The Shot



Natalie and Jeremy are walking through the newsroom.

Natalie: It is a typo.

Jeremy: No, it isn't. They've released it twice, and they both say the same thing. It is confirmed.

Natalie: It's still a typo.

Jeremy: Natalie-

Natalie: My sources say it isn't going to happen. Some of us still like to use telephones and talk to people.

Jeremy: I've have other assignments.

Natalie: Then you should be concentrating on them.

Jeremy: It says right here.

Jeremy shows Natalie a sheet. He points to a section. Natalie looks at it.

Natalie: It says the Yankees-Orioles rain-out will not be made up.

Jeremy stops and looks at the sheet. Natalie continues walking.

Jeremy: Wait! Here it is! And it says, and I quote, "Tim Hill, the assistant general manager for the Royals, confirmed Daniel Moore will be brought back for the 2002 season." It has been confirmed. We have a name and a source! What more do you want?

Jeremy catches up to Natalie as they walk toward Dana's office.

Natalie: I would like Tim Hill to call me back and confirm the alleged quote.

Natalie opens up the door to Dana's office and looks around. Dana is not inside.

Jeremy: Natalie, please use it.

Natalie: We're not an organization of rumors and assumptions. We gather facts... I'm going to see Isaac...

Natalie and Jeremy leave Dana's office and start heading toward Isaac's office.

Natalie: As I was saying, we gather facts and report them. It is called quality journalism.

Jeremy: But that didn't stop us from reporting on Jordan's comeback. One day, he's coming back. One day, he's not.

Natalie: That was different.

Jeremy: How so?

Natalie: People actually went on camera and gave their opinions. In this case, you just have a piece of paper saying that a certain assistant GM said a certain manager still has his job.

Natalie and Jeremy walk into Isaac's office.

Jeremy: Isaac? Could you resolve this situation?

Natalie: Isaac? Jeremy's bugging me.

Isaac stops working and takes off his glasses.

Isaac: It's good to see you two are getting along so well.

Jeremy walks toward Isaac's desk.

Jeremy: I have two E.N.G. reports here stating that Moore will be back to manage the Royals next year.

Jeremy hands Isaac the reports.

Natalie: And I'm saying that we shouldn't believe everything we read from our electronic news gathering services. We need hard facts before we go on the air with it.

Jeremy: But there are two reports stating this. We can hand this off to Kim and let her make the decision for her program, but with our program, I think we need to run it because everybody else will have reported or will be reporting it.

Isaac: Well, you can't believe everything you read.

Isaac takes a closer look at the reports.


A certificate reads: "Isaac Bernard Jaffee, Birth date: November 30, 1931, Greensboro, SC... etc."

"You sure don't look like you're nineteen."

Isaac: Yes, sir, I am. I have a press pass and proper identification. I've brought my notes from the first two games-

"Hey, who let the colored in?!"

Isaac and the man look into the room to see who made the last statement. Everybody in the room is looking toward Isaac and the man at the door.

"Walter, I'll vouch for the boy. He's with me."

The man, Walter, hands the press pass and identification back to Isaac.

Walter: Something just ain't right, but go on. I don't think you'll be able to grab a seat. They're probably taken.

Isaac: Thank you, sir.

Isaac walks through the room, the press section. The sounds of various reporters are talking, typewriters typing, and phones ringing are heard. He works his way toward the front and stops by one reporter.

Isaac: Thank you, Mr. Morris. I appreciate it.

Mr. Morris: You're welcome, Isaac. So what do you think?

Isaac looks around the room, but stops and stares out the window and onto the baseball field.

Isaac: This is great.

Mr. Morris laughs.

Mr. Morris: Don't get caught up in the game and the experience. You're here to do a story.

Isaac straightens up.

Isaac: Yes, sir.

Mr. Morris: You might be able to get a seat down there. Hurry up and grab it. You need to concentrate because you're going to be on your own just like the rest of us.

Isaac: Yes, Mr. Morris. Thank you.

The young Isaac starts walking to the end of the press section. Mr. Morris smiles as he starts chomping on his cigar. The reporter next to Mr. Morris stops typing and turns toward him.

Reporter: Andrew? That boy's not here to do your story?

Mr. Morris: Nah. He's here for the experience.

Reporter: What you say?

Mr. Morris: His old man works for us down at the Dispatch. The old man is always quiet and does a good job. The boy's mama is at home and raises the family. They have four kids, and Isaac is the second oldest. He doesn't know what he is doing.

Reporter: He's actually nineteen?

