Friday, April 19, 2013

If you build it, they will come.

It's probably been at least 15 years since I've seen the movie, Field of Dreams. We decided to watch it last night. A great story even told again. And, I got goosebumps again and of course, cried again.

I was never a big baseball fan. When I was little no one even thought about playing catch with me. I was a little girl, for heaven's sake. Of course, I can't really remember my parents having any time to "play" as such with me.I was an only child. We make up our own games.

When my Great Grandpa Jake came to visit then I would be introduced to the seduction of baseball.
We would sit on the front porch, listening to the radio, swinging back and forth on the glider. I had no idea what was going on but the cadence of the announcers and the sounds of the bat hitting a ball were enough for me.

Every once in a while, Grandpa Jake would reach over for his tomato juice can and spit into it. It was just all part of the ambiance.

Grandpa Jake was a Philly's fan. I don't know if he ever actually got to a game. I don't know if he ever even played the game of baseball.  I suspect not.
He started his work career early as a slate picker in the coal mines. A dangerous job given to young teenagers, skinny teenagers because they had to squeeze in next to the bin where the coal was being dumped and grab the pieces of slate out as it was being poured. Not a safe job for anybody but hey, in those days children were expendable.

He came from a long line of coal miners and with his father dead and being one of the oldest males in his family he took off. Left the mines in favor of the railroad.  

Field of Dreams has lots of messages for those of us open to hearing them. Doing something spontaneously, following our dreams, if you can't do a "do over" what's the next closest thing you could do, believing in the impossible, following your gut or heart, trusting and it does remind those of us of a certain age of our memories of baseball.

When the movie was over John remembered that after his father had died his mother took him to a White Sox game. He had forgotten all about it until now. He was only ten or eleven. His mom loved baseball.

I don't know where she got her love of it. Her husband wasn't interested.  Perhaps her father? That story is lost. Maybe she watched her older brother play?

One of my kids has a love of baseball.  I'm not sure exactly where he picked it up but James has always loved the game. I don't remember his playing anything more than t-ball when he was little.  His older brother played on a softball team as a catcher. His dad played on a softball team as an adult for a short time but James wasn't even born yet.

There is some mystic of the game that I am missing. 
I played the obligatory softball in grade school and was terrified of the ball hitting me in the face and breaking my glasses. I had no interest in throwing myself in the dirt or sliding to a base.  I didn't like being chased by somebody waving a ball at me.
I can't say I even like to watch the game. It's so sloooooooooooooow.

My dear friend Donna, would love to get me to go to an opening game with her. Sorry, sweetie, that isn't going to happen anytime soon. You go, you enjoy and tell me all about it later while I'm napping.

But, I love the passion that people have for the game. I love that something gets them excited. I can wish that it was art instead. I girl can wish.

Baseball season has already started but the weather around here hasn't felt like baseball. In fact, as I type I'm watching snow showers.  It won't last but it's just not weather than makes me think about baseball.

There are other great baseball movies, ones that center even more on the game and the players. Put them on your movie list but add Field of Dreams if you haven't seen it in a while or at all.


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