The ending is again pulled from baseball history. After the famous Black Sox Scandal of 1919—when eight members of the Chicago White Sox sold out to bookies and threw the World Series—a young boy reportedly tugged at "Shoeless Joe" Jackson's sleeve and said, "Say it ain't so, Joe." That infamous line is repeated to Roy, who can find no response but to weep. It is notable that once Roy has come to understand his world, he reaches a new level of invincibility. He defeats the evil forces arrayed against him, although it is, again, too little too late. Roy knocks out Gus's eye, grabs the Judge's gun before the Judge can fire and then brutally beats the old man, and calls Memo a whore. The silver bullet—fired by Memo this time—does not strike Roy now that he has come to understand his life; he knows now that he has learned nothing from his past life, and that he now must suffer again. But in this realization there is hope, for Iris has told Roy that suffering brings happiness. The conclusion of the novel is certainly not as triumphant as the conclusion of the well-known 1984 film adaptation of The Natural, but it is not as downbeat as it might seem. Though Roy is too late to personally save the symbolic Fisher King and the Waste Land, Roy's future is left open. It appears at least possible that he will spend it with Iris and his unborn son, in happiness.