John-Boy takes a disliking to Hobie Shank, a teenaged orphan who once stayed with the Waltons. He returns to the Walton home while he waits for a tryout as a pitcher for a professional baseball team. With all of his big talking though, the Waltons don't know whether or not to believe what Hobie tells them. A talent scout does turn up to watch him and offers him a contract with his baseball team.
Whilst up in the tree house, however, Hobie shows off and falls, causing his arm to break. The contract is cancelled and a very depressed Hobie returns to recuperate, and lick his wounds, with the Waltons. In an effort to get him out of his depression, a baseball game is organised between the folk of Waltons Mountain and the Boy's Home where Hobie grew up. He is offered a job working full time with the home, which he accepts.