.

Billy, I can't be a groupie.

You're not a groupie, Jane.

You don't look like one or act like one.

I didn't treat you like one.

Wasn't I a gentleman?

Yes, I know.

But you pull up out of nowhere, you start my car, you make me laugh and the next thing I know, I'm at a baseball game that you win!

I mean, it's so surreal.

Little boys buy cards with your picture on them.

They buy those for the gum.

God damn it!


God damn what?

I like you.

So what's the problem?

I'm really not at all the person you think I am.

And I think it would just be more fair for both of us for me to just leave.

Well, forget it.

What's the difference? I mean... What? No.

Here, give me the thing.

What's the difference between the real you and this other you?

The real me is...

The real me is plain, uninteresting and hates sexy underwear because it's really uncomfortable.

All right. So, the real you is a bummer.

This can't be what you were looking for from this evening.

Be totally honest with me.

That day I fixed your car, Jane, I got lucky.

And maybe you got lucky, too.

I mean, I know we don't know each other so well, but that's what I was hoping.

I mean, we don't have to... We could, like, walk.

I mean, we could walk like... We can just walk.


I could walk.

We don't have to talk so much either.


Border collie.

My dad loved the Blue Heelers.

Is he still alive?

No, they're both gone.

Him first, and then her within a year.

He was a good man.

Very tall. Very reserved.

Passionately in love with two things, my mother and baseball.

Then he was a lucky man.



So, how do we do this? How does this work, Billy?

I told you, I have to be here next month for a couple of days.

I want to see you.



So, when you're away I'll live my life and you'll live yours.

And none of this stupid, bullshit, why-didn't-you-call-me crap.

And what you do when you're not with me has nothing to do with me, and vice versa.

No questions asked. No worrying. No obsessing.

That sounded perfect.

Good night. Good night.

My back keeps breaking out.

Candy says it's gross.

Use the loofah.

The what?

The loofah. It exfoliates.

You're losing it over this girl.

I met this woman in New York.

I'm thinking of asking her down.

Call her.

No, you know, it's not... It's casual.

I've seen her a few times over the winter in New York when I happened to be there.

Call her.


I'm having this problem with my skin peel.

I was just thinking about you.

Yeah? What were you thinking?

I was wondering when you play your first series against the Yankees.

Jane, come down here.


Come see me.

Come spend the weekend. Meet my friends.

I don't know, Billy.

What do you mean, you don't know?

I've got a ton of work to do, and you know, I can't afford to be running off... So I'll pay.


It's not that.

Look, we made the rules.

I think we should stick to them.

There's no rules about having fun. I mean, that's bullshit.

Why is it bullshit?

Because if all you wanna do is have fun, then you would come here down here

'cause this is fun.

You know who sat in the bleachers last Sunday?


Sandy Koufax.

You are such a... Sandy Koufax.

You are such a guy. You are like the ultimate guy.

What? You don't like guys?

I need a regular guy, not the guy on the Old Spice commercial.

It was Right Guard.


It was Right Guard, that commercial.

I was being metaphorical, Billy.

Look, this is crazy. What am I supposed to do?

I'm supposed to run down there and meet Sandy Koufax, get his autograph and sleep with Mr. Right Guard?

What are you so afraid of?

I'm not afraid.

I can't be a groupie.

You know, that's the second time you used that word to me, Jane, and it didn't really go down that well the first time.

Now you're mad.

No, I'm not mad. I'm just pissed off.

Billy, that's not fair.

I'm gonna hang up now, all right? Let's just start from...

I'll call you another time.

Wait. No. When will you call me?

Like, when I don't feel like killing you.

I told her.

So, I haven't seen you around much lately.

I've been working hard.

Yeah, well. All work and no play.

All I've got is my toothbrush and a bathing suit I bought at the airport.

You're not smiling. You're annoyed. No.

I'm an idiot.

No, I'm an idiot.

Jane, listen to me.

