Author’s note: As you know, two of my great obsessions are Cardinal baseball and Star Wars. I’ve mixed and mashed them a number of times before, but never to this scale. If you’ve watched A New Hope a hundred times and have followed the Cardinals this season, I believe you’ll find this at least somewhat entertaining. The spark came from CardinalTales and Buddha6883 bringing the idea of “Luke Skyweaver” to my attention, so if you need to yell at someone, there you go. I was hoping it could be some ill-conceived and clunky allegory about this postseason, but obviously that’s not going to happen. Massive thanks goes out to Daniel Winnett, who graciously gave of his time and talents for the illustrations to this story. You should definitely follow him @STLWinn for more things of this nature (and for other reasons). Obviously, given that this is just Star Wars with a Cardinal skin, all due appreciation, respect, credit to George Lucas and his imagination that started it all. This will go for as many nights as necessary, so buckle up!
It is a period of turmoil. The Chicago Empire, after years of toiling in the backwaters, has sprung forth to terrorize the citizens of the Majors Galaxy. The revered St. Louis Republic has been forced into uncharted territory as the Empire tightens its grip.
To solidify their status, the Empire is constructing their ultimate weapon, the SERIES WINNER. Once it is operational, the fate of the galaxy will be forever altered.
Needing reinforcements in their struggle, JOHN MOZELIAK attempts a daring mission through enemy lines to bring Ace CHRIS CARPENTER back into the fray. However, DARTH RIZZO, the Empire’s chief enforcer, is on his track……
Inside John Mozeliak’s ship, the Internal Options, alarms blare as the Empire’s military craft Frank Chance fires on the Republic vessel. Scurrying through the corridors are two droids, O2-D2 and his translator and companion, UG-NE. Suddenly, the ship shudders to a stop and is slowly tractored into the larger Imperial transport.
You hear that? There’ll be no escape for the GM this time.
Oh (R2-D2) bleeps a rebuttal, then rolls away from his friend, finding Mozeliak in the shadows. Meanwhile, out in the hallway, Imperial troops pour in, followed by their leader, Anthony Rizzo. He immediately finds the captain, Mike Matheny, and begins questioning him.
DAVE MARTINEZ (IMPERIAL OFFICER)
The scouting reports are not in the main computer. We even commandeered Chris Correa to help us, but no luck.
ANTHONY RIZZO (DARTH VADER)
Where are those reports you intercepted?
Matheny, barely breathing under Rizzo’s relentless press, chokes out,
MIKE MATHENY (CAPTAIN ANTILLIES)
We intercepted no reports. This is a baseball ship…we’re on a mission to spread the game.
If this is a baseball ship, where are the sabermetricians?
Hurling Matheny to the floor in disgust of his tactics, Vader quickly turns to his men.
Commander, tear this ship apart until you find those scouting reports. And bring me the passengers, I want them alive!
Eugene, searching for his friend, sees Oh off in the distance, apparently huddling with Mozeliak. They break and go in different directions. Mozeliak heads back into the ship, while Oh passes Eugene, asking him to follow in his own language. Finding an escape pod, they climb in and jettison toward the planet below.
While the droids are escaping the ship, Imperial troops have brought Mozeliak in front of Rizzo.
JOHN MOZELIAK (PRINCESS LEIA)
Anthony Rizzo. Only you could be so bold. The galactic commissioner will not sit still for this. When he hears that you’ve interfered with legitimate baseball operations….
Don’t act so surprised, Your GMness. You weren’t on any goodwill mission this time. Several scouting reports were beamed to this ship by Republic spies.
I don’t know what you are talking about. We are on a goodwill mission to the Outer Rim.
You are part of the Wild Card Alliance and a threat. Take him away!
Lord Rizzo, the scouting reports are not about this ship. An escape pod was jettisoned during the fighting, but no life signs were on board.
He must have hidden the reports in the escape pod. Send some minor leaguers down to retrieve them. See to it personally, Bench Coach. There will be no one to stop us this time!
The droids land on the planet of Minorine, a fairly barren wasteland. There used to be a lot here, you can tell, but years of work has stripped the land bare. The droids fuss about which way to go, but their decision is rendered moot when they are picked up by local scouts and sped into the nearest sign of civilization, to be put up for sale.
While the scouts are traveling with the droids, a contingent of Cub minor leaguers arrive at the pod’s resting place. Searching about, one of them finds a metallic ring that could have only come from one place.
Look, sir — droids!
Meanwhile, the scouts pull up to a small area and a seasoned veteran of the area, Manager Mike Shildt, steps out to take a look at the new talent. Joining him is a man he treats like family. Luke Skyweaver, a fresh-faced farmboy who appears comfortable with the area even though he is fairly new to the place, having recently arrived from a more fruitful place, a field of springs compared to this dusty locale.
MIKE SHILDT (to Eugene)
I assume you’ve been trained in translation?
Translation? Why, it’s my primary function, sir.
I have no need for a translation droid.
Of course you haven’t, sir. Though it’s possible–
What I really need is a droid that understands the language of kids these days.
Sir, I once was a kid, very much like the ones you have today.
Can you speak Spanish?
Of course I can, it’s like a third language to me.
All right, we’ll take this one and that one with him. Luke, get these droids cleaned up before supper.
But I was going into town to do some drills!
You can waste time with Bader and Sherriff later.
Yes, sir. C’mon, guys.
Luke takes the droids into the dugout area of the compound, cleaning them up and making them presentable. Cleaning them, he stumbles upon a message hidden with Oh.
Help me, Ace Carpenter, you’re my only hope.
Where did that come from?
Oh, speaking his language, tells him something that Eugene passes along to Luke.
He says he’s supposed to find Ace Carpenter. I don’t know what he’s going on about. The last people we were attached to didn’t have a name anything like that. We know of a Wainwright, though some say he no longer holds the title.
Carpenter….I wonder if he means old Chris Carpenter.
Excuse me, sir, do you know what he’s talking about?
Well, I don’t know any Ace, but Chris Carpenter lives out beyond the Arch Sea. Kind of an old hermit. I better check out the rest of this message.
Oh, however, shuts down and Luke hears his name being called.
I’ve got to go. You see what you can do with him.
Luke heads in and finds Manager Shildt at the clubhouse table, going over reports.
You know, I think those droids might have been stolen?
Why do you say that?
The Oh-two unit was talking about Ace Carpenter. I thought he might be talking about old Chris Carpenter. Do you know any Ace?
(clamming up) I don’t think he exists anymore. Just drop it.
Well that’s….strange, but OK. By the way, I think these droids will work out, so I’d like to join the Bigs this fall.
The fall is when I need you the most. Give me another offseason and you can go off to the Bigs sometime next year.
But it’s a whole other season!
I’ll make it up for you. I’ll get you some of the best barbecue around here. Hey, where are you going?
Nowhere, I guess.
Heading back to work on the droids, Luke turns on the dugout light to find Eugene hiding in the corner.
Don’t blame me, sir. I begged him not to go, but he kept babbling on about his mission.
Luke grabs his binoculars and scans the rapidly darkening horizon. There’s no sign of Oh-two.
Pardon me, sir, but can’t we go after him?
It’s too dangerous with all the Beale Revelers out. Too many speeders being driven drunk or you might have to listen to some really off-key Elvis. We’ll go out in the morning, when it’s safer.