121-“Out at the Old Ballpark”

Season 4, Episode 4 – Original Airdate: (October 1, 1960)

<= 120 – “A Head of Hair == Saturday Night” – 122 =>

Paladin is summoned to ump when warring baseball clubs besiege Whiskey Slide. Almost everyone in the cattle town bets heavily on their local cowpokes versus a barnstorming pro.

Director: Richard Boone, Written by: Frank Pierson

JOHN LARCH as McNagle
(The Hanging of Roy Carter, 1958) as Chaplain Robert April
J. PAT O’MALLEY as Marcus Goodbaby
(Episode in Laredo, 1959) as Logan
JACK ALBERTSON as Mayor Whiteside
(The Teacher, 1958) as Jason Coldwell
(High Wire, 1957) as Bookie
JAN HARRISON as Mrs. Cassell
SANDY KENYON as Orator Oudry
(Squatter’s Rights, 1961) as Jeb Turner
(Fight at Adobe Wells, 1960) as Rio Jones
KUNG FU (The Gunman, 1974) as Sheriff
PERRY COOK as Sheriff Fix
(Be Not Forgetful of Strangers, 1962) as Barfly
(Alice, 1962) as Mr. Briggs
(Odds for Big Red, 1961) as Ernie
(The Road, 1961) as Sibley
(The Search, 1960) as Fred Mosely
(The Posse, 1959) as Dobie O’Brien
(Incident at Borrasca Bend, 1959) as Sugie
(The Solid Gold Patrol, 1958) as Pvt. Krosowski
HAL NEEDHAM as Shaw
JOHN DAHEIMJOHN DAHEIM as Pitcher
TED HAMILTON as Catcher
LISA LU as Hey Girl
PEGGY REA as Peggy
(American Primitive, 1963) as Maggie
(Bob Wire, 1963) as Maggie McGuire
(The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs, 1961) as Widow
(The Education of Sara Jane, 1961) as Hotel Carlton Charlady
(The Search, 1960) as Jean Mosely
(Maggie O’Bannion, 1959) as Cookie the Cook
(The Colonel and the Lady, 1957) as Lulu – Laundress

Trivia: The title makes reference to a “ball park” which used to be what the stadium that a baseball team played in was called in the early part of the twentieth century.

Mr. Goodbaby, your baseball team has turned a peaceful town into a battlefield! What you need is an umpire…with a gun.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

HEY GIRL
All your admiration is for nothing, if you are in prison.

PALADIN
Prison?

HEY GIRL
All the mail this week are bills. Now, you must pay them or they arrest you.

PALADIN
Oh, dear.

HEY GIRL
Forgive me if I take the liberty.

PALADIN
“Four killings in two days close Whiskey Slide Mines. Baseball game ends in…Baseball game ends in multiple murder. Mayor of town calls for armistice after seventh-
inning massacre. ‘Our only hope,’ says the mayor, ‘is an honest umpire. But one is not to be found in Whiskey Slide.'”

HEY GIRL
Funny…but your creditors aren’t laughing.

PALADIN
Uh-huh. Uh, no, no. Well…here is a modern Diogenes with a new plan for finding an honest man.

MCNAGLE
Get out of our way! Unless’n you want your head shot off.

PALADIN
Mister, the next time you shoot, you shoot to kill, or don’t you shoot at all!

M2
Ask him does he play second base.

MCNAGLE
Sorry about your horse. You can go get him now.
And leave us fight in peace!

PALADIN
All right.

CATCHER
How’s that, you hamstrung, bow-legged cow pusher?!

M
That you?! The catcher? You were the one busted Jay McCoy with the bat!

M
Boys, play the game out fairly! That’s all we ask.

M1
Fair? Fair?! Who’s talking fair?! You’re the one come right off the bench and caught that foul and tried to call a third out! Now, don’t read at me with that rulebook! Them rules don’t say nothing but what you do is right! And what we do is wrong!

