Baseball. Family. Religion. Set against the enchanting backdrop of 1960’s Brooklyn, Extra Innings tells the story of David Sabah who is caught between pursuing his dream of playing baseball while staying devoted to his Syrian Jewish family that is afflicted with mental illness, but a tragic loss makes reconciling the two impossible. Based on the true story of writer and director Albert Dabah.
At 12 years old, David Sabah’s life was changed forever. When David’s love for baseball first comes into bloom, so too does his parents’ contempt for it. The overbearing Eli and Esther have just returned from Israel after getting psychiatric treatment for their schizophrenic son Morris. In light of Morris’ continued solitude, signified by the classical music echoing from his bedroom, Eli and Esther act to ensure that another child doesn’t leave them, like David’s manic-depressive older sister Vivian already has. But in tightening their grips around the lives of their children, save for their loyal daughter Rita, they only drive David and Morris further away. This may inspire a newfound independence in David, but for Morris, who still suffers in silence, it only contributes to his worsening condition. When his brother’s music comes to an end, David’s only escape is baseball.
With the support of his friends and Coach Nicki Giambi, David finds a balance between his stable homelife and Baseball dream, but at age 17 he reaches a daunting crossroads. He meets Natalie, an Italian girl five years his senior, and begins to appreciate the extent of his talent and family’s oppression. This new romance, as well as the support of his sister Vivian, makes David reflect on the past he and his family have locked away. When David is given the opportunity to live with his sister Vivian and play baseball in California, he must choose whether to stay faithful to his family or embrace the life he’s always dreamed of.
But no matter where he decides to go, the greatest challenge he will ultimately confront will be his grief. Is he willing to forgive himself for moving on from the past in order to discover true freedom now?