Posted by: battingsecond | October 25, 2010

CJ’s West Coast Seafood Gumbo Recipe

CJ’s West Coast Seafood Gumbo Recipe

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Posted by: battingsecond | May 26, 2010

Batting Second – The Synopsis

Writers Guild of Ameica, West Reg. No. 1433907, 5/20/2010

BATTING SECOND

 A Synopsis

Written by C.J. Newton

“BATTING SECOND” is about baseball, New Orleans, love, and ghosts.

Our story begins with Screw Loose Toulouse, a former major leaguer famous for his screwball pitch, now managing the Orleans Blue Sox, an independent minor league team on the skids. Their rivals for the division are the well-financed Clearwater Sands, famous for their gleaming silver team bus. Screw Loose has a bicycle and a girlfriend who’s not into baseball (she’s a Saints fan only).

The Blue Sox have not won a game against the Sands all season. During a game Screw Loose hears a voice: “Send in the Lefty.” Screw Loose looks around and no one is there. He leaves the pitcher in, who finishes the inning badly. Next inning on the mound, he gives up a double. “Send in the Lefty,” Toulouse hears, and this time he does. He turns and sees a black baseball player wearing a very old fashioned uniform, sitting on the dugout bench a short distance from him. The Lefty holds the lead and wins the game.

Toulouse befriends the ghost, named Michael Collins, who was a player-manager for the Orleans Owls in the 1930s, famous for picking off Cool Papa Bell and actually striking out Satchel Paige. After the game they walk to Louis Armstrong Park. Collins says, “Here were part ways. I’ll see you next game.” The players begin to notice that Toulouse is talking to an invisible presence but since they are winning, nobody complains.

Collins takes Toulouse on a black and white sequence flashback tour of New Orleans jazz clubs in the 1930s. Toulouse falls in love with a woman from the past named Elizabeth Delacroix and they dance to a particular song, “Pinot Noir.” Collins gets him back into the present just in time to make decisions in the game he temporarily left. He returns to see a slight repetition of the setup dialogue just before he left. He asks Collins, “How did you do that?” Collins replies, “I don’t know, but ain’t it wonderful!”

His affection for Elizabeth puts an end to his contemporary relationship. Meanwhile, Collins is searching cemeteries for his wife, who left New Orleans during a flu epidemic and never returned. She died in Petaluma, California.

After several plot twists including pressure to throw the last game to the Sands so the owner can redevelop the ballpark for condos, Toulouse hears a woman in the stands humming the tune of “Pinot Noir.” She is Betty Delacroix, the grand-niece of the woman he loves from the past (and played by the same actress). Dorothea Collins, awakened by teenagers in Petaluma taking a gravestone rubbing, returns to reunite with Michael. The Blue Sox win the game. A New Orleans city official pressures the owner to accept a property swap so he gets his condos and the city keeps the team.

During the victory celebration Toulouse lifts Betty out of the stands, as does Michael with Dorothea, and in the last scene they enjoy a dinner at Arnaud’s served by living and ghostly waiters, while the musicians finish with “Pinot Noir.”

“BATTING SECOND” will appeal to those who believe in a second chance at happiness in life. It will appeal to baseball fans who love the sport for its lore and nostalgia. There is room for humor in the antics of the players past and present who will have colorful names and on-field business. No special effects are needed. One “star” of the film will be New Orleans itself; its landmarks, music, food and drink. The good guys win the final game, the team and ballpark are saved, and both guys, living and ghost, get their gals.

Posted by: battingsecond | May 26, 2010

Screenplay On Way

Watch this site for news about my screenplay “Batting Second.”
Best regards, C.J. Newton

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