[Chicago Slices raw: Wheelchair Softball]

WHEELCHAIR SOFTBALL: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago athletes play in the Soldier Field parking lot. Interviews with TOM BECKE, TOM RITCHIE, CHRIS POWELL, JOE HAWKINS, KATHY REINHARDT, GEORGE BURNS and SEAN GRIGGS.

00:00Copy video clip URL Interview in elevator with Sean Griggs, a wheelchair softball player. He notes that his friend Christi inspired him to pitch. The team he is on is co-ed, quadriplegic men and women get to play too, but only one per team to make it even. He comments that the teams they play are tough and they have new people on his team. He notes the Pacemakers are the toughest because most are able bodied, mobile. Griggs comments that his hitting is only so-so. He rolls his wheelchair through the parking lot to his car.

02:25Copy video clip URL The videographer approaches a kid, a neighbor, who is standing by. The kid says Griggs is a good guy. Nice.

02:47Copy video clip URL Griggs gets into a car and pulls his wheelchair in after him. They are heading to the ballpark for a game.

03:44Copy video clip URL Griggs is wheeling himself through the parking lot at Soldier Field. He notes this is where they practice and have some of their games. Griggs introduces himself, notes that he’s 24-years-old and has been paralyzed for four years. “To all people in wheelchairs, I say: keep trying.” Griggs notes that he became paralyzed by being in the wrong place at the wrong time and that he saved his good friend’s life. “I caught [a bullet] for him.”

04:49Copy video clip URL Audio signal goes away.

05:35Copy video clip URL Audio signal returns. The interview with Griggs continues. He comments that before the accident he was a good ball player with a .325 batting average. He notes that one high school game in which he played center field the Kansas City Royals scouted the team, but no one was selected.

06:36Copy video clip URL Griggs greets his teammates. “What’s goin’ on?” “You ready?” “I’m ready.”

06:59Copy video clip URL Andre Davis, catcher on the team, introduces himself. Carmen Saunders introduces herself as being with Davis. Gwendlyn Maclamore introduces herself as Davis’ cousin and Saunders’ soon-to-be sister-in-law. Steven Rodriguez introduces himself as Chi Chi and comments that he plays right field. Neat Jackson introduces himself as a spectator.

07:48Copy video clip URL B-roll of Griggs warming up pitching to his catcher in the parking lot. Another teammate comes up to bat. Various shots of the warm up session.

09:16Copy video clip URL The batter gets a hit and someone wheels after it.

09:26Copy video clip URL A female teammate rolls away from the videographer stating she does not want to be interviewed.

09:40Copy video clip URL B-roll of the team hanging out.

10:02Copy video clip URL Griggs comments that today should be a good game and that as pitcher he should make about seven strike outs then playfully comments he’s getting cocky.

10:22Copy video clip URL B-roll of players warming up in the parking lot. B-roll of Soldier Field stadium. Video drop outs.

10:49Copy video clip URL Videographer interviews an unidentified player about baseball fundamentals. The player notes he is a true blue Sox fan, but the Cubs are the sponsors of this wheelchair softball team. He says he used to be a Cubs fan until they got rid of Bill Matlock. He says he’s been playing wheelchair ball with this team for a couple years and they’re great people. He admits he’s obsessed with baseball. He throws ball to teammate and continues warming up.

12:24Copy video clip URL B-roll of players warming up. Shots of Soldier Field.

12:53Copy video clip URL The team gets together. Griggs, on the white shirt team, takes roll and gets to know the new players.

13:17Copy video clip URL The opponent, the blue shirt team, also take roll. Someone creates a line up. The team rallies itself.

14:00Copy video clip URL Coin toss. Griggs calls heads, wins, and elects to be the home team. The white shirts take the field which is a baseball diamond marked out in the parking lot. The blue team gets ready to bat.

14:40Copy video clip URL Griggs on the mound warms up. The game begins. A blue shirt batter gets a base hit.

15:32Copy video clip URL Blue shirt teammates encourage one another. Various plays: a batter gets a base hit. Another is thrown out at second.

16:29Copy video clip URL B-roll of Griggs on the mound pitching. The inning ends. The white shirt team rolls to the dug out. Video drop outs. The players get cooled off, sprayed with water. Griggs comments that he had trouble placing the ball this first inning but was able to ensure the hits were kept low. He notes they play seven innings.

17:43Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. The white shirt team gets up to bat. Various plays: batter gets a hit, first base is overthrown and runner takes second.

18:43Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. A white shirt batter is walked on four balls.

19:07Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Various plays: a white shirt batter hits, two run scores, another batter at bat. The umpire explains to the videographer how the play transpired.

20:23Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Various b-roll: a white shirt batter hits and wheels to first. A runner makes it to third base. Video drop outs. Another white shirt batter gets a hit, runner scores. A batter hits a single, another runner thrown out at first.

22:25Copy video clip URL Inning over. The white shirt team takes the field. B-roll of Griggs pitching. Shortstop makes a play. Various b-roll of players and plays. Blue shirt batter hits a triple.

24:02Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Various plays with blue shirt team at bat. The batter who hit the triple playfully flaunts to camera. He says his name is Mark Grace. B-roll of Grace on third, batter at bat, Griggs pitches and strikes out batter. Video drop outs.

26:18Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. White shirt team gets ready to bat. Griggs at bat. He gets walked on four balls. On another play Griggs takes second.

27:37Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Various b-roll of plays in action.

