Striking Out

In 1925, an eleven-year old girl tries to get into a pick-up baseball game, but is shunned by all the little boys. Dejected, she slinks away and when her father reinforces the boys' prejudice, she breaks down and cries. This sad little girl is Jackie Mitchell. Fading into 1930, Jackie and her best friend, Lillie, laugh and gossip and watch boys…typical teenage girl activities. All would be well if only Jackie could understand the "way it is" between boys and girls. She just can't understand why girls can't ask boys to dances or why they can't play basketball or why everyone thinks they're so fragile. Worse yet, whenever she tries to fight against these mores, it seems someone comes along to quickly rebuff her. Finally, at the peak of her frustration with the "way it is", Jackie befriends Dazzy Vance, an eccentrically colorful Major League Pitcher, who not only encourages Jackie, but actually teaches her to pitch! Before long, Jackie is striking out on her own, seeking to make her own mark as a pitcher. After a brief, uncomfortable stint with a girl's baseball team comprised of buxom bubbleheads showing off for their lecherous male admirers, Jackie finds work with a traveling carnival where guys line up to take their crack at hitting her devastating drop ball. Before long, Jackie's success catches the attention of Joseph Engel, the owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts, and Jackie finds herself doing something she never could've imagined… signing a contract to play professional baseball!!

Jackie's first game is a media event and she rises to the occasion by striking out baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, a remarkable, triumphant feat. Jackie is on top of the world, but everything comes crashing down when she and all other women are banned from playing pro baseball. Devastated, Jackie returns home and just when all hope seems lost, she joins the inimitable House of David Baseball Team, a group of bearded, acrobat ballplayers representing a religious commune. They warmly welcome Jackie, but she's too lost and unhappy to fit in. Only when she meets and befriends Negro stars Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson does Jackie finally start to understand her place in baseball and the world and find some peace and contentment. Before long however, the prejudice of others forces Satch and Josh out of Jackie's life and, unable to take
any more, Jackie quits baseball and returns home. Having learned some important life lessons from Satch and Josh, Jackie finds it much easier to
transition out of the baseball life and into a "regular" life. She settles into a job, marries, buys a house…it seems she's finally found her place. Then, when Jackie Robinson breaks the baseball color barrier, those old feelings start stirring again and she decides to give baseball another try. Heading to New York, Jackie gets one last shot at baseball glory with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Can she make her ultimate baseball dream come true?



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