The Phenom


After a teen sets ten world records at the Olympic trials, his coach withdraws him from the competition, finally revealing to the youth that he is an automaton.


Bob Stanton, dejected by the accidental death of his wife and son, enmeshes himself in a new career as a sports writer. After a Super Bowl championship game, a stranger approaches him with an intriguing assignment, to evaluate a young man who reportedly possesses extraordinary athletic ability.

A one-time major-league catcher, Bob meets the lad, Trey Gunner, and asks for a demonstration of his pitching ability. Bob, who immediately sees that the youngster can throw a variety of pitches at speeds unmatched by anyone in the game, sets out to show the boy to Charles Lancaster, manager of the Washington Nationals, Bob’s old team.

In route to the Nationals winter camp, Bob reaches out to other friends to test Trey in different sports. Trey tries his hand at basketball, where he demonstrates that he can sink a basket from anywhere on the court. Tested on three of the toughest holes at Augusta, Trey reveals an uncanny ability with golf clubs. A mystifying demonstration on a professional’s private tennis court leads the pro to encourage Bob to steer the youngster to a different sport to avoid having to compete against him.

When they finally make it to the baseball stadium, Trey astonishes everyone by hitting pitches from one of their best pitchers into the bleachers and even out of the park. His pitching prowess is similarly astounding, demonstrating his ability to pitch lefty and righty at speeds exceeding any know pitcher. While satisfied with his performance on this day, Trey is mesmerized by Iby Lancaster, Charles’ daughter and team statistician. A dinner after the tryout and then an overnight stay at the Lancasters serve to develop a close relationship between the teenagers.

Next on Trey’s agenda is the track and field Olympic qualifying events. Ivy convinces her father that they should attend, to cheer Trey on. Entered for the decathlon, Trey sets ten world records.

But Trey’s glorious successes vaporize when Bob withdraws him from the trials and divulges the true reason for his phenomenal abilities. This revelation drives Trey and Ivy to run away to find some sort of life where they can be together.