Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully dig up an old case involving a star player in the Negro Baseball League with an unbelievable batting average — and an incredible secret.

Episode Details


Guest Cast



Catcher: Hey, Ex. I heard the Yankees have been calling you.

Josh Exley: I'm fine playing here in the Cactus leagues. It's nice and quiet. [The next pitch bounces off a much-abused cactus]

Umpire: Ball! [to Moose] Leave the cactus alone, son!

Catcher: Gee, I don't know, Ex. The Yanks could use those 60 home runs a year. Well, now that, uh, Jackie Robinson's up there in the Bigs, people are saying you're going to be next. The first black Negro man of colour in the American League. Shoot, Ex, you'll be famous, man.

Josh Exley: I don't want to be no famous man. Just want to be a man.

Scully: Mulder, it is such a gorgeous day outside. Have you ever entertained the idea of trying to find life on this planet?

Mulder: I have seen the life on this planet, Scully, and that is exactly why I am looking elsewhere. Did you bring enough ice cream to share with the rest of the class?

Scully: It's not ice cream. It's a non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicle.

Mulder: Ugh. Bet the air in my mouth tastes better than that. You sure know how to live it up, Scully.

Scully: Oh, you're Mr Live-it-up. Mulder, you're really Mr Squeeze-every-last-drop-out-of-this-sweet-life, aren't you? On this precious Saturday you've got us grabbing life by the testes, stealing reference books from the FBI library in order to go through New Mexico newspaper obituaries for the years 1940 to 1949, and for what joyful purpose?

Mulder: Looking for anomalies, Scully. Do you know how many so-called flying disc reports there were in New Mexico in the 1940s?

Scully: I don't care. Mulder, this is a needle in a haystack. These poor souls have been dead for 50 years. Let them rest in peace. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Mulder: No, I won't sit idly by as you hurl cliches at me. Preparation is the father of inspiration.

Scully: Necessity is the mother of invention.

Mulder: The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

Scully: Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die.

Mulder: I scream, you scream, we all scream for non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicles. [Mulder sets down his book and lunges at Scully, taking a bite out of her psuedo-ice cream]

Scully: [laughing] No! Mulder! [She looks at the book Mulder was reading] Mulder!? You cheat. I can't believe that you've been reading about baseball this whole time.

Mulder: I'm reading the box scores, Scully. You'd like it. It's like the Pythagorean Theorem for jocks. It distills all the chaos and action of any game in the history of all baseball games into one tiny, perfect, rectangular sequence of numbers. I can look at this box and I can recreate exactly what happened on some sunny summer day back in 1947. It's like the numbers talk to me, they comfort me. They tell me that even though lots of things can change some things do remain the same. It's...

Scully: Boring. Mulder, can I ask you a personal question?

Mulder: Of course not.

Scully: Did your mother ever tell you to go outside and play?

[Mulder notices a picture in the book of two white men and a black man standing in front of an old bus with Roswell Grays on the side. One of the white men is the Bounty Hunter. The headline is; Local Roswell police officer Arthur Dales chats with Diamond Star Josh Exley]

Mulder: Is that... Arthur... Dales...

Scully: Mulder?

Mulder: Ah... Choo! [He fakes a sneeze as he rips the page out of the book]

Scully: You just defaced property of the US Government. [Mulder takes the page and leaves the office] You rebel.

Arthur Dales: What in hell took you so long?

Mulder: I'm sorry, sir, I'm looking for Arthur Dales.

Arthur Dales: I'm Arthur Dales.

Mulder: No, you're not.

Arthur Dales: Don't be a wiseass, son.

Mulder: No, I'm sorry, sir, I know Arthur Dales and you're not Arthur Dales.

Arthur Dales: Arthur Dales is my brother. My name also happens to be Arthur Dales. The same name, different guy. The other Arthur, he moved to Florida, the lucky bastard. Now, our parents weren't exactly big in the imagination department when it came to names. If it would help you wrapping your little head around this stupefying mystery, Agent Mulder, we had a sister named Arthur too, and a goldfish.

Mulder: How do you know my name?

Arthur Dales: My brother told me all about you. He said you were the biggest jackass in the Bureau since he retired. Yeah, we're big fans. Sometimes we'd stay awake for hours at night just talking about you. Just fascinating. Now, unless you're hiding some Chinese food let's call it a day.

Mulder: Mr Dales, I have a, uh... I have a photo here of your brother. Maybe it's you. It's from many years ago and you're, you're standing in Roswell, New Mexico.

Arthur Dales: Roswell. That's me. I was a cop once in Roswell.

