PINK REV 4-19-12 11.
A1 WHITE A1 *
Fills the screen. Falling from the top of frame to thebottom. Pluming off into dust. White, white, white. We
move toward it even as it recedes, always out of reach.
Finally we pop out wide and high to reveal...
The white is chalk. An old BLACK GROUNDSKEEPER lays down theright field line on a baseball diamond.
1 INT. BRANCH RICKEY’S OFFICE - MONTAGUE ST, BROOKLYN - DAY 1 *
Blinds closed. Dust motes in the air. A large GOLDFISH TANKbubbles. BRANCH RICKEY at his desk. Two photos on the wall:
Abe Lincoln & Leo Durocher. CHALKBOARDS covered with 100's
OF NAMES, every player in the Dodger organization.
CLYDE SUKEFORTH and HAROLD PARROTT sit across from Rickeywho stares at them. Sukeforth stares back. Parrott nervous.
Gentlemen, I have a plan... As of
now, only the Board of Directorsand my family know.
Sukeforth and Parrott exchange a look.
A plan’s always good, Mr. Rickey.
And you always got one.
My wife says I’m too old, That my
health isn’t up to it. My son saysthat every one in baseball will beagainst me. But I'm going to do it.
Parrott looks to Sukeforth who keeps his eyes on Rickey.
Do what, Mr. Rickey?
I'm going to bring a Negroballplayer to the Brooklyn Dodgers.
With all due respect, sir, have youlost your mind? Imagine the abuseyou’ll take from the newspapers
alone. Never mind how it’ll play
on Flatbush. Please, Mr. Rickey.
Rickey looks dismissively at Parrott, over to Sukeforth.
PINK REV 4-19-12 1A1A.
There’s no law against it, Clyde.
There’s a code. Break a law and
get away with it, some people think
you’re smart. Break an unwritten
law though, you’ll be an outcast.
YELLOW REV 4-24-12 22.
So be it. New York is full of
Negro baseball fans; every dollar
is green. I don't know who he is,
or where he is, but he’s coming.
EXT. RICKWOOD FIELD - BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA - NIGHT
The big Birmingham Black Barons CATCHER behind the plate as
Kansas City Monarchs JOHN SCOTT stands at bat. The catcher’s
attention on the RUNNER DANCING off first. Stomping a foot,
feinting, hard to see clearly in the glare of the lights.
Where’d you learn to move like
that, runner?! At dime a dance
night?! Stay quiet!
Birmingham, Alabama. April 8, 1945. *
On the first pitch the runner takes off. The catcher fires to
second. See it from his POV as the runner slides in “SAFE!”
A foot on the bag, the runner dusts off, heckles the catcher:
Is that the best you got?! Huh?!
I’m going to steal nine, ten bases
today! You better start counting!
The catcher frowns. Standing, we see he is a big, big man.
Where’s your shortstop from?
He’s got a mouth on him.
Shaking his head, the catcher gets back in his crouch,
signals the PITCHER. On the wind-up, the Runner is off
again. The catcher fires to THIRD: “Safe!”
You got a rag arm, catcher!
Steal home! You’ll find out what
kind of arm I got!
DBL. BLUE REV 7-9-12 33.
Okay, I’m coming!
The Catcher looks over at Scott who chuckles.
Well California here he goes, if hecomes down here.
The Catcher gets back down in his squat.
fastball. Scott digs in, ready.
off third. Here comes the wind-up...
Signals theThe runner dancing
The Runner takes off even as the pitcher fires it in. The
Birmingham Catcher receives it. As the Runner slides --
The Catcher intentionally drives his glove, the ball and bothhands into the runner’s face -- WHALLOP! Sound drops aswe’re knocked flat senseless along with the runner.
ON HIM now as he tries to push himself up from the dirt. A
close look at JACK ROOSEVELT ROBINSON. A born battler, he
shakes out the cobwebs, finally lurches to his feet, looks tothe UMPIRE. He never heard the call.
What was I?
The umpire passes one hand over the other: Safe. Jack looks
over at the catcher, gives him a pointed look as he goes --
The catcher shoves him in the back. Jack turns, shoves back.
As the two men wrestles each other to the ground -CUT
3 INT. BRANCH RICKEY’S OFFICE - MONTAGUE ST, BROOKLYN - DAY 3
Rickey and Sukeforth going through stacks of FILES on thedesk. A black ballplayer’s picture is clipped to each. As
Rickey reviews one, Sukeforth tries to hand him another.
Josh Gibson. Oh boy can he hit.
Rickey won’t take the file; the answer is no. *