The Split Ball
Posted On: 2008-09-24
Characters: Bud the pitcher, Bill, the reporters, Shorty the catcher, Gentleman from Australia, Other visiting gentlemen, Two flashlight operators.
Scene: Practice field. The front stage is very dimly lit. Across the back is a sheet or lightweight curtain through which a light can shine.
The success of the stunt depends on the ability of the pitcher, catcher, and flashlight operators to coordinate their movements. The pitcher pantomimes a throw. When he says, "There," a flashlight operator turns on his light and makes it shine through the screen. The light moves along the screen to resemble the flight of the ball. The catcher pretends to catch the ball, and the flashlight goes off. The movement may or may not mimic the flight of that kind of ball in a real game.
Bud comes on stage, in front of the curtain. Bill steps up to him, followed by all the visiting Gentlemen.
Bill: Hi, Bud.
Bud: Hi, Bill.
Bill: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Bud, the greatest pitcher in America.
Bud: Oh, come on, Bill!
Bill: It's true. Bud, these gentlemen represent the world wide athletic association. They wanted to see the greatest American pitcher, so I brought them right to you.
Bud: Well, I am flattered.
Bill: This is Mr. Grossman from Australia, Mr. Blackwell from England, etc. (Add as many names and countries as you need. Each shakes hands with Bud and then steps away.)
Grossman: Excuse me, sir. We have heard about the different ways you pitch ball. Would you demonstrate a few balls for us?
Bud: Glad to. Have a seat. (points to a row of seats and they sit.)
Gentlemen: Thank you.
Shorty: (appearing) Yes, Bud?
Bud: What shall I start with, Bill?
Bill: Start with your fast ball.
Bud: O.K. A fast ball. There! (light darts across screen, quickly. Gentlemen cheer.)
Bill: A slow ball.
Bud: O.K. A slow ball. There! (light moves very slowly across screen. Cheer.)
Bill: A curve ball.
Bud: O.K. A curve ball. There! (light moves in a fancy curve. Cheer)
Bill: A knuckle ball.
Bud: O.K. A knuckle ball. There! (light moves in a zig zag line. Cheer.)
Bill: How about a sinker?
Bud: O.K. Here comes a sinker. There! (light glides along waist- high, then drops into mitt. Cheer.)
Grossman: Pardon me sir. I have heard about your split ball. Could you please show us?
Bud: Certainly. A split ball. There! (The two flashlights start together. They seem to separate, one high, one low on the screen. Then just as they near Shorty, they come together.)
Every one cheers, pats Bud on the back as they all exit.