THE SECRET WEAPON
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Theme: Leadership; believing in the right thing.
Episode Number: 358
Writer: Phil Lollar
Scripture: John 8:32
Album: # 28: Welcome Home
Last Air Date: 08/19/2004
Original Air Date: 9/21/96
It’s baseball season again, and Sam is less than enthusiastic about it. He doesn’t think he’s a very good player, and he doesn’t think the Coyotes are a very good team. And basically, he’s right. But Jack has a feeling that this season may be a little different, the Coyotes have a new coach: Connie Kendall! Connie gives the team a brief pep talk, and they head out to the field. Jack questions Connie about her wanting to be a coach, does she really think she can handle it? Connie confidently tells Jack to just watch and see.
The Coyotes’s practices go well for everyone, except Sam. He just can’t seem to do anything right, especially hit. So he’s decided to leave the team. But Connie comes up with a plan to instill some confidence in him. She asks him to meet her at Whit’s End. When he does, she gives him a special bat, a slugger that once belonged to Lefty Grizzell, a Major League home run hitter. Connie convinces Sam that the bat is a secret weapon with great power and accuracy, and has what seems like a mind of its own. To prove it, she has Sam hit a few pitches outside. He ends up whacking them nearly out of the park!
Sam has a renewed interest in the game and is now ready to play. But Connie tells him that he must practice with the bat every day if he really wants to learn to control the bat. Sam agrees and runs off to the batting cage.
Jack admires Connie’s solution to the problem of Sam quitting but is concerned that she has given Sam a false security. Connie tells Jack that she knows what she’s doing, and it seems she’s proven right when the Coyotes win not only their first game, but also their entire season! They’ve made the playoffs, and it’s all because of Sam’s batting, using the secret weapon. But on the day of the big game, the secret weapon is stolen! Sam panics and rushes to Whit’s End, looking for Connie. Jack tells him that Connie is already at the game. Sam is frantic. Jack calms him down long enough for him to explain what’s wrong, then they both head to the game.
At the game, the coach for the opposing team stops Connie and hands her the secret weapon. One of the other players took it. Connie takes the bat to Sam, but tells him that he can’t use it. The bat is just a piece of wood. It doesn’t have any special powers or abilities. Sam was able to hit those home runs because he practiced. Connie affirms that the Coyotes need Sam, not the bat.
Sam regains his confidence and strides to the plate. Two strikes fly by . . . but then Sam hits a home run that wins the game! The Coyotes are Little League champions.