No matter what happens in the next five minutes, I want you to know that when I opened this door I was so happy to see you that my heart leapt.

It leapt in my chest. Okay?


Hey, Billy, can I borrow your...

Blow dryer?

Don't go.

It's not your...


I have terrible timing. I've always had it.

You know, that's why I failed at acting and skiing and table tennis.

I should have known when the only flight to Lauderdale was at 6:10 a.m. and the only rental car I could get was this ridiculous Lincoln.

The car is perfect. It's perfect.

That girl...

Please. You don't have to do this. I'm not angry or hurt.

We're not anything. You're fine.

You can do whatever you want. I know I can do... I just...

I don't want her.

Then what is she doing here?

Well, I like her. She's my masseuse.

It's never quite how you play it in your head.

What about the whole deal thing?

What deal?

You know, you do what you do, I do what I do.

You believed that?

I was lying. I was trying to be the man.

And I was doing a damn good job of it until you invited me down here.

You were right.

I was afraid.

I was afraid you were gonna break my heart into 1,000 pieces.

I'm sorry. Jane.

I've been thinking about you, Jane.

I don't know what I was... That was a...

All right, tell me what I can say so you'll believe me.

I believe you.

Then stay.

Please, Jane. I want you to stay.

This can only end bloody for me, Billy.

I saved the sign. You know the "yes" sign?

I pinned it on the wall in my locker. God damn it!

It was stupid!

Strike three called.

On the corner.

Strike three! Fastball, got him looking.

That's strikeout number five for Billy Chapel and he is really on a roll now.

Franklin, obviously annoyed at what he thinks is a bad call is muttering as he goes up the first base line.

Bill Murdie showing some patience, but right back at him, ready to bite.

Here's that pitch again.

It looked like it was in the heart of the strike zone.

It's a little surprising that Franklin was so annoyed.

And it looks like for Bill Murdie, the pot is about ready to boil over.

So, a dominant inning for Billy Chapel, striking out the side.

You're in the zone.

Number 24. Feels good.

Now, there's Mickey Hart, 0 for 1.

No score, fourth inning.

Jack Spellman doing well.

Has allowed only two hits to the Tigers and meanwhile, Billy Chapel in perfect control.

Oh, Mickey'll be gone next year, too.

Poor guy. Never could get a break.

Where was that catch he missed?

The one that hit him?

They still play that on Diamond Vision all the time.

"There goes another rubber tree plant."


Everything's all right, man.

Guess that looked pretty funny out there today, huh?

Probably end up on ESPN or something.

Lot of shit ends up on ESPN I don't think is very funny, Mick.

Phone call, Mr. Chapel.

There's a bunch of cameras out there, waiting to make a joke of this, Mick.

So you can either stop, give them the sound bite, do the dance, or you hold your head up and walk by, and the next time we're in Boston we'll go out there and we'll work the wall together.

Don't help them make a joke out of you.

Old school, baby. He's right.

Chapel. - It's Jane.

I got your number from the front office.

I hope that it's okay. No, that's all right.

Don't worry about it. What's wrong?

Something's happened.

It's my daughter. She ran away. And...

Your daughter? I'll tell you. I don't have time now.

But she's there in Boston. Her father lives there.

Oh, God. We had a fight and she... All right.

Jane, just slow down, all right? Just slow down.

She climbed down the fire escape and went to Penn Station got on a train to go to her father, but he's not there.

What's the address?

8245 Clackton.

What's her name?



Scared you, didn't I? Heather. It's Heather.


It's okay.

I'm the guy your mom said was coming to get you.

Let's get out of here before we get our asses kicked twice in one night.


You're Heather.

And you're the baseball player.

My mom can do nothing normal.

Shut up.

Do you want something?

I'll have a V8.

What is it with single men and V8 juice?

I mean, my dad's fridge has nothing but mustard in it, but when I come to visit, it has mustard, fish sticks, and this big jug of V8 Juice.

Like, if he makes me choke down a glass, he's being healthy and fatherly.