Mulder: Okay, and you're standing with Negro League legend Josh Exley who disappeared without a trace during a season in which he reportedly hit 60 home runs.

Arthur Dales: 61.

Mulder: 61 home runs in 1948.

Arthur Dales: 47.

Mulder: 47, whatever. I don't really care about the baseball, so much, sir. What I care about is this man in the picture with you. I believe to be an alien bounty hunter.

Arthur Dales: Of course you don't care about the baseball, Mr Mulder. You only bothered my brother about the important things like government conspiracies and alien bounty hunters and the truth with a capital T.

Mulder: Wait a minute. I like baseball.

Arthur Dales: You like baseball, huh?

Mulder: Yeah.

Arthur Dales: How many home runs did Mickey Mantle hit?

Mulder: A hundred and sixty-three. [Arthur Dales starts to close the door on Mulder] Righty. 373 lefty. 536 total. [Arthur Dales nods and lets Mulder in]

Arthur Dales: What you fail to understand in your joyless myopia, is that baseball is the key to life — the Rosetta Stone, if you will. If you just understood baseball better all your other questions your, your... the, uh... the aliens, the conspiracies they would all, in their way be answered by the baseball gods.

Mulder: Yes, sir, that may be true. I'm thinking that your experience in Roswell could be germane to a conspiracy between men in our government and these shape-shifting alien beings.

Arthur Dales: Oh, don't bore me, son. My brother Arthur started the X-Files with the Federal Bureau of Obfuscation before you were born. He was working for the FBI and hunting for aliens when you were watching My Best Friend's Martians. You say shape-shifting. Agent Mulder, do you believe that love can make a man shape-shift?

Mulder: I guess... women change men all the time.

Arthur Dales: I'm not talking about women. I'm talking about love. Passion. Like the passion you have for proving extra-terrestrial life. Do you believe that that passion can change your very nature? Can make you shape-shift from a man into something other than a man?

Mulder: What exactly has your brother told you about me? Mr Dales, if you and your brother have really known about this bounty hunter and plans for colonisation for the last 50 years why the hell wouldn't you have told anybody?

Arthur Dales: Nobody'd believe me.

Mulder: I would have believed you.

Arthur Dales: You weren't... ripe.

Mulder: Not ripe? Let me tell you something; I have been ripe for years. I am way past ripe. I'm so ripe I'm rotten. This cuts to the very heart of the mystery of what I've been doing with my life for the past ten years.

Arthur Dales: Oh, the heart of the mystery, the heart of the mystery. Ah, there you are. [He holds up a toy bank in the form of a kneeling baseball player] Mr Mulder — maybe you'd better start paying a little less attention to the heart of the mystery and a little more attention to the mystery of the heart. You got a dime?

Mulder: What is this?

Arthur Dales: This little fellow goes by the name of Pete Rosebud. If you keep pumping coffee money into him he'll tell you a story about baseball and aliens and bounty hunters.

Mulder: You're making me feel like a child.

Arthur Dales: Perfect. That's exactly the right place to start from, then, isn't it? Now, the first thing you got to know about baseball is... it keeps you forever young.


[Officer Dales is looking at a flyer]

Keep Baseball Pure — Keep Baseball White — $500.00 Reward For Killing Josh Exley

Officer Dales: Mr Exley? Mr Exley, my name's Arthur Dales. I'm an employee of the Roswell police department.

Josh Exley: Have I broken a law, sir?

Buck Johnson: You stole... second base in the third inning. I'm a witness. [to Officer Dales] Officer, I seen Ex steal... at least 50 bases this year.

Officer Dales: No, sir, you haven't broken any laws. Not that I'm aware of. Uh, I've been assigned by my superiors to protect you, against certain parties.

Buck Johnson: I'm the one need protection from certain parties. Ex here, he in bed by 8:00 every night.

Josh Exley: I appreciate your concern, sir but I can protect myself.

Officer Dales: Mr Exley, I'm not a big sports hero like yourself, sir and I really don't have an opinion on Negroes... or Jews or Communists or even Canadians and vegetarians, for that matter but I cannot stomach the murder of a man of any persuasion or any colour being flaunted and solicited in my town. [Showing Josh Exley the flyer] Not on my watch. So you can be safe with me in a cell down at the precinct or you can be safe with me here on the bus. Seeing as how this is still America, you're free to choose, sir.


Josh Exley: Hey, Officer Dales, you're a decent man, ain't you?

Officer Dales: I try to be.

