Season 8

Episode 803: “The Perfect Game”

Episode 803: “The Perfect Game”
Original Air Date:October 6, 2001, 2002
Written by::Glenn Berenbeim
Directed by:Frank E. Johnson
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Norm McCloud Ernie Hudson
Ben McCloud Omar Gooding
Felix Bradford English
Candy McCloud Lee Weaver
Candy McCloud the Clown Hinton Battle
Young Candy McCloud Chaz Lamar Shepherd
Young Norm McCloud Andre Jamal Kinney
Babe Ruth Michael Patrick McGill
Hank Aaron Himself
Brzsciewski Christian Stevens
Rosenthal Jeremy Elliot
Bill Southern David D’Agostini
Bo-Bo Tarance Edwards

Ben McCloud, ace pitcher for the AAA Richmond Braves, is on his way to the Major Leagues.  His biggest obstacle is his father, Norm.  Norm is constantly critical of Ben’s performance, including a two-hit shut-out.  He wants so much for his son to make it to the Majors that he will except nothing short of perfection.  He wants Ben to succeed where he failed though he is, in effect, pushing his son down the same path that ended his career.  He is constantly embarrassing his son in front of the other players, and Ben is approaching a breaking point.

Monica comes on board as the team’s new trainer, allowing Ben to vent some of his frustrations, something he desperately needs.  His father will not listen to him, and if he knew, would prevent him from visiting his grandfather, Candy, a great ballplayer in his own time.  Norm’s drive is all encompassing, he treats his son as little more than an avenue to success, and his own father as a pathetic liar.  He is unable to accept his father’s old story of pitching a perfect game and the even more legendary feat of striking out Babe Ruth.  Now he doesn’t even see his father, having abandoned him years before to a life of loneliness and an eventual stroke.

Later on, while Ben is pitching a perfect game of his own, Monica and the Angels take Ben and Norm into Candy’s memory to reconcile the debate surrounding “the perfect game.”  Tess shows them all how the game began, how Candy pitched, how the Babe was defeated, and how anger and pride led a promising pitcher to a life as a baseball clown.  With the memory played out, sons forgive fathers, fathers embrace sons, and Ben’s perfect game resumes as though he never left it.  He finishes the game allowing no hits, walks or errors, and with his family finally together, he embarks on what will be a promising career in the majors.

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