Well, I like V8.

It's nutritious.

So, are you my mom's boyfriend?

I'm not sure.

But you've slept with her.

V8. It's a refreshing blend of eight vegetable juices.

What did you and your mother fight about?

I didn't come home from school when I was supposed to because I was with Mark Elton and...

She freaked out because he has facial hair and his parents are never home.

And I said, "We didn't do anything."

And she said, "You could have."

And I said, "Well, I might love him."

And she said, "You don't know what love is."

And I said, "Well, I'm gonna do what I want to do."

And she said, "Well, not in this house."


So I went to my dad's because he doesn't care what I do

'cause he's stoned 90 percent of the time.

She just...

She doesn't want me to make the same mistakes that she did.

I mean, she had me when she was 16.

I know she never had a love story.

And now, it's like she doesn't believe in it.

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry, too.

I'm so sorry.

Thank you.


Come up.

Don't ever do that again, okay? Okay.

We can always work it out, all right? Just talk to me.

Honey, you want some spaghetti?

No, it's okay. I'm tired. You sure?

Yeah. I ate on the plane. Okay.

How was it? It was good. It was really small.

She's already asleep.

Thank you.

Why didn't you tell me?

I don't know.

I protect her, maybe too much.

Some guys meet her and they don't come around anymore.

She thinks it's her fault.

You want some tea, or something? I could make...

You hungry? No, I'm good.

It's nice.

Good home.


I like to hold it in my hand

'cause I know somewhere you're doing the same thing.

I'm glad you called me.

I'm really glad.

What are you doing down there?

My foot's been kicking something down here all night.

What is...

It's not mine.

Oh, you mean it doubles as a flashlight?

It's really a flashlight. No wonder you have so many batteries in this room. Shut up.

I'm hungry. I'm starving.

To the kitchen.

About 20 hours of labor.

Nicky was so freaked out, he didn't even stick around for my sixth month.

But there was this unbelievable nurse who stayed double shift to be with me and feed me ice chips and tell me when to breathe and push and scream and...

Then, finally she came out.

And they laid her on my stomach, and I could feel her little heartbeat and I just kept thinking, over and over, "You and me. You and me, little girl."

And then I rigged out my backpack like those baby slings they have now and we walked out of there two kids together.

What are you thinking?

That you're heroic, and I admire you.

And you care a lot about me, but you can't afford to get involved.

Is that what's next?


I was thinking about you and Heather.

And me.

I was really thinking about how nice it would be to spend time together.

Oh, these are great.

We'll use them in Central Park.

No, we can use them out here.

You ever gotten your heart broken?


When we lost the pennant in '87.

Would you still love me if I got burned in a fire?


If I ran into a tree and got paralyzed?


What if I were totally disfigured?

If my face were all scraped away, I had no arms, no legs, no brain waves and I was being kept alive on a heart-lung machine, would you love me?


But we could still be friends, though.

Do you believe in God?


How old do you think you're gonna be when you die?

Do you like white meat or dark?



You know, the dark part's more fatty.

But it's cool. It's cool to like that part.

You like it chopped up and...

You know how people dice it in that salad, the chef salad?

Or you like it torn? 'Cause I personally like it torn.

Not that you have to like it how I like it.

No questions.

Why do you ask me all this stuff?

Because I want to know you.

Breaking ball. A comebacker, right at Billy Chapel to hold on to the line drive.

This is one of those chuck-and-duck pitches.

When you throw like that, it comes back at you that quick it's almost like the ball catches you.

And so far, Chapel is getting away with it.

Go Tigers! Go Tigers!

So, we have one out here in the top of the sixth inning. No score.

Spellman has allowed two hits. Chapel has been perfect.

And the batter is Gus Sinski, 0 for 1.

Gus has had a tough year this year at the plate, but they really pay him for what he does behind the plate.

He handles his pitching staff so well and any kind of hit that he gets is a bonus for this club.

Jaime Ruiz is a little slow in coming up with it.

