September 30th, 1995 :: episode #74
The town is divided on how to spend money for "civic improvements" until Loren suggests inviting a professional baseball team, the All-Stars, to compete against a town team. The profits from the game will be divided fifty-fifty. Mike hesitates, but is outvoted.
When the All-Stars arrive their captain, Otis James, gives Mike a copy of the rule book; she's intrigued. At home, Colleen shows natural talent as a batter, but at school she pretends to hit poorly, since Jared shows less aptitude than her. The town spends more time arguing than practicing when they try to field a team. Preston refuses to play because he's sure they'll lose. The practice is a shambles and the men ask Preston to coach them, his way, no different from boot camp.
The All-Stars and the town play game #1, while Mike watches in the stands, disagreeing with Preston's managerial moves. The All-Stars hold back until the eighth inning when they show their true colors, easily winning the game. But, when it comes time to divide the receipts, Otis takes all the money. The town protests but Otis shows them the small print in the agreement requiring a minimum take. The town's been had.
Brian reveals that Otis batted out of turn in the final inning. Mike and Dorothy blackmail Otis into playing another game or they'll advertise his scam in the paper -- winner takes all. Mike tries to convince the men to play again, but they don't see a chance of winning, so Mike organizes her own team, everyone can play including women. Mike encourages the natural talent of each player and they're soon playing as a team. The men intrigued, return to the team and game #2 begins. Mike outmanages Otis, and Sully gets the game winning hit. The town team wins. Full of humor and fun.
This episode also includes the famous line by Horace, "Chocolate," as well as a conversation between Mike and Sully about "striking out," but Sully's not talking about baseball!