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#107 “Play Ball!”

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Softball may not be directly involved with writing, but it played a big part in this writer’s life. The DIC softball team has come together. We act like ballplayers and thanks to lime green pinstriped uniforms, we look like ballplayers. The camaraderie, the fun, and laughs are a tangential but significant benefit of working at the studio.

After a few of weeks of spirited after-hours practice sessions, we’re ready for our first game against another studio – the reputed powerhouse of the Entertainment Softball League, Warner Bros. Studios.

On this chilly L.A. winter evening, Lori’s behind the plate and I’m on the pitcher’s mound. Newcomer Bobby Logan is at third. Linda Levin covers second. Mike Cowan, an incredible athlete, is at first. I don’t know our outfielders well. Infielders are a tight-knit group, a subset of a team.

With warm-ups finished, the umpire calls “Play ball!” As Warner Bros.’ leadoff batter strides to home plate, it’s a shocker. It’s Linda Blair, who played Regan, the twelve-year old girl inhabited by a demonic entity in the epic horror film The Exorcist!

Bobby jumps all over her, calling, “Spin your head, Regan!” Cuppings his hands around his mouth, Bobby shouts, “Careful, Jack! Smoke her and she might spit pea soup at you!” I frown as I recall the gross-out scene in The Exorcist when the director William Friedkin had Linda Blair spit pretend-vomit pea soup into the priest’s face.

I hear protesting boos, the Warner Bros.’ ballplayers and fans getting ticked off. Before long I’d find out why it’s not a good idea to open a door to the occult…


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