Get down! Get down!

Safe! Damn it! It was close!

He beat the play!

Good call.

Well, in a game like this, that could be a huge play.

The last leg double Sinski had was during the Reagan administration.

And the Yankees are now on the phone talking to the bullpen.

And they get a left-hander up.

Bobby Mack is ticked off with the Yankees and he gives batter José Garcia the intentional walk.

So, in a moment, there will be runners at first and second, one out in the sixth, no score, and a left-hand hitter coming up.

That would be Brian Whitt.


I was just looking for you. Billy?

Oh, my God.

I can't feel anything.

Hold this. Close your fingers around it.

Hold it up. Hold it up.

Hold on, Billy.


Pitcher. He's hurt his hand. We need a doctor.

Are you his wife? No.

Are you a relative? No.

Then I'll have to ask you to wait outside.


My friend cut his hand. It's bleeding very deeply.

Is there one of you that can please help? Ma'am!

Is this not America?

Is baseball not America's favorite pastime?

Can I help you? Are you a doctor?

Yes. Thank you, God.

Jane. I'm right here.

Jane, call Mike Udall. What?

The trainer in Detroit. Call him.

Tell him what happened.

I'm going with you.

Sorry. There's not enough room in the medevac.

You're gonna need to stay here.


Call Mike!

He's the most important person for me right now.

You need to clear out.

There's a little flare just by Howell's glove into right field.

Here comes Sinski. Colborn waved him to the plate.

The throw. He is in there! Safe! Safe!

And the Tigers take a 1-0 lead.

But what a great slide by Sinski, sliding away from the play at the plate.

Jim Colborn, the third base coach, didn't even hesitate.

He had their catcher, the slowest guy on their team, coming around third, trying to score in a scoreless ball game had no hesitation at all. Sent him all the way.

It's all bullshit, Billy. Don't listen to it.

You've done it all.

You've won every award there is to win.

You've got a room reserved at Cooperstown, Billy.

I just don't know how much more you have to prove.

And even if you do come back, you're not gonna be 100 percent.

Billy, you may not even be 50.

- What'd you say? Nothing.

Let's knock off for today. Jane's here.

What did you say?

I didn't say anything.

You said "if."

I didn't mean "if." But you said "if."

Come on, I only meant that... You think I'm not coming back?


Say it.

You're tired. Let's quit for...

Say it, chickenshit.

You got a job.

That's to get me strong, and get me back. All right?

You get me back.

I'll figure out how to win.

You want to work with me tomorrow, you get your mind right.

You get it right, or you don't come around me.

You mad at me or Mike? Why would I be mad at Mike?

You practically tore his head off.

Talk to me. Talk? You don't want to talk.

You just want to give me your version of why I should quit.

I want this shit out of here.

What are you trying to do?

Are you trying to make me mad?

You're gonna pack up my things and make me go so you can sit here in the dark and feel sorry for yourself.

Well, forget it, Billy.

You can't cook. You can't drive.

I'll hire somebody to drive me.

Someone who doesn't talk? Doesn't think bad thoughts?

Billy, we are gonna get through this.

You just have to try.

We've got to be... Try! Try! God damn it, Jane.

I'm the only one who's trying here.

Now I got nobody in the front office, nobody in the press, and now I got nobody in this house that thinks I'm gonna make it back.

I have been nothing but supportive of you.

I don't even want you here, Jane! I mean...

Don't you get it?

You make me feel distracted.

You make me feel weak.

Billy, you taught me something.

You taught me how to believe again.

How good things can happen, and that they will happen.

But now you need to let me teach you something about what I know.

About how sometimes life seems like it's slamming you down, but it's really giving you a gift.

I had a baby when I was 16.

That could have wrecked me, but it didn't.

Instead it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

You mean if life gives you lemons, you make lemonade?

You are such an asshole.

Yeah. Well, if you're telling me I'm not ever gonna hold that ball again...

I can't.

I mean, haven't you ever loved anything that much?

