Matlock defends an insurance salesman who has been accused of killing his boss, who is also a softball umpire, following a bad call during a softball game.


(as Harvey Laidman)


(created by), (as Philip Mishkin)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Matlock
Michelle Thomas
Kari Lizer ...
Cassie Phillips (credit only)
Tyler Hudson (as Kene Holliday)
D.A. Lloyd Burgess
Walter Judd
Charlie Bonham
Mitchell Laurance ...
Roger Cullen
Freddy Hatton
Patti Judd
Barney Sutler
Lawrence Braude ...
Marshall Turner
Ronald Pierce
Lt. Parker (as Fitzhugh G. Houston)
Richard Newton ...
Judge Richard Cooksey


Matlock defends an insurance salesman who has been accused of killing his boss, who is also a softball umpire, following a bad call during a softball game.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

26 January 1988 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

contains sloppy mistakes (***spoiler alert***)
24 October 2017 | by (Lubbock, Texas, USA) – See all my reviews

This episode of Matlock does not live up to the usual standards of other episodes. Specifically, the research is seriously lacking. The beginning of the episode depicts a fast-pitch softball game between 2 teams in a community softball league. There are major problems with how the game and the behavior of the players are portrayed.

First, the players on the team in the field, and especially the pitcher, are constantly yelling at the umpire about his strike zone. In a real game that would never be allowed. Anyone who argued about the strike zone would be quickly ejected, and the players would know that from previous game experience.

Second, after Matlock decides to take the case, when he first visits his client Charlie in jail, and Charlie is telling Matlock what happened in the game that led to the murder, Charlie says, "Well, it was the top of the 8th, and . . . ." Then later, at the end of the episode, Matlock asks Charlie to review his memory again, and Charlie says, "OK, it was the bottom of the 9th, and . . . ." So the entire episode is based on the premise that the game lasted for 9 innings. But softball games last for only 7 innings, not 9. It would not have been difficult to write that fact into the script so viewers could've easily understood that.

Third, and finally, the murderer is caught, in part, because the runner at the end of the game slid into the umpire and cut the umpire's leg with the steel spikes the runner was wearing. But every umpire in a fast-pitch softball game would be wearing steel-toed shoes and heavy- duty shin guards, and he also would not have been close enough to the plate to have been spiked by a sliding runner. IOW, the entire basis for Matlock's final courtroom "gotcha" moment is completely unrealistic. In a real game, things would never have happened that way.

I regret to say that these mistakes render this episode of Matlock very sloppy, very unprofessional, and not at all believable.

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