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The Stratton Story

(1949 b 106')

En: 6 Ed: 7

In this true story a baseball pitcher from Texas forms a good marriage and does well with the White Sox until he loses his leg in a hunting accident. However, he does not give up.

Vagabond Barney Wile (Frank Morgan) sees Monte Stratton (James Stewart) pitching in Texas and follows him home. Barney meets Ma Stratton (Agnes Moorehead) and is invited to stay with them. Barney was a major league catcher before he lost it with alcohol. He coaches Monty and says he can get him a try-out with the White Sox in California during spring training. Ma gives Monte $5, and they hitch-hike to Los Angeles. Manager Jimmy Dykes (himself) gives Monte a try-out and says he can stay.

Monte tries a slot machine and hits a jackpot. Eddie Dilson (Bill Williams) asks Monte to double-date and then tries to woo Monte's date Ethel (June Allyson). Monte takes her home and says Eddie was out of line. Monte and Ethel like each other. Dykes tells Monte that he made the team, and he lets Barney be a pitching coach. Monte kisses Ethel goodbye.

Monte watches the White Sox play while Barney tells him how to pitch to each hitter. When Monte gets his chance against the Yankees, Bill Dickey (himself) and others bomb him. Monte is sent down to Omaha, where Ethel lives. Barney tells Dykes that Monte has won six games in a row for Omaha. Monte tells Ethel that he is going back to Chicago and offers himself to her.

Monte shuts out the Yankees. After the season he takes Ethel home to live on the farm with Ma and Earnie (Robert Gist), who has been working there. During the next season Monte learns he has a son and throws a wild pitch. In the off-season Ma is amazed at the efficiency of her new stove. Monte goes out with Ethel and tells her that he has been taking dancing lessons.

While hunting, Monte trips and accidentally shoots his leg. His dog gets Ethel to follow him to Monte. A doctor explains to Ethel that he has to operate to save Monte's life, and she approves. Monte comes home on one leg. Ma and Ethel try not to cry in front of him. Monte keeps to himself and does and says little. Ethel tells Monte that she has lost him, but they embrace.

Monte watches his son learning to walk. He tries his artificial leg and plays catch with Ethel. When he throws a hard one, she admits she is pregnant. Barney visits and sees Monte pitching against the barn. They go to an all-star game. Monte puts on a uniform and tells Barney he has to find out. Ethel is surprised but encourages him. Monte gives up a run but then does well. He falls while running to first base. In the last inning Monte bats with the bases loaded and gets a hit. The other team tries bunting, but Monte manages to field and wins the game.

Stratton became a coach for the White Sox and even played for several years in the minor leagues, showing what skill and determination can do.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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