I'll call the airlines.

See what kind of flights I can make.

You do that.


Uh-oh. Something happen to Chapel?

Frank Perry is on the steps of the dugout and apparently he didn't like what he saw.

Give me the ball.

What are you looking... Give me the ball!

Stay there.

There's something wrong with either his arm, his elbow or his shoulder there.

He doesn't look very comfortable.

Bill, he's hurt.

Now here he comes. He's going out to visit.

You just do something there?


You hurting? No.

How long?

Ten years.

What do you want to do?

I'd like you to smile at me, pat me on the fanny and march your butt to that dugout and sit down.

That's what I'd like. I want this goddamn game, Billy.

Well, I want it, too.

If it gets any worse, I'll sit down.

Ready to go?

Where's my pat?

Thank you.

You let me know. Yeah. He's all right.

He's flexing his hand.


He does that when his arm's tingling.

Pretty soon he's not gonna be able to feel anything and...

You know him?

Yeah, and I know Mickey fucking Mantle.

Hey, watch the language, okay? There's people in here.

God, I hate Yankee fans.

Hey, you leaving? How can you leave when your guy's winning?

He's not gonna win.

How do you know?

Because he's hurting and he won't tell anyone, and he won't come out.

I don't know.

Honey, I hope you're wrong.

As you mentioned earlier, there's no love lost at all between Tuttle and Chapel and Tuttle would just love to break up this perfecto right now.

Yes, he would.

And he bunts up along third! Down to get it.

Backhanded by Chapel, throws to first.

What are you bunting for, Tuttle?

We need a hit, you pansy!

And for the third time today, Sam Tuttle has boiled over, arguing now with first base umpire Richie Garcia.

Take another look at it.

The only guy that can field this ball is Chapel.

He's like a cat off the mound, going to the side.

He slides and picks up the ball and throws it.

That enabled him to get up quicker than to just bend over.

What a mix we have going on for the last two innings.

And sitting alone upstairs, owner Gary Wheeler reportedly has already sold his ball club, the Tigers, to the corporate group in the box to his left.

And now an unconfirmed report beginning to ripple the water that the corporate's first business would be to trade Billy Chapel when the season is over.

So, as so often happens in a ball game, there are so many other undercurrents so many more things than meet the eye, and here we have it all.

A beleaguered owner selling a ball club, perhaps the new owner selling the biggest star on the club and all the while, Billy Chapel perhaps trying to make the decision of his life.

Does he remain a big leaguer?

Or, after 19 years, will he call it quits?

See that? Man, it just takes off.

I just don't even know where...

Use the seams. Well, I am using the seams, but I can't feel the seams. Just...

Tell her about the exhibition you went to with the she-male paintings.

You know, the portraits... Tell her that one.

You tell them. It's your story.

Please. Will you excuse me?

Sure. Thanks.

But I don't have enough black on, or what?

No. It's just that you're not on the list.


So, you need an invitation to get in.

Here comes my invitation.

It's all right.

I tried to tell him that baseball's America's favorite pastime, but he wasn't...

I called your office. They told me where you were.

I hope you don't mind.

How's your hand?


You look beautiful.

Jane. Excuse me just one moment.

Jane, what's the ma...

Billy Chapel?


So nice to finally meet you. I'm Ian.

Ian? The editor?

Yes, I guess so.

Jane's told me so much about you.

So, you're in town with the team?


I saw you play against the Padres in the World Series back in the '80s when I worked in LA. It was fantastic.

You like baseball?

Yeah, sure.

May I?

So, do you like the paintings?


Would you excuse us? We're gonna have a drink.

Sure. Go ahead.

You don't smoke.

I do sometimes.

Billy, you surprised me here. I didn't know...

I have to go.

Let me walk you. Let me give you a ride.

I can't.

Why not?

Because I came with someone.


I came with Ian.

Thank you so much for coming.

You mean like a date?

Are you seeing him?


I haven't seen you in five months. You haven't called.

