Episode #19: ’Let’s Play Ball”
Scene 1: Madison Municipal Park - Baseball Field - Nashville, Tennessee - Night
The enormous courtroom crowd attending Joe’s trial, where Bart Durham fought for justice for Coach Joe Foster, appeared small, in comparison to the group of Nashvillians who have turned out tonight for Joe’s first baseball game, since his accident. Good news spread quickly throughout Nashville about Coach Foster’s courtroom victory. Tonight Nashville intends to celebrate the good news.
The faces of the baseball crowd read like a “Who's Who” of Nashvillians, including; Joe’s family, wife Sara, son Jeremy, daughter Jackie and dog Molly Foster, sister-in-law Linda Johnson and friends including; Loretta Sweetwater, a food server from Bobby Ray’s Uptown Café, (the baseball team’s favorite after game hang-out), Loretta’s boss, Bobby Ray Bueller, all the kids on the baseball teams and their parents, Nurse Amanda Green, Nurse Virginia Hollister of Memorial Hospital, as well as Stanley Briggs, Hospital Administrator, the newest member of Bart Durham’s law firm, Jessica Sanchez, truck driver Bill Elkins, Bart Durham, Blair Durham, the entire staff of Bart Durham’s Law Firm, and the doctors who saved Joe’s life, Dr. Irina Sulemina and Dr. Grant Lawrence.
The crowd is gigantic and enthusiastic about Joe’s return to the ball field and his ability to once again, walk. Most impressive to Joe, is the group from the plant where he used to be employed. Even Diane Hawthorn, Joe Foster’s former boss who fired him, is there to support Joe in his return game. After all, Diane always liked and respected Joe. She always maintained, that her supervisors forced her to let Joe go, from his job. Of course all of Joe’s former plant co-workers are in attendance, in full force. Joe’s plant buddies chant Joe’s name and yelled various sentiments including: "We miss you, Joe", "Come back to work, man!" "Work’s not the same without you!" "We’re pulling for you Joe!"
Triumph is the theme of the evening and now it is up to coach Foster’s son, Jeremy, to win the game for his team. Haunting Jeremy is the memory of baseball game the night of Joe’s accident. Jeremy can’t shed the image of his teammates mocking him and showing outwardly their disappointment that he was up to bat, at a critical time in the game. Following the humiliation of being teased by his teammates, Jeremy struck out, thereby causing his team to lose the game. Jeremy felt he let everyone down that dreadful night. So, tonight, Jeremy doesn’t want to let his Dad down, once again. Young Jeremy is more determined than ever, to win for his Dad. In Joe’s mind though, he doesn’t care if his team wins or loses, because he is simply delighted to be back coaching. Joe feels this is his first step to returning to the life he loves. A hope, to which Joe clung tightly throughout his recovery, was to regain the use of his legs, so that he could run the bases with his son. Joe hopes that tonight his dream will be fulfilled.
Coach Foster is overwhelmed at the support Nashville shows him. Most meaningful to him is the homemade sign, from the kids on all the baseball teams (even opposing teams) reading:
”Go get ’em, Coach Foster. Winners NEVER Quit!”
Joe stands humbly in front of the baseball crowd, at a microphone. He proudly wears his red baseball cap simply embroidered with the word "Nashville", the town he loves so dearly, a treasured part of his baseball attire and the very hat he wore the night of his accident. He adjusts his cap and remembers when Sara returned it to him, after retrieving it from the wreckage of his car. So many emotions overtake Joe in this moment. Joe addresses the screaming, cheering crowd and thanks everyone for sticking by him and his family throughout his recovery. He invites special guests down to the field, Dr. Grant Lawrence and Dr. Irina Sulemina. Grant uses this opportunity to announce to Nashville that he and Irina are engaged to be married. Dr. Lawrence, in his infinite wisdom reminds the crowd that Coach Joe Foster teaches us "winners never quit"! Joe, forcing back tears of joy, merely says, "Let’s play ball!" The crowd cheers.
Will Jeremy Foster hit a home run for his Dad? Or, will Devlin Max, the jealous, powerful and wealthy ex-boyfriend of Dr. Irina Sulemina, hit Dr. Grant with Joe’s baseball bat? Only one more episode to find out how this saga ends. There’s not much more time left, so use it wisely and keep one eye glued to your TV set for "Coach Foster Fights Back" and the other eye on this website.