Josh Exley: Well, the fellows feel like the umps would treat us better if you got us eight more uniforms like these to play in. [Police uniform]

Officer Dales: Yeah, you could change your name from the Roswell Grays to the Roswell Black and Blues.


[Officer Dales sees Josh Exley's reflection in the window as that of a grey alien]

Josh Exley: What's the matter, Arthur? You look like you ain't never seen a black man before.

Mulder: I've got to give it to you, Arthur. Calling a Negro league team from Roswell the Grays is pretty clever. ET steal home. ET steal home.

Arthur Dales: I didn't make that up.

Mulder: You seriously want me to believe that Josh Exley maybe one of the greatest ballplayers of all times, was an alien?

Arthur Dales: They're all aliens, Agent Mulder — all the great ones.

Mulder: Babe Ruth was an alien?

Arthur Dales: Yeah.

Mulder: Joe DiMaggio?

Arthur Dales: Sure.

Mulder: Willie Mays?

Arthur Dales: Well, obviously.

Mulder: Mantle? Koufax? Gibson?

Arthur Dales: Bob or Kirk? See, none of the great ones fit in — not in this world, not in any other world. They're all aliens, Mulder, until they step between the white chalk lines — until they step on the outfield grass. [Arthur Dales opens the door to Poorboy] Like clockwork. Poorboy with my medicine. Give the kid a tip, will you?

Mulder: So I assume you're speaking metaphorically?

Arthur Dales: Speaking metaphorically is for young men like you, Agent MacGyver. I don't have time for that. I only have time to speak the truth.

Poorboy: You're a regular Rockefeller, ain't you? [Not impressed with Mulder's tip]


[Officer Dales tackles Josh Exley when he spots a pair of snipers in the crowd. He looks back up to the stands and sees the two men spraying the men in front of them with the water guns]

Officer Dales: There, uh... there was a bee on you.

Josh Exley: Must have been a real big one.

Officer Dales: Could have ripped your head off.

Josh Exley: Hey, Arthur... thanks.

[As Officer Dales heads back to the dugout, Buck Johnson salutes him]

Buck Johnson: Officer Arthur Dales, making the world safe for baseball and Negroes.


Officer: [answering phone] Macon police department. Can I help you?

Officer Dales: Yeah, my name's Arthur Dales. I'm with the Roswell Police Department. I'm doing a background check on a gentleman I believe is from your area. His name is Josh Exley.

Officer: You want information on a Josh Exley? [He hands the phone to another man]

Bounty Hunter: Yeah, name rings a bell. Yeah, I got a Josh Exley. A six-year-old coloured boy disappeared oh, maybe five years ago. Now do you got a read on this Josh Exley's whereabouts?

Officer Dales: Six years old?


Officer Dales: Ex... Why did you tank that game today?

Josh Exley: I won that game today.

Officer Dales: You tanked the game today. You want me to tell you why? Because your name's not Josh Exley. Josh Exley is a six-year-old kid who disappeared from Macon, Georgia about the same time that you showed up in Roswell.

Josh Exley: I ain't never been to Macon.

Officer Dales: When you got beaned, you said you were from Macon.

Josh Exley: Well, I also spoke tongues like I did when I was a little boy in church. [He mumbles an unrecognisable language] I was joking, Arthur. Relax.

Officer Dales: I'm relaxed. You're hiding something. That's why you don't dare get into the major leagues 'cause the sports writers and everybody would be digging around and they'd find out what it is, right? So you tanked the game in front of those scouts today. Disappointing those kids — disappointing your team mates — disappointing your race...

Josh Exley: Look here, don't go talking about my race. You don't know nothing about my race.

Officer Dales: I know that liars come in all colours. You got a secret, and famous or not, I'm going to find out what it is.

Josh Exley: While you're out chasing secrets, you make sure you're chasing the right ones.


Grey Alien: This is ridiculous. You're supposed to be a big, bad policeman. [Officer Dales gasps in panic] Now, hold up, Arthur. Now, before you go fainting again, listen to me. It's me, Arthur. It's Ex.

Officer Dales: This is an interesting dream. Wake up. Come on, Artie.

Grey Alien: Man, you ain't dreaming. This is what I really look like. This is the real me.

Officer Dales: Ex? It's really you under there, Ex? [He begins touching the alien face, poking around the lip and nose. Josh Exley puts up with it for a moment, then reaches over and sticks his finger up Officer Dales nose] Ow!

Grey Alien: I ain't under anything, Arthur, and I'm trying not to be insulted by your reaction to my true face. Look, would it be easier if I looked like this? [He morphs into a beautiful woman and climbs onto Officer Dales lap] Would this be easier for you to handle?