I called. Three times in five months.

You knew what I was doing.

What about what I've been doing?

You have no idea what I've been doing for the last five months.

When you come in here, you insult my friends, you embarrass me... I didn't insult anybody.

The prick asked me if I liked the painting. I said I didn't.

And I didn't come in here to embarrass you.

I mean, you could have told me.

I mean, you could have said something to me.

Said what? God damn it, Jane, you never just lay it out there.

Lay what out there?

That you hurt me? Is that what you want?

How they...on the plane ride home the flight attendant had to ask me how I was?

How in the cab, I couldn't tell the cab driver where I lived?

Or how I had to beg Heather to sleep with me?

Is that what you want?

Is that what you want me to tell you? I'll tell you all about it.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry about what I said to you that day in the condo.

It's all right. It doesn't matter anymore.

I think maybe that you and I are just not the same kind of people.

Look, I'm pitching tomorrow night in Yankee Stadium.

I want you to come. No.

You and Heather. No.

Please. It's my first game back. I want you to be there.

I'll be watching you.

You know I'll always be watching you.

Just not from the friends' box.

The Tigers with a 1-0 lead, but the story would be the inability of the Yankees to do anything with Chapel.

No runs, no hits, no errors, but more importantly, no base runners of any kind.

Billy Chapel is looking a possible perfect game right in the eye.

Billy Chapel all alone, his teammates staying away.

They don't want to intrude upon the zone.

So Wheeler rooting for a kid that he signed when...

You guys, please. ...Billy Chapel was in high school.

And Wheeler now seeing the fruition of the hope and the long work in the 19 years, with six outs away.

How you doing, ace?

Anybody been on base?



This I ain't seen much of.

Me neither.


I never have.

What's the matter?

I don't know if I have anything left.


You just throw whatever you've got. Whatever's left.

The boys are all here for you.

We'll back you up. We'll be there.

'Cause, Billy, we don't stink right now.

We're the best team in baseball right now, right this minute, 'cause of you.

You're the reason.

We're not gonna screw that up.

We're gonna be awesome for you right now.

Just throw.

All right? Come on. Come on.

Billy Chapel has retired 21 consecutive batters striking out eight.

And as the Fates would have it, one of his closest friends and a former teammate, Davis Birch, will try to snatch the diamond away from him.

Leading off in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Ball one, and now the question, of course how much petrol has Billy Chapel got in the tank?

Remember, it was just two innings ago that he started to hurt, the arm tightened up.

Somehow or other he got through it, but now he is in the eighth inning, facing a most dangerous hitter.

Ball two.

Jim, get Stafford up.


I can see the scoreboard.

I know what's going on, okay? Just in case.


Billy. Billy, you can do it.

Just calm down.

Throw the ball to the glove. Just play catch.

So a moment of truth, and he's had several, for Billy Chapel.

3 and 0.

Strike one!

You want to see a big-time pitch?

When you consider the noise, the situation, this stadium, that's unbelievable.

Well, they put the handcuffs on him, 3 and 0, but he's such an aggressive hitter you know they're gonna green-light him 3 and 1.

There it goes!

There's a high drive into deep right field!

Back goes Mickey Hart to the track at the wall and leaps up and one-hands it!

Yeah, yeah.

I love you, Mickey Hart!

He took a home run away from Davis Birch and the perfecto is still alive!

What a play by Mickey Hart right here.

This is a ball right out over the middle and Birch just hammers it.

You got lucky again, Chapel! That's a great play!

I'll miss you the most, Scarecrow.

Ma'am? Are you coming?

I'm sorry. You'll have to board now.




Give my seat to somebody else.

Twenty-two consecutive outs retired by Billy Chapel and he goes head-to-head with Lenny Howell.

Fastball pulled to the right side.

A sliding stop by Marcus Ransom to get him.

That's the second time today that Ransom has taken a base hit away from Lenny Howell.

And now four outs away.

