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A Rivalry Story: Red Sox v. Yankees

In this family friendly, science fiction baseball fantasy, Middletown, Connecticut theoretical physicist Dr. Daniel Hammerstein and his son, Jake are baseball fans at odds. Daniel is a diehard Red Sox fan, while Jake lives for Yankee pinstripes. See what happens when Dad’s time machine tinkering actually works and their baseball rivalry gets out of control – turning the town of Middletown and the Baseball world upside down in the process.
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   A Rivalry Story: Red Sox v. Yankees A Film Treatment / Short StoryBy Samuel M. RedlichCopyright © 2009 by Samuel M. Redlich. All Rights Reserved  ACT I New York City in the unspecified future, hovercraft taxicabs whizz by and through the high rise corridors.Holographic soft drink and beer advertisements abound.Signs of technological innovation are everywhere. This isdefinitely the future. The Manhattan skyline is majestic.All five boroughs are alive. In the Bronx, Yankee stadiumis filled and buzzing. In Boston, bars are packed and thePrudential is aglow with a giant “B”. In home after home,from New England to New York, and everywhere in between andbeyond, including the giant screen in Times Square - thebig game is getting underway: Red Sox v. Yankees.In one high-rise in Manhattan, on the 87 th floor, aGRANDFATHER is with a GRANDDAUGHTER, she is no more than 3or 4 years old, snuggled together on the couch in front ofthe television, watching the game. The granddaughter hasmany questions, yet she is very sleepy and dozes off.Soon enough the granddaughter is being whisked off tobedtime. As the grandfather gently lets her down on to herbed, she awakens. “Grandpa JACOB, tell me a story”. Shereally needs to just go to bed, but the grandfather ishelplessly happy to oblige – After a short pause to think,the grandfather says “How about I tell you the story aboutthe greatest baseball game ever played, between the BostonRed Sox and the New York Yankees”. The granddaughter perksup and looks at the grandfather with keen interest – she iseager to hear more.It’s an idyllic spring day - Middletown, Connecticut in thepresent. Beyond the yard behind the navy blue and redshuttered colonial at 55 Fidrych Lane, and inside a smallred with white trim barn, DR. DANIEL HAMMERSTEIN,theoretical physicist, works feverishly on another one ofhis “inventions”. Sports radio fills the air as Danielcommunicates a mix of mutters, mumbles, and cursing – he isdeeply engaged in the task at hand. The setup in the barn Copyright © 2009 Samuel M. Redlich. All Rights Reserved.  is peculiar - part laboratory, part gadget central, andpart shrine to the Boston Red Sox.“Just one last try, HANK”, Daniel mumbles to himself, as hesnaps a picture of a hamster that is crawling about hisdesk. He quickly connects his camera to his computer,presses a few buttons and out of his printer comes a copyof the picture he just took. He places the picture of Hankon a small platform on the left side of a strange dualcylinder translucent spherical contraption and computesaway on his computer, finally hitting “send”. A few secondslater, on the right side of the contraption sparks emerge,then a puff of smoke, finally giving way to what appears tobe the wiggling tail of a hamster. Yet as soon as the tailappears, it flickers in and out of visibility, and quicklydisappears all together.Disappointed, Daniel slinks back into his chair only to bestartled as his cell phone rings, and so he ignores it. Hiscell phone rings again and this time he checks the numberand answers it. It is his ex-wife calling to tell him thathe is late. “Darn it, I’ll be right there”. Daniel issupposed to be picking up his son JAKE – this is theweekend they are going to the Baseball Hall of Fame inCooperstown, NY. Daniel hurriedly gathers himself, puts onhis Boston Red Sox cap, grabs a big duffle bag, and rushesout of the laboratory.Moments later, Daniel arrives at his ex-wife, VICTORIA’Sand picks up Jake.Daniel and Jake are on their way to Cooperstown, New Yorkto visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. Both are avid baseballfans, Daniel a lifelong Red Sox fan and Jake, a staunch yetneophyte the New York Yankees.Meanwhile, In New York City, MLB COMMISSIONER is meetingwith the MLB ownership committee. Red Sox and Yankeerepresentatives are at each other’s throat, blaming eachother for problems that MLB is facing, such as reducedrevenue, lower merchandise sales, decreased attendance, andtelevision ratings. The other owners blame both the Red Soxand the Yankees. Baseball needs to win fans back over! How?Back on the road, Jake keeps mostly to himself, listeningto music and playing his favorite video game – “Rivalry: Copyright © 2009 Samuel M. Redlich. All Rights Reserved.  