Mr. Morris: Nah. I think he's fourteen, but we made it look like he is nineteen. He would come down and tell his old man that he wanted to work for the paper. He wanted a chance. I guess the old man had enough of his boy's crying because he went to the editor-in-chief and told him about it. He came down to me to see if I would give the boy a chance- like I don't have enough problems as it is. After we talked, we decided to give the boy a chance. These coloreds say they have rights and they can do just a good job as us.

Reporter: Hey, now. You're not going to let them start taking these jobs away from us?

Mr. Morris: Nah. The boy's taking notes and going to write a little story. We probably won't print it because we just won't have the room in the paper. I figure the boy will be frustrated and quit. We can look back and say, 'See? We gave a colored a shot to report on a historic baseball series, and he couldn't cut it.'

Reporter: Do you think he'll quit?

Mr. Morris: He's a nice kid, but yeah, I think he'll quit.

Reporter: Shouldn't he be in school?

Mr. Morris: Yeah, but his parents let him come to the series. They say he's a smart boy anyway.


The young Isaac sits at the end of the press section. He pulls out his notebook and opens it. He looks out the window and starts writing in the notebook.

"Hi there, young man. I'm Mark Sabbath from the Detroit Free Press."

A middle-aged man holds out his hand. Isaac shakes it.

Isaac: I'm Isaac Jaffee from the St. Louis Dispatch.

Mark Sabbath: Did you just start there?

Isaac: Yes. This is my first big assignment.

Mark Sabbath: I see Andrew Morris is here, also.

Isaac: Yes, sir. He's the one who brought me here. We rode the train, and he got me tickets for the first two games. He was nice enough to get me a press pass for this game. He promised to get me this if the series went to three games.

Mark Sabbath: That was nice of him.

Isaac: Yes, it is. Very nice.

Mark Sabbath: Did you always want to be a reporter and cover sports?

Isaac: I've always loved the news. My father works at the Dispatch, too. He helps sell the papers on the street corners. He talked to some people and helped me get this job.

Mark Sabbath: That's great. Since you just started there, do you have any specific goals?

Isaac: I want to be the editor-in-chief at the Dispatch.

Mark Sabbath: That's a big goal.

Isaac: That's what I want to do.

Mark Sabbath: Do you mind if I see what you wrote?

Isaac looks at his notebook.

Mark Sabbath: I promise I won't steal your work. I have my own writing to worry about. Here, take a look at my notes.

Mark gives Isaac his notes. Isaac gives Mark his notebook.

Isaac: Thank you.

Mark Sabbath: My pleasure. Let's see here. What have you written?

Mark starts to read aloud.

Mark Sabbath: "The Brooklyn Dodgers are meeting the New York Giants in game three of the National League's first playoff. The Giants won the first game of the series, three to one, with Bobby Thomson hitting a two-run home run. The Dodgers bounced back to win the second game, ten to zero."

I think 'nothing' might sound better here, instead of 'zero.'

Isaac: Oh. Thank you.

Mark Sabbath: But you decide what you want to write. You're the reporter. You're the eyes for the reader.

Isaac: Yes.

Mark and Isaac hand back each other's notes.

Mark Sabbath: That's pretty good, Isaac.

Isaac: Thank you. Your work is great.

Mark Sabbath: Thanks. You have a lineup card? Newcombe is starting for the Dodgers and Maglie is starting for the Giants.

Isaac: Yes, I have it written down here. They both won 23 games for their teams this year. For the Dodgers, I have: Furillo in right, Reese at shortstop, Snider in center, Jackie's at second, Pafko in left, Hodges at first base, Cox at third, Walker catching, and Newcombe pitching.

Mark Sabbath: That's what I have, too. Let's double-check the Giants. Stanky is playing second base, Al Dark is the shortstop, Mueller is the right fielder, Monte Irvin in left, the first baseman Lockman is next, followed by Bobby Thomson at third, Mays in center, Westrum catching, and Maglie.

Isaac: Yes, that's what I have written down. Thanks.

Mark Sabbath: You're welcome. Do you smoke?

Isaac: No, sir.

Mark Sabbath: We've got a few minutes before the start of the game. Would you like a hot dog and a soda?

Isaac: I don't have the money-

Mark Sabbath: Don't worry. It will be on me.

Isaac: Wha... thank you. Thank you, Mr. Sabbath.

Mark Sabbath: You can call me, Mark.

Isaac: Yes, sir. Thank you, Mark.


Isaac puts down the paper.

Isaac: Jeremy, Natalie? Work together on this and get your facts straight.

Natalie: I've already placed several phone calls.

Isaac: Go ahead and prep it, and hopefully, we'll get some calls returned.

Natalie: Okay.

Jeremy: Will do, Isaac.

Jeremy and Natalie leave the office.

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