We haven't seen Billy Chapel go this far into a game for a lot of starts now.

He looks very, very tired.

Now the batter will be Ted Franklin, the local boy from New York.

You know he wants to atone for two strikeouts.


High, twisting foul, off to the right of the plate.

Sinski coming back, and makes the play.

Chapel has done it for eight, retiring 24 consecutive batters.

Billy Chapel is certainly getting more than a little help from his friends.


Billy Chapel, right? Right.

I took my kids to see you play your rookie year a long time ago.

You were great.

Thank you. I'll be there in one minute.


Do you remember me?

Heather! Sweetheart.

How are you? I mean...

What are you doing here?

I'm going to U.S.C.

Really? Yeah.

That's great.

Are you playing the Angels or...

Yeah, here for the Angels.

And how's your season going?


Well, not so good, really, but it's almost over now.

How's your mom?

Heather, hurry up.

She's good. She's really good.



I miss you.

I miss you, too.

You don't have plans, do you?

No, I don't.

Well, I'm gonna be there, and it's been awhile.

A long time.

I just thought dinner at the Waldorf might be nice.

About 6:00?

How about 8:00, your room?

Even better.

Great. I'll see you then.

I knew it.

The day I met you five years ago. What?

You don't need me.

You and the ball and the diamond, you're perfect.

You're a perfectly beautiful thing.

You can win or lose the game all by yourself.


You all right, Billy?

Yeah. You got a pen?

Oh, yeah.

Want you to do me a favor.

I want you to give this to Wheeler's nephew.

His nephew?

Yeah, that kid in the clubhouse.


Three more! Come on!

Nothing drops out there!

Jesus Christ.

Billy Chapel is 40 years old as he sits in the dugout here at Yankee Stadium.

40 years old, arm weary and aching.

And don't let anybody tell you or Billy that life begins at 40.

4, 100 innings Billy Chapel has walked to the mound in a brilliant 19-year career.

But never before in all those years and in all those innings has he ever had a date with destiny as he has right now.

He will make the fateful walk to the loneliest spot in the world, the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium, in quest of the pitcher's dream, the perfect game.

Billy Chapel, in quest of the perfect game.

You also realize he may very well be at the crossroads of a brilliant career.

He's a cinch to wind up in the Hall of Fame.

However, after this game he has to make the big decision.

A, will he continue to do what has been his life, maybe more important than life itself, baseball?

Or will he hang it up, and would a perfect game give him the logical conclusion to the great career?


You're hitting for Ruiz. Grab a bat.

At 40 years old, Billy Chapel is flirting with perhaps the greatest accomplishment in baseball.

And standing in his way will be Matt Crane hitting for Babe Nardini, then Jesus Cabrillo.

And Ken Strout has a bat in his hands in the dugout and might very well get the call to bat for Jaime Ruiz.

And you know, Steve, you get the feeling that Billy Chapel isn't pitching against left-handers, isn't pitching against pinch-hitters, he isn't pitching against the Yankees.

He's pitching against time.

He's pitching against the future, against age, and even, when you think about his career, against ending.

And tonight, I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer.

Lord, I know I always said I'd never involve you in a baseball game.

It always seemed silly.

I mean, you got enough to do.

But if there's any way you could make this pain in my shoulder go away for about 10 minutes.

Clear the mechanism.

Clear the mechanism.

Okay. Okay.

Three more.

Like I done a million times.

It's so tough to come off the bench, and sit and watch eight innings of play and then go up there cold, and have to try to swing the bat.

But if you don't get your pitch and hack at it early you might not see another one.

Matt Crane poses quite a threat, especially now when Billy has to be on the ropes.

No, Gus. A curve would hurt too much.

Ground ball to the right side, smothered back at third base by Lee Giordano and throws him out.

That would be another brilliant play.

Look at this. I'm talking about tremendous.

No! He beat it!

Two more outs to go, and here's Jesus Cabrillo, who struck out and flied to center.