Red Sox v. Yankees”. Daniel drives and tries to engageJake, but he is unsuccessful.Finally, Daniel asks “ Whose Winning Son? And Jake answers“Yankees, Dad” with a look of bewilderment and incredulityattached. Daniel responds “Not every time, Son” and after aloud pause Jake admits “not every time , Dad”The distance between father and son is shortening.At the Baseball Hall of Fame, Jake is in awe of all thegreat players and the stories about them. They come uponthe Babe Ruth exhibit and Daniel explains to him that heonce played for the Red Sox – as a pitcher. “The Red Sox?”Jake can’t believe it.There he is, the man about to sell Babe Ruth, HARRY FRAZEE– at his desk, on the phone while his assistant paces aboutthe room. It’s rainy outside, dark and dreary inside.Frazee agrees to sell Ruth - “best thing about Boston isthe train ride back to New York”, He chuckles and thenhangs up the phone. Turns to his assistant, $125,000! – notbad, not bad at all, and proceeds to light up a cigar. Hisassistant, ED BARROW shakes his head and is visiblybothered. He says “if I may sir, I think you’ve made amistake”.Jake simply cannot fathom how a player of his status whocould pitch and hit could be sold – Jake says “Man that wasa mistake. Thank God, I am a Yankee Fan” he says playfullyto his Dad – who in return pats Jake a few times on theback, as they move through the Hall of Fame.The conversation turns to “Greatest Red Sox” and soonenough, Daniel and Jake come upon the exhibit for TedWilliams. Daniel tells Jake that Ted was “The greatesthitter that ever lived”. Jake responds sarcastically, he isa Yankee fan after all. But it doesn’t take long for Jaketo be captivated by Daniel’s stories about The SplendidSplinter. As they move on to lunch and then a strollthrough downtown Cooperstown, Jake wants to know everythingabout Teddy Ballgame – and Daniel tells him many stories,filling him with awe. Jake is starting to become impressedwith how much his Dad knows about baseball. Jake, havinglet down his guard, asks his Dad about the divorce and hismother’s impending re-marriage. Does it feel weird coming Copyright © 2009 Samuel M. Redlich. All Rights Reserved.  to the house that you used to live at? “Well, I suppose itdid for awhile…”Later that night Daniel and Jake settle in at a small motelon the outskirts of Cooperstown. Daniel is in the bathroombrushing his teeth while Jake lay sprawled on the singlequeen mattress – he is fighting to stay awake, as theycontinue to banter about baseball, reliving the great daythey have had together, fiddling with various sportsmemorabilia items, reading the backs of baseball cards.”Dad, did you know that Mario Mendoza…” Jake is losing hisbattle to stay awake. ESPN SportCenter is on the T.V. Justbefore he drifts off Jake wonders aloud “What if we couldbring all the greatest players back, ya know Mantle,Gehrig, Williams, Jimmie Foxx. The greats could play eachother – figure out the greatest team once and for all. Thatwould be the coolest thing ever”. Daniel, his mouth filledwith toothpaste, toothbrush still in hand, looks into thebathroom mirror and says to himself, “Yeah – that would becool” and then continues to brush his teeth. From the lookin his eyes, Daniel is up to something.Around 9:00 a.m. the next Saturday morning Jake bikes overto his Dad’s house and lets himself in.   Daniel and Jakehave plans to go to a baseball card show.   While in thekitchen grabbing a snack,   Jake hears a sound coming fromthe backyard.   Cautiously, he decides to investigate. Jakewalks into the Barn and discovers a grown man in a vintageBoston Red Sox home uniform– it’s none other than TEDWILLIAMS - Jake is stunned and speechless. His jaw drops,he points to Ted, stuttering in shock. He points to hisfather, who has emerged from behind a door, and says “you,you unfroze Ted Williams” Daniel responds “no, no I did notunfreeze Ted Williams”. Daniel says, still frantic, “Oh mygod – You cloned him. You cloned Ted Williams. How cool!”Daniel, trying to calm Jakes excitement “Now, now Jake- Ididn’t clone him – It’s more like a time machine” Jakeresponds, “a time machine? Daniel says “well, yeah, sorta -I mean, it’s more like I borrowed him from a particulartime and place. Jake, confused, repeats “a time machine?”Daniel hands Jake a 1954 Topps Ted Williams Card. “I did itusing this” – I mean, this and the machine. Also, I don’tknow exactly  how it worked this time, but it worked. Imean, I designed it to work, but it wasn’t working andthen, well, you see what happened” as he points to Ted.Jake appears to be listening, but for sure he is just Copyright © 2009 Samuel M. Redlich. All Rights Reserved.
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