Officer Dales: Mmm... No. Somehow, that's even weirder.


Officer Dales: So why did you, uh, leave your family in, uh... in Georgia?

Josh Exley: My people guard their privacy zealously.

Officer Dales: I can understand that.

Josh Exley: They don't like for us to intermingle with your people. Their philosophy is we stick to ourselves; you stick to yourselves — everybody's happy.

Officer Dales: So what happened?

Josh Exley: Well, you know what happened.

Officer Dales: You fell in love with an earth woman.

Josh Exley: No. I saw a baseball game.

Officer Dales: Oh.

Josh Exley: See, there's something you got to understand about my race. We don't have a word for laughter. We don't laugh. I don't know if you noticed in between all that fainting you was doing, but we have very tiny mouths, so no smiling even.

Officer Dales: Wow.

Josh Exley: But I tell you, when I saw that baseball game being played this laughter just... it just rose up out of me. You know, the sound the ball makes when it hits the bat?

Officer Dales: Yeah.

Josh Exley: It was like music to me. You know, the smell of the grass, 11 men — first unnecessary thing I ever done in my life and I fell in love. I didn't know the unnecessary could feel so good. You know, the game was meaningless but it seemed to mean everything to me. It was... useless, but perfect.

Officer Dales: Yeah, like, uh... like a rose.

Josh Exley: Yeah, yeah, yeah, like a rose. Yeah, see., you get it, Arthur. You're a fan.

Officer Dales: Uh-huh.

Josh Exley: Tell you, from that moment on I just couldn't fix myself to go home.

Mulder: Let me get this straight; a free-spirited alien fell in love with baseball and ran away from the other non-fun-having aliens and made himself black, because that would prevent him from getting to the majors where his unspeakable secret might be discovered by an intrusive press and public and you're also implying that...

Arthur Dales: You certainly have a knack for turning chicken salad into chicken spit.

Mulder: You're also implying that this baseball-playing alien has something to do with the famous Roswell UFO crash of July 47, aren't you?

Arthur Dales: You're just dying to connect the dots aren't you, son? Look, I give you some wood and I ask you for a cabinet. You build me a cathedral. I don't want a cathedral. I like where I live. I just want a place to put my TV. Understand my drift?

Mulder: Drift it is, sir.

Arthur Dales: Trust the tale, Agent MacGyver, not the teller. That which fascinates us is, by definition, true. Speaking metaphorically, of course.

Mulder: Okay, so was Ex a man who was metaphorically an alien or an alien who was metaphorically a man or a something in between that was literally an alien-human hybrid? It's official. I am a horse's ass.

Arthur Dales: What is it to be a human, Fox? Is it to have the chemistry of a man? In the universal scheme of things a dog's chemistry is nearly identical to that of a man. But is a dog like a man?

Mulder: Well, I have noticed over the course of time, a man and his dog will often start to look like one another.

Arthur Dales: To be a man is to have the heart of a man. Integrity, decency, sympathy; these are the things that make a man a man and Ex had them all, had them all, more than you or I.


Officer Dales: [answering phone] Dales. Ted?

Ted: Arthur, what the heck?

Officer Dales: Calm down. What is it?

Ted: This goo on the glove you gave me — is this a joke?

Officer Dales: Why?

Ted: It's not like any chemical compound I've ever seen. It's from a life-form which doesn't seem to be carbon-based which, by the way, is impossible. This is way out of my league. I called to the FBI and the communicable disease centre in Washington...

Officer Dales: Washington? Oh, no, Ted, you didn't? Nobody was supposed to know about this. Can you... can you get the glove back to me?

Ted: Sure, soon as I finish up here. [He hangs up as Josh Exley enters the lab]

Josh Exley: I didn't mean to startle you. I'm Josh.

Ted: Oh, I know who you are. Only the best damn ball player west of the Bronx.

Josh Exley: Oh, thank you, sir. Arthur sent me down here to explain this substance. That's my mitt it ruined.

Ted: Where is this stuff from? Where did you get it?

Josh Exley: Mars. Actually, just to the left of Mars.


Officer Dales: Ex? Ex, there's this fellow down at the precinct who's willing to swear on his life that you killed a man this afternoon. Now, I'm not sure what's... what's going on here but I... I do know that you're no murderer. You're going to have to get out of town, Ex.

Josh Exley: Life ain't like baseball, is it?

Officer Dales: No. No, it's not.

