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Ep.8 - The Braggart

 
  Original Airdate: November 1, 1973
Writer: Richard Fielder
Director: Jack Shea

Prologue:

 
  "There were times on Walton's Mountain so filled with peace and contentment that I might sit in my room writing and never once be reminded that I was part of a large and boisterous family. It was on such a day that Jim Bob took time out to watch the grass grow and Hobie Shank came back into our lives. I wasn't to know much peace or contentment after Hobie's arrival."

 

Synopsis:

  Hobart Shank arrives at the Walton's with news that he expects to be picked by a scout for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Hobie had stayed with the family four years prior when he was visiting from the orphanage for the summer. Since coming of age he has rode the rails looking for work in various cities. He went to a baseball tryout and threw some of his "blue lighting" pitches which impressed the scouts. When they asked where he lived he gave them the Walton's address as he was too embarrassed to give the address for the orphanage.

  The scout, Clyde “Preacher” Harroway does in fact arrive from the St. Louis Cardinals to see Hobie pitch. He brings a hot shot AAA ball player to bat against his pitches but he strikes out on every pitch except for Hobie's first pitch. The scout is impressed and John negotiates a $150/month wage with a $100 signing bonus for Hobie. John-Boy finds it difficult to like the loud-mouth that Hobie has become. John feels though that maybe he talks big because it's all that he has and this may be his only chance to make something of himself. For now he's just riding a wave. Later John and John-Boy take Hobie to visit his old orphanage. Hobart is reluctant to go but makes a half-hearted attempt to visit with the boys. When they return to the mountain Hobie starts horsing around with his fan club. He falls from the tree house and breaks his elbow. The scout arrives at the hospital and cancel Hobie's contract. The Walton's decide to organize a baseball game against the orphanage to pick up Hobie's spirits but he has taken the new developments hard and decides to head back out on the road. Sheriff Bridges picks him up and takes him to the ball field. Hobart shows little interest at first but then jumps in to coach the orphanage team. They nearly win and in the excitement Hobie asks the director if he can work at the orphanage as their coach.

Epilogue:

 
  "It's late now in Virginia, that ball field which once echoed to the sounds of our games is quiet except for the call of crickets and the ghosts of the children we were. For my brothers and sisters and I are all grown now, and our children play other games in places far from Walton's Mountain. Still, there's something about the fall of night that turns our thoughts homeward."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • The actor who portrays Hobie is the son of John McGreevey who has written many of the Walton episodes. Michael McGreevey himself will later write episodes in Season 7 and 8.

Additional Cast:

 
 

Guest Stars: Michael McGreevey (Hobie Shank) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose), Tami Bula (Marcia Woolery), Richard X Slattery (Clyde Harroway), William Wintersole (Dr. Wolfe), Doreen Lang (Mrs. Baker), Brian Culhane (Calvin Trask), Christopher Gardner (Sam "Half Pint" Brady), Moosie Drier (Georgie), Michael Reilly (Iggy), Shawn Shae (Norma Lee)



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