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SUDDEN THUNDER: THE TONY CONIGLIARO STORY ­ A true life account of former Boston Red Sox player and hitting sensation Tony Conigliaro. One of Boston's most charismatic players, it follows his rise from sandlot baseball to one of the game's most phenomenal hitting machines. This included one of the most horrific and tragic beanings in baseball history, which also led to one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Off the field, his life was so rich and colorful as to make his place on the Red Sox all the more meaningful. However, it was his life after leaving the game that proved to be the most challenging of all.(This project was a work for hire for which I wrote both the novel and the film adaptation.) EXCERPT #1 INT. ICE CREAM PARLOR - NIGHT RICHIE CONIGLIARO (V.O.) That girl Julie? Tony's still seeing her. They have a real nice thing going. TONY How come you had to steal me away from all those other girls that wanted to go out with me? JULIE How could I get you to ask me out if I didn't steal you away from all those other girls? TONY You think you're pretty cool, huh? JULIE I don't know. What do you think? TONY You must be. I mean, I'm here, right?

CUT TO: ANGLE ON GINA and ANGIE, tough looking, tight sweaters, leather jackets, tight jeans - watching Tony and Julie. GINA What do you think about Catholic School? ANGIE I don't know. Like what? GINA Like what they taught us. How God's always watching, how He even (MORE) knows what we're thinking. And if we make Him mad, He'll punish us. Things like that. ANGIE I don't know, I try not to think about that too much. GINA Sometimes things bother me. I mean, look at Tony C over there. That boy is so fine. Makes me sorry I went to Catholic school. ANGIE What's that got to do with it? GINA You kidding? All the things I want to do with him are sins. I mean, one night, just one night, I wish God wasn't looking. I'd do things with Tony he'd never forget.

CUT BACK TO: INT. (SAME) Tony and Julie are at their table. He takes her hands in his, and she appears stunned. JULIE What's wrong with your hands? They're like slabs of stone. TONY You're following your dreams, I'm following mine. I fell in love with baseball when I was four. (pulls her hands closer) I practiced every day, all year round. I still do. (smiles, softly) And you are hot. CUT BACK TO: ANGIE AND GINA (SAME) ANGIE Think God ever cuts deals with people? GINA You still hung up on that? ANGIE Yeah, because it's driving me nuts. I got to know. GINA Right now I don't want to know, I just want a boy. ANGIE That's what I mean, and I want it to be that boy. He shouldn't be with her, he should be with me. And I think it's time I took care of that. Let's go say hi.

Their saunter is laced with insolence. Angie unzips her jacket, tucks her skintight sweater deeper into her jeans, further accentuating her well endowed breasts. ANGIE Hey, Tony. How's the neighborhood Stallion? TONY I'm okay. He notices the quick, silent exchange between Angie and Julie, senses there's bullshit in the air, and becomes wary. ANGIE Mind if we sit down? Thanks.

TONY Me and my girl are on a date. ANGIE Yeah? You his chick? JULIE (starting to boil) Yes, I'm his girlfriend. ANGIE Going steady, or what? JULIE Yes, and we're going to stay that way. ANGIE Don't be too sure. A girl who knows how to make a boy feel warm at night might come along and steal him away. (edgy, to Julie) Maybe you should worry about that. JULIE And maybe you should learn how not to act like a tramp.

Angie stands up fast, topples her chair. Tony intercedes. TONY Angie, we're going together. Okay? ANGIE (long beat, disappointed) No, it's not. It's not okay. But I guess that's the way it is. She and Gina exit. The Waitress brings their order, leaves the check, exits. Tony reaches for the check, Julie grabs it. TONY (re: the check) I'll flip you for it. JULIE Okay. Heads I pay, tails you pay. He flips a coin into the air, she snags it on the way down, looks at it where he can't see it. It's TAILS. TONY But I didn't get to see it. JULIE Guess you'll have to trust me. TONY I can tell you're a girl I'm going to have to watch real close. JULIE Good, I hope you do. EXCERPT #2 SUPER LOGO: FENWAY PARK - APRIL 14, 1964

EXT. FENWAY PARK - DAY Bright sunlight, the place is packed, the CROWD's noisy and expectant. Bunting decorates the box seats and grandstands.

Tony, wearing number 25, is on the field, talking to Julie near the Box Seats. His family is seated a few rows back TONY I don't know what, but I want to do something special for you today. JULIE If you do, I won't be the only one you do it for. It's JFK Day. Remember? Did you see who's here? TONY No, who? JULIE Look in the VIP section. There's Bobby Kennedy, and Ted Kennedy, and Governor Peabody and the Mayor. TONY (squinting, pointing) Wow, you're right! There's Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney, the boxing Champs. This could be a big day. (leans over, kisses her) But you're the one I want to do something for the most. I love you. JULIE I love you, too. And I'm so proud of you! He runs back down to the dugout, joins his Teammates. CUT TO: EXT. BOX SEATS, FIRST BASE LINE (SAME) - DAY Julie takes her seat with Tony's Family, which includes his parents, Billy and Ritchie, Uncle Vinnie, and Aunt Phyllis.

