THE STORY: The place is the locker room of the Northshore (Minnesota) Otters, a Triple-A baseball club struggling through a lackluster season. It’s the day of the annual Oldtimers Game, and several former Otters are on hand, including “Old John” Law, a Hall of Famer; Dave Pearl, now a star center fielder in the big leagues; Jim Nealy, a once promising player who retired early because of injury; and Crab Detlefson, whom the others have difficulty recalling, despite his tales of daring-do on the field. The present-day Otters are represented by Sut Davis, a talented (but impatient) young hitter who wants desperately to move up to the majors; the catcher, Harry Nix, whose sharp tongue (and fondness for booze) have hindered his career; the agile shortstop, Jesus Luna, who is resigned to being marooned in the minor leagues; and their long-suffering manager, Cal Timmer, a seasoned veteran who, despite all, still believes that the Otters are destined for greatness. And, finally, there is the rookie owner, Mr. Thompson, an aggressive advertising executive who “loves to win” and has some rather bizarre ideas about how to achieve his goal. A sudden rainstorm interrupts the game and brings the players together in the locker room, where moments of humor and poignancy are mingled as the “has-beens” and the “would-bes” play cards, guzzle beer, and talk of the past, or the future, as the case may be. “Old John” nurses a bad back; Sut Davis laments hurting his knee while showing off for Mr. Thompson; and Harly Nix, learning that his contract will not be renewed, trashes the manager’s office. As the play ends some new (and unexpected) shifts are announced—but it is evident that, for most of the Otters, the more things seem to change, the more they will really remain the same.
Set in the locker room of a minor league baseball team, on the occasion of the annual “Oldtimers Game,” this absorbing, perceptive and genuinely funny play explores the antic doings which occur when former “stars,” young “comers” and those doomed to perennial banishment in “Triple-A ball” are thrown together.
“…sentimental and funny…The play I enjoyed most at this year’s New American Play Festival…” —International Daily News.