M
Back! Back!

M
Quiet! Quiet!

M
Well, it’s these fellas from Cooperstown, they begun it!

M
Now, Mr. Mayor- a ball team-that’s how they make their living. They come in here and dast the boys at the last chance to a game and now we can’t go out in that street.

MRS. CASSELL
Please, Mayor Whiteside, I’d like to speak as an interested citizen.
Every penny we’ve got is tied up on bets made in that game.
Either break it up or make them finish the game.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
What do you want?

PALADIN
I understood you were looking for an honest man.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
Oh, you be Paladin?

PALADIN
I be Paladin.

SHERIFF FIX
Uh, this the man you sent for, Mayor?

MAYOR WHITESIDE
Yeah!

MRS. CASSELL
You’re too late even if you are honest.

PALADIN
Well, perhaps if you told me what’s happened.

SHERIFF FIX
Well, see, they begun betting on the game. Well, they got to the top of the seventh inning, and then they begun fighting with their fists.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
And now, the game’s hung up 73 to 68, their side ahead. And there ain’t a dime for a loaf of bread in this town that ain’t bet on it.

PALADIN
Newspaper said some men were killed.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
Oh-ho-ho, that’s just wild talk. The boys got to drinking and fighting back here in town.
Well, as you can see, some of the boys been patched up where they was leaking.
Well, it’s just luck that nobody was killed.

MRS. CASSELL
That was before Mr. Paladin came with his gun.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
Now, now, Mrs. Cassell, uh…

MRS. CASSELL
Since this game began, everything else has stopped. I believe the men would soon
kill over their little game than they would to stop the robbing of their homes.
And it won’t help to…to hire a man who makes a profession of it.

SHERIFF FIX
Well, now, that’s true. This here is just a ball game. Tempers are mite out of hand and half the men on the field are friends or kin.

PALADIN
In the East, they have a thing called an “umpire” for this sort of thing. And that’s all I propose to do- umpire the game, force them to finish it fairly.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
Sure. Sure. Make them get out there and finish that game.

PALADIN
Your Honor, I understand that this town will pay $1,000 for anyone who ends the baseball game.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
Why, yes, yes, that’s true. Shall we say, uh, half now and, uh, half when the
final out is made?

PALADIN
Done.

MAYOR WHITESIDE
All in favor?

ALL
Aye.

MRS. CASSELL
For your sakes, I hope that Mr. Paladin can hold his temper. Good day.

PALADIN
Hey, now. Whoa, hold it! Hold it, now!

M
Told you to press off, dude!

M
Maybe he come back to play second base.

PALADIN
I came back to make you men a proposition!

M
Go on!

PALADIN
The only way you’re going to get this baseball game played is by finding an honest umpire!

M
It’s just us and them, dude!

M
Try and find an honest man among them!

M
And they won’t trust none of us! No!

MCNAGLE
Why, you’re a bunch of thieves, that’s what’s the matter with you!
You’re trying to rob the whole game!

PALADIN
Now…I’m the only stranger in town…I’ve got nothing bet on either side,
but I do have some experience in matters of violence!

MARCUS GOODBABY
Sir? Sir, may I ask why you involve yourself at all?

PALADIN
The honest people of this town want to get this game played and over with.
They’ve hired me to umpire it for you. Now, I owe nothing to either side.

MCNAGLE
You ever played baseball?

PALADIN
I was with Colonel Doubleday at Chancellorsburg!
I saw games in the National League in Cincinnati!
And in 1876, I saw Candy Cummings throw the first curve ball!

MCNAGLE
I reckon maybe you could offset that rule book at that.
What about him, Goodbaby?

MARCUS GOODBABY
All I have wanted from the very start is clean play and good sportsmanship.
It’s not important who wins. However, with your help, sir, perhaps we can teach our lesson. We’re willing. Mr. McNagle, let us try one inning with Mister, uh…

PALADIN
Paladin!