SAL We need to remember this moment. It belongs to our whole family. BILLY Think they'll mind if I go over near the dugout and take some pictures? SAL Should be okay, just don't go on the field. BILLY Even if I did, I'd tell them I'm Tony's brother. Maybe I should ask him to get me a job with the team. SAL Keep practicing and you'll get your own job with the team. Just remember how hard he worked. BILLY I know. I'll be right back. SAL (to Ritchie) That goes for you, too. I think you could have a shot some day, too. RICHIE I like watching Tony, but I'm not so sure I want to do it. There's other things I like. TERESA Do what makes you happy, that's the most important thing. UNCLE VINNIE Looks like they're ready. Here we go.

EXT. BASEBALL FIELD, FENWAY PARK - DAY Opening Day Ceremonies. Players line the top of the dugout steps in preparation for their introductions. P.A. ANNOUNCER (V.O.) Ladies and gentlemen, the Boston Red Sox welcome you to Fenway Park, and the 1964 season. (a CHEER goes up) Today's game is being dedicated to the memory of the late President, John F. Kennedy. (RESOUNDING CHEER) Please share in a moment of silence. (long beat) And now let me introduce your 1964 Boston Red Sox... (huge CHEER) Batting first, playing third base... MOMENTS LATER (SAME) P.A. ANNOUNCER (V.O.) And now, in his first game at Fenway Park, batting seventh, wearing number twenty-five, from Swampscot Massachusetts-The Crowd erupts in a frenzy of maniacal CHEERING. JOHNNY PESKY (yells from dugout) This day only happens once, Tony. Don't ever forget it. Tony appears overwhelmed, looks at the crowd in awe. P.A. ANNOUNCER Tony Conigliaro. Number twentyfive, Conigliaro. As Tony exits the on-deck circle and prepares to go to bat,

JOHNNY PESKY (from then dugout) Remember, just make contact. Tony nods, heads toward the plate amidst The Crowd's DEAFENING ROAR. It goes on for a long beat, continuing... THE UMPIRE This is touching, but we got a game to play. Let's get on with it. TONY Sure. He steps in, takes his stance, watches THE PITCHER. The sign, the set, the pitch. CRACK!! The ball sails, rising up and over the screen on top the Fenway's famous left field wall, "The Green Monster". Tony's homered his first at bat. The Crowd is off the hinge. They're freaking. ANGLE ON His Family. Sal and Vinnie are going nuts, Julie and Teresa are hugging each other, shedding tears of ecstasy. SAL (leans close to Vinny) See? That's why I want him to focus on just baseball! ANGLE ON Tony rounding the bases. CONTINUOUS SHOT of him running all the way to the dugout, where he's swarmed and congratulated. INT. THE LOCKER ROOM (LATER) - DAY The game's over, Tony is surrounded by NEWS REPORTERS. REPORTER #1 Ever had a thrill bigger than this? TONY Just one, the day I signed to play with the Red Sox.

REPORTER #2 Did you expect to hit a home run? TONY Not really. I just wanted to make good contact with the ball. He notices A MAILMAN standing off to one side, continues. REPORTER #3 What surprised you most about it? TONY How fast it happened. I didn't think about it, I just did it. REPORTER #3 They say that was one of the longest home runs ever hit at Fenway Park. How does it feel? He notices The Mailman again, hesitates. TONY I've always trained hard so I could hit home runs. I think that's one of the most exciting things about baseball. I'm just glad I did it. REPORTER #1 Is that how you've planned your career? To hit lots of home runs? He glances toward The Mailman, hesitates again. TONY I just want to help my team, with or without home runs. If I can do that, I'll be a happy guy. He glances toward The Mailman, pauses. TONY Can I do something for you?

THE MAILMAN (stepping forward) Maybe, I hope so. Tony notices he's holding A BASEBALL. TONY Want me to sign that? THE MAILMAN No, I was hoping you could sign another one. TONY (shrugs) Sure, no problem. He gets a baseball from his locker, signs it, hands it over. TONY Here you go. THE MAILMAN Great! Thanks a lot! And this one's for you. TONY It is? How come? THE MAILMAN When I was doing my route on Landsdown Street I heard the crowd go nuts. When I looked up I saw that fly over the screen and grabbed it. It's the one you hit. TONY You're kidding me! That's amazing! THE MAILMAN Keep it as a souvenir, your first home run. My gift to you.

TONY (to camera) This is the kind of fans we have in Boston. Flashing bulbs capture a rookie's and a fan's golden moment.


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