27:57Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Continued b-roll of various plays. Shortstop readies for a play.

29:32Copy video clip URL Various b-roll white shirt batter at bat, inning change.

29:42Copy video clip URL Interview with Kathy Reinhardt, white shirt player. She notes how the rehab sports program has helped her, commenting that it is the best thing for her. She says before being hit with multiple sclerosis she was a speed skater and an able bodied athlete. “[The sports program] means a lot to me.”

30:25Copy video clip URL B-roll of white shirt team warming up before the new inning. Griggs pitches.

30:54Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Griggs on the mound, pitches. Various b-roll of plays. Griggs strikes out a batter. He pitches to another batter. Video drop outs.

32:44Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Griggs strikes out another batter. Pitches to another. Video drop outs. Blue shirt batter gets a hit.

34:50Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. B-roll of a blue shirt runner on first, batter hits, runners round the bases. First base coach yells encouragingly, “Go, Joe! Go, George!” One runner scores. The batter, George Burns, gets a triple.

36:10Copy video clip URL Burns recaps the play to the videographer.

36:36Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Burns continues recapping the play. He talks about how rehab sports program has helped him: his hand-eye coordination, mobility, good sportsmanship and hanging in there. “It teaches us to never say die in anything, life or softball.”

37:43Copy video clip URL B-roll of white shirt team at bat. Batter gets a walk.

38:08Copy video clip URL B-roll, Griggs on the sideline talking about how this sports program has helped his rehabilitation. At first his self-confidence was down.

38:36Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Griggs continues his interview and how his confidence slowly started to build through the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago programs.

38:59Copy video clip URL The interview is interrupted for shots of an exciting play in action. Griggs continues talking about building confidence and acceptance. At first he was really down, cried. He wishes others could also find acceptance and confidence the way he has.

40:09Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Griggs says as captain he has to show leadership.

40:30Copy video clip URL B-roll of white shirt player thrown out at first. Inning change. White shirt team takes the field. Videographer asks blue shirt player how the sports program has helped his rehab. The player notes it’s helped his chair balance and exercises his muscles. He notes he’s been playing for six years. He broke his leg water skiing. He also plays basketball and tennis. When he goes skiing, he  sits on special skis. Video drop outs. He is also into sailboat racing and in a recent race took second place.

42:23Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. The player notes that the softball team is new and is doing okay. They are a 50/50 team.

43:10Copy video clip URL Interview with another blue shirt team member, Tom Becke, the first base coach. He says this sports program is a blast. It helps him in all aspects of softball playing.

43:35Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Interview is interrupted as Becke yells encouragingly to teammates as a play unfolds. He comments that he is a state and local tax analyst for Sweetheart Cup Company. He notes his intensity for doing anything in life. He says he wants to see his team do well. “Everyone needs encouragement and I have a big mouth so I guess that’s part of my job.”

44:45Copy video clip URL A white shirt player notes that this sports program has helped him be a better hitter, walking and pushing himself in his chair. He notes the rehab is as psychological as it is physical.

45:08Copy video clip URL B-roll of various plays. Griggs overthrows first.

46:09Copy video clip URL A little kid says hello and goodbye to the camera.

46:18Copy video clip URL Inning change, white shirt team at bat. Various plays.

47:04Copy video clip URL Interview with Theresa, an intern for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s sports program. She notes how she got involved and says she enjoys watching the self-motivation and enthusiasm of all the players. She feels good just being around them. She comments today she is the official barbecuer.

47:52Copy video clip URL Griggs prepares to bat and notes to camera: “Time to try and bring in the runs.” B-roll of Griggs at bat. The inning ends with a force out at second.

48:57Copy video clip URL Interview with blue shirt player Chris Powell. Powell notes that the rehab program has helped strengthen him, made him faster in a chair and that it’s got him in good with the ladies. It’s helped build his confidence, letting him know he can do things like everyone else. He notes he also does track, weight lifting, and goes to school at UIC. He is studying Kinesiology to be a physical therapist. He notes the camaraderie on the team is great. He encourages his team in the middle of a play.

50:32Copy video clip URL Powell notes that he is a T56 paraplegia incomplete, spinal chord shock trauma. He says he was a gun shot victim about seven years ago, caught in cross fire.

51:16Copy video clip URL B-roll blue team at bat. Various hitters. Three runners score.

53:30Copy video clip URL Interview with Tom Ritchie, in charge of the sports program at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He notes that RIC and The Chicago Cubs put together this softball team.They play a variety of teams throughout the Midwest.

53:57Copy video clip URL Video drop outs. Stop/re-start digitizing. Ritchie continues about the various teams in the league and notes they are looking for more people to come out. He says they’ve had a softball team for a couple years but that this is the first year the Chicago Cubs are sponsoring them. Ritchie notes the benefits of the program: it’s a social atmosphere, players gain confidence, stay physically fit. He says the program offers baseball, track, tennis, rock climbing. He says the team plays in St. Louis, Dayton, Minneapolis, and occasionally in New York, California and Canada. He notes the best wheelchair softball team in the country is Minneapolis.

55:57Copy video clip URL Audio release from Griggs to use his image on TV.

56:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of various plays. Game over, players congratulate one another. Video drop outs. Ritchie brings the team together and critiques the game, the players actions, good and bad. Announces Friday practice and news about an upcoming trip to St. Louis. He notes hot dogs are chips are ready. “Nice game, guys!”

57:45Copy video clip URL END

 

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