MARCUS GOODBABY
With Mr. Paladin as official umpire. The score is 73 to 68, in our favor!

MCNAGLE
No! No, no, you listen! Them last 14 runs was run off while half our team was fighting! And the other half was running for cover! No, no, no…!

PALADIN
Gentlemen! There seems to be some discussion about the score. However, it is very close.
So, as of this moment, you are officially… tied! I believe there are two more innings to play.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Well, all right, all right. We’ve got to get this ball game over. Gentlemen, to the ballpark!

M
All right, Mr. McNagle.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Mr. Paladin!

M
Mr. Paladin, a word with these boys?

PALADIN
All right, Goodbaby, make it quick.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Thank you. Men, although there’s a great deal wagered on what we do here today, we are met on this playing field not to worship, uh, Mammon, but to please the sporting heart of the gods. So, let us keep our temper. Play hard but fair. Win with grace. Lose with good heart.

M2
I thank you.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Now, Mr. Umpire, our batter is ready.

PALADIN
Thank you, Mr. Goodbaby. All right, McNagle, take the field.

M
Let’s go! Let’s go!

PALADIN
All right…Wait a minute! Now, what do you call that?

M
They got their ball and we got our’n.

PALADIN
Oh? I think that’ll do nicely for both sides. All right, gentlemen! Play ball!

M
Mine! Mine! Boo! Let’s go! Let’s go!

PALADIN
Safe!

M
Now, wait a minute! Wait a minute! I threw it a mile ahead of him!

PALADIN
There’s one thing you forgot! The first baseman has got to catch the ball.
Now, where’s the ball?! Right there it is, on the ground!

M
Now, do you want to accept that?

M
Or you want to go on fighting a war indefinitely in this town?

M
He has a gun, Mr. Umpire.

PALADIN
Mr. Goodbaby, you quoted Pope to me about sportsmanship. I will quote Plutarch
to Mr. McNagle. “Though small boys throw stones at frogs and sport, yet the frogs
die not in sport, but die in earnest. I have to protect myself, I will!

M
All right! You’re blind! But you be just as blind for us as you are for them,
you hear?!

MARCUS GOODBABY
Very well done, Mr. Paladin. Very well done.

PALADIN
Goodbaby, play ball.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Oh, yes.

PALADIN
Now!

MARCUS GOODBABY
Of course. Thank you.

PALADIN
All right, take the field! Come on. Play ball!

M
I got it! He caught it!

M
Oh, yes, yes, ma’am!

M
Darn fool game!
It’s a fool’s game!

PALADIN
Play ball!

M
Mine, mine, mine… Oh!

M
How do you like that?!

M
You know what to do now, don’t you?

M
Yeah.
Good boy.

PALADIN
Play ball!

PALADIN
Batter’s hit. Take your base. Goodbaby, get the next batter up there.
All right, play ball.

M
Hit him!

PALADIN
He dropped the ball. Safe!

MARCUS GOODBABY
Well done, my boy.

PALADIN
Safe! The man is safe. Get the next batter up there. Play ball.

M
That’s not fair!

PALADIN
Take your base. This man goes to second base.

PALADIN
Next batter!

M
Now, come on, get up!

PALADIN
Safe! Safe at all bases! Safe!

M
No! No!

M
Sorry, fella.

MARCUS GOODBABY
That was a mighty fine catch.

PALADIN
And takes first base.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Good boy.

M
What do you mean?! He didn’t even try!

PALADIN
Play ball! Play ball!

M
Throw me the ball!

M
Throw him the ball!

MCNAGLE
You knucklehead, what was that?! What’s the matter with you?!

M2
It-It was going to be what you call a double play. It just come to me.

MCNAGLE
Just come to you? I oughta bust you one!

M2
Well, ask him, ask the umpire. I get the ball to the second baseman ahead of the runner.
He’s out, right?