Josh Exley: I had a talk with my relative. A good talk. He made me understand reason, Arthur. Family's more important than the game. So... I got to go home.

Officer Dales: You still consider them to be your family?

Josh Exley: Of course I do. Who you think my family is?

Officer Dales: I don't know. Your team?

Josh Exley: Don't get cornball on me, man. Next thing you're going to be telling me is I owe it to all the little kids to break the home-run record, or I owe it to the black folks who think I'm one of them, to make it to the majors or I should just keep playing out of some meaningless human concept of pride or loyalty.

Officer Dales: I don't know, Ex.

Josh Exley: We don't think like that, man. We may be able to look like you all, but we ain't you all. You know the big thing that separates us from you?

Officer Dales: What's that?

Josh Exley: We got rhythm. [He grows serious at the sound of a siren in the distance] Hey... I better go.

Officer Dales: Yeah.

Josh Exley: Hey... you do me a favour? Will you tell people what I did on the field? Will you tell your kids how I played the game?

Officer Dales: You know I will, Ex.

Josh Exley: Hey, man, uh... one more thing.

Officer Dales: What?

Josh Exley: You got a pretty good arm on you, boy.


Bounty Hunter: It's over.

Josh Exley: I know.

Bounty Hunter: I warned you. You didn't listen. Now you die.

Josh Exley: It's the right thing to do.

Bounty Hunter: What do you know of the right thing to do? You — who would risk exposing the entire project for a game? A game!

Josh Exley: I hit a home run tonight.

Bounty Hunter: A home run?

Josh Exley: Number 61. I set a record.

Bounty Hunter: Show me your true face so you can die with dignity. As your executioner I show you my true face before I kill you. [He morphs into a grey alien] Show me your true face or you will die without honour.

Josh Exley: This is my true face.

Bounty Hunter: So be it.

[Josh Exley turns and presents the back of his neck to the Bounty Hunter as Officer Dales arrives. The Bounty Hunter stabs Josh Exley in the neck with the stiletto]

Officer Dales: No! Stop! [He runs to Josh Exley] Ex?!

Josh Exley: No... Let me be! Let me be! Arthur get off of me! Our blood is like acid to you people. Arthur, get away. Don't touch it.

Officer Dales: It's just blood, Ex. Look. It's just blood. [Officer Dales fingers are covered in red blood]

Josh Exley: Wow. [He laughs, then dies in Officer Dales arms]

Scully: So, uh... I get this message marked urgent on my answering service from one Fox Mantle, telling me to come down to the park for a very special, very early or very late birthday present. And, Mulder... I don't see any nicely wrapped presents lying around so, what gives?

Mulder: You've never hit a baseball, have you, Scully?

Scully: No, I guess I have, uh... found more necessary things to do with my time than... slap a piece of horsehide with a stick.

Mulder: Get over here, Scully. [Mulder hands Scully the bat, then steps behind her and wraps his arms around her tightly, also holding the bat around her hands]

Scully: This my birthday present, Mulder? You shouldn't have.

Mulder: This ain't cheap. I'm paying that kid ten bucks an hour to shag balls. That's not a bad piece of ash, huh? The bat — talking about the bat. Now, don't strangle it. You just want to shake hands with it. Hello, Mr Bat. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Oh, no, no, Miss Scully. The pleasure's all mine. Okay, now, we want to... we want to go hips before hands, okay? We want to stride forward and turn. That's all we're thinking about. So, we go hips... before hands, all right?

Scully: Okay.

Mulder: One more time. Hips... before hands, all right?

Scully: Yeah.

Mulder: What is it?

Scully: Hips before hands.

Mulder: Right. We're going to wait on the pitch. We're going to keep our eye on the ball. Then, we're just going to make contact. We're not going to think. We're just going to let it fly, Scully, okay?

Scully: Mm-hmm.

Mulder: Ready?

Scully: I'm in the middle.

Mulder: All right, fire away, Poorboy. [They hit a foul] Ooh! That's good. All right, what you may find is you concentrate on hitting that little ball... [They hit the ball again] The rest of the world just fades away — all your everyday, nagging concerns. The ticking of your biological clock. [Another hit] How you probably couldn't afford that nice, new suede coat on a G-Woman's salary. How you threw away a promising career in medicine... [Another hit] To hunt aliens with a crackpot, albeit brilliant, partner. Getting into the heart of a global conspiracy. [Another hit] Your obscenely overdue triple-X bill. Oh, I... I'm sorry, Scully. [Another hit] Those last two problems are mine, not yours. [Another hit]

Scully: Shut up, Mulder. I'm playing baseball.