It's been over 40 years that I sat at Yankee Stadium and broadcast the perfect game by Don Larsen in the World Series.

And now, I never thought I'd be able to see another one, especially from a 40-year-old pitcher who may very well be at the end of his career.

Gus, god damn it, Gus, just hold it over the middle of the plate.

I'm throwing straight shit right now.

Big swing. And the count, 0 and 1.

What are you swinging at? It was a ball!

This guy's a bum!

There's a drive down the line.

Foul. What a scramble up there.

What used to be just a souvenir might very well turn out to be a very valuable baseball.

Oh, God.

Yeah, I know, I'm stalling.

Everybody knows I'm stalling.

Maybe you'd be stalling, too.

And there's a strike three called.

Billy Chapel striking out Jesus Cabrillo for his ninth strikeout.

And he is one out away from the perfect game.

Wreck it.

All right, skip.

On deck is young Ken Strout, who will take his swings for Jaime Ruiz.

Batting for Ruiz.

Number 60, Ken Strout.

Why not?

I think this is a great move by Bobby Mack, the Yankee skipper, sending a kid up.

Ken Strout. His first major league at bat.

He's just young enough and cocky enough to not realize the magnitude of the situation that he's in.

There's a line drive down the right field line!

Hooking foul!

And that was too close for comfort for the Tigers and for Billy Chapel.

I don't scare you at all, do I?

Guess you forgot who I am.

Think, Billy, don't just throw.


No, curveball's for shit. He knows it. I know it.

He knows it.

This is gonna hurt a little bit.

Strike two!

What's that old line?

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, "you don't understand the situation."

That's Kenny Strout right now as he takes another strike.

And the count is 0 and 2.

But with a weary body and, no doubt, a sore arm.

Now this big crowd, over 56,000, rooting for Billy Chapel to do the near impossible.

It's either gonna be your night, kid, or mine.

Will this be the last pitch of the game?

Will this be the last pitch in Billy Chapel's life?

Will it be the end of his brilliant major-league career?

And, if so, what a high note.

0 and 2 the count to Kenny Strout.

Come on, Billy.

High bouncer! Off the glove of Chapel!

He's out!

He has done it!

Billy Chapel has pitched a perfect game!

The cathedral that is Yankee Stadium belongs to a Chapel!

He was safe!

Nice job, Chapel. Got to give it to you.

Nice job. Come on, perfect game.

I told you, Billy! Didn't I tell you?

History, man!

You're the cream in my coffee.

That's okay. That's okay.

You didn't know. This is good right here.

I'll just stay right here. This is a good spot.

Wait. I got to make a phone call.

Where are we? All right.

You need anything?

Some water.

Thank you, Chappie.

No problem.

No, not for the water.

I know.


Hello. You've reached the hotel message center.

There are no new messages.

Thank you for using the hotel message center. Goodbye.

I thought you had already gone.

I missed my plane. I had to stay at the airport hotel.

Missed your plane?

There was this ball game on.

You saw it?

With a bunch of Yankee fans.

Grown men crying.

It was perfect.

Heather saw it, too. I called her at school.

We were both so proud of you, Billy.

What are you doing here?

I was...

I was on my way to England.


Because you're there.

God, I...

I thought I was gonna have an ocean to think about what I wanted to say to you, what I needed to say.

Billy, you don't need to...

Yes, I...

I used to believe. I mean, I still do that if you give something your all, everything you have it doesn't matter if you win or lose as long as you risked everything, put everything out there.

And I've done that.

I did it in my life. I did it with the game.

But not with you.

I never gave you that.

And I'm sorry.


I have to go.


I've already missed my plane once.

I know. Listen. Listen.

I know I'm on really thin ice here, but when you said that I didn't need you.

Well, last night, that should have been the biggest night of my life.

It wasn't.

It wasn't because you weren't there.

So I just wanted to tell you not to change your mind or keep you from going just so that you know

that I know

that I need you.

I love you, Jane.

I never believed it.

Believe it.