PALADIN
Right. Gentlemen…?

M2
Wait, the second baseman gets the darlin’ throw over to the first baseman ahead of the runner, he’s out. Double play! We win! Who’s the knucklehead?

MCNAGLE
What kind of playing is that?!

PALADIN
Gentlemen, the ball is still in play.

M
Oh, I say!

PALADIN
Next batter, get him up there. Play ball!

M
Get ready! Run!

M
He just nicked me!

PALADIN
He just nicked you? Safe!

M
Can I have a little quiet?!

PALADIN
Now, the score is tied and McNagle, it’s a good thing for you that Mr. Goodbaby’s first baseman was only nicked in the arm.

M
We’re no better off than we were. Before they were just fighting because they were drunk and there wasn’t much else to do. Now they shed their blood on the ball field.

PALADIN
We can still finish this ball game if I can disarm both teams.

MRS. CASSELL
You mean you intend to go on with this madness?

PALADIN
Well, I think they’ve learned a lesson.

MRS. CASSELL
Lesson in what? The game teaches nothing but brutality, uh, and time wasting. Well, if you insist, Mr. Paladin. The professionals will win and our poor boys will lose
everything they own.

M
They ain’t gonna win!

M
I’ll say! They can’t!

MARCUS GOODBABY
Now, I would like to add something here.

PALADIN
Mr. Goodbaby, will you agree to play this game if I disarm both teams?

MARCUS GOODBABY
What? Why, I, uh… Well, I… suppose so.
They’re asking a lot playing against these savages.

M
Goodbaby, that’s the last time…!

PALADIN
No, wai- aah! Now, you first. Thank you. Now… Mr. Goodbaby.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Surely, sir, you don’t think that I carry a gun.

PALADIN
Surely, sir, I don’t think you’re as big a fool as you seem.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Oh.

M
Good.

M
All right, now, they agreed. We play the game. With Paladin here the only man with a gun on the field.

M
Get them on.
Come on.

M
Now, we gotta get this over. I miss me wife.

M
All right, let’s go.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Mr. Paladin, you know, my men are hardly foolhardy enough to play without some
guarantee of protection.

PALADIN
Well, what’s the matter, Mr. Goodbaby? Those clumsy, awkward cowboys you were gonna swindle, they turn out to be too tough to beat? If that’s the case, you come on
down there to that ball field and you learn your own lesson: Lose with grace.

MARCUS GOODBABY
Oh, it isn’t that. You see, we don’t have the cash to pay off if we lose. We never thought they could defeat us. But, well, then, that’s what we thought in Gallup. It was that team of
Navajos in Gallup. They took everything.

PALADIN
Well, I was certainly mistaken about you. You’re just as big a fool as you seem.

M
Here, here, what’s going on here?

M
Here, here, what’s wrong?

PALADIN
Mayor Whiteside, what would you say if I told you this game was called- tied.

M
Called? Called on account of what?

PALADIN
On account of possible early afternoon earthquakes followed by plague and civil unrest.

M
Well, now, wait a second.

M
You got our guns in there?

PALADIN
That’s the idea, Sheriff.

M
That’s the only way Mr. Goodbaby and his players could ever get out
of Whiskey Slide alive.

M
But what about our money?

PALADIN
Put it back in circulation, Mr. Mayor, and don’t make any more bets with strangers.
Goodbaby, you hold it right here till I fire my gun. Mr. McNagle, ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to make an announcement.

M
What’s up?

M
Hey, where’s Goodbaby and them?

PALADIN
Now, hold it. I’m really doing you a favor. Mr. McNagle, what you and your players
would do to Mr. Goodbaby and his players, if you won this game, would haunt your dreams for the rest of your life. Dear, beautiful Mrs. Cassell, I believe you were right.
The West is not quite ready for baseball. Gentlemen, you’ll find your guns with the sheriff in Tucson.

M
Good win, boys! A fine day!

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