The Yankles
(2009)

SHORT VERSION:
The Yankles lose the championship game to Greensboro, but even in defeat, they all happily sing a Yiddish commandment about always looking on the bright side even during the down times, and both Charlie and Elliot are paraded around by the team. Charlie and Debra have a reconciliation, and he agrees to convert to Judaism so he can fully be with her.

A year later, Eliezer becomes a pitcher in the minor leagues, having given up his rabbinical studies to pursue baseball (but keeping his peyes), and the Yankles watch his pitching debut on TV at the yeshiva.

LONG VERSION:
The Yankles make it to the playoffs, but NISA Commissioner Parsons (Jeff Olson) schedules the final game of the series on a Saturday since the SCN network wants to televise the game on that day. His fellow tournament committee member Withers (Sheldon Worthington) points out that this will prove impossible to do if the Yankles make it there because it is during Shabbos. Parsons doesn’t believe that the Yankles will get that far, but Withers informs him that they might because Charlie Jones (Brian Wimmer) is coaching them, and Parsons shows anger and disgust at hearing his name. Meanwhile, Charlie tries to convince Elliot’s (Michael Buster) father Frankie (Don Most) to show support for his son in his pursuit of being both a rabbi and a baseball player, and he also rekindles his romance with Debra (Susanne Sutchy), but she is hesitant to get back together with him because of how he isn’t Jewish. However, he later sends her a Star of David necklace and a card saying that he is willing to convert.

While at an NISA banquet with the Yankles, Charlie is informed by Rabbi Meyer (Kenneth F. Brown) of how the final game is set to be held during Shabbos, so he has a hostile confrontation with Parsons about it that goes nowhere. The Yankles end up making it to the finals against Greensboro, and a guy from SCN telephones Parsons and tells him to move the game to Sunday, saying that the Yankles are a ratings bonanza. Still not wanting to have to deal with Charlie, Parsons meets him in private and tells him that he will let the Yankles play on Sunday (without telling him that SCN insisted on it) on the condition that he sit out the game, after threatening – out of spite – to remove Elliot from the team since he played pro baseball in the past and was thus ineligible, despite the fact that his office had already approved him. Charlie tries to remind him about the press, but Parsons warns him that he will ban the Yankles from the league if he says anything to them, and tells him that no one will likely come to his defense if he did, given his criminal past.          

Charlie tells the team about Parsons’ decision, and then explains his history with the man: When he was in the big leagues, Parsons was the assistant general manager. After he got his first DUI conviction, his contract came up, and he held out on re-signing to get more money, but Parsons didn’t think he was worth it. He went to the press to raise a big stink about it, which upset Parsons to the point where he said a racial slur about Charlie’s Jewish agent on camera, and he got fired over that. The team tells him that they will not play if he can’t coach them. Charlie goes to tell this news to Parsons, but the Yankles end up deciding to go after him to contest the decision.

Charlie finds Withers first, and after telling him what Parsons told him (with reporter Veronica St. James [Britani Bateman] sitting in on their conversation and recording it), Withers informs him that SCN had already approved of the game being on Sunday. Parsons then shows up, and Withers stands up to him and confronts him over how he lied to both SCN and Charlie just as the Yankles appear. Withers tells Parsons that he will not let him flush the Yankles’ chances down the toilet because of his personal agenda with Charlie and declares that the Yankles will play on Sunday with Charlie coaching them. Withers then apologizes to the Yankles and assures them that the board of directors will be informed of Parsons’ actions. The Yankles then get back to the yeshiva in time for Shabbos, and there, Frankie shows up for Shabbos prayer and reconciles with Elliot and Debra.

The Yankles are defeated by Greensboro 5-4 when Elliot is tagged out in the ninth inning, but the team ends up singing a Yiddish commandment about looking on the bright side even during the down times and parades Elliot on their shoulders, outshining Greensboro’s victory. After Elliot leaves to chat with his father, the team parades Charlie around. His brother Sledge (Bart Johnson) then appears and shows that he has brought Debra with him, and she comes up to Charlie and kisses him.

A year later, the Yankles watch a televised minor league baseball game with Rebbe Yaakov (Jesse Bennett) in his office to see Eliezer (Matt Whittaker) make his pitching debut, having given up his rabbinical studies to pursue baseball (though he has kept his peyes). Rebbe Yaakov takes a brief moment to look outside and sees two Orthodox Jewish boys playing catch in front of the yeshiva, and he smiles.

Thanks Tornado Dragon!