Opening Day

6 04 2009

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I have loved baseball for as long as I can remember. I love most all sports really. I always look forward to the start of another college football season and living and dying with my beloved Auburn Tigers. Baseball is different though. I love baseball in a way that is hard to explain. I’ve played it for years in its many incarnations (t-ball, coach pitch, kid pitch, church softball) and have been a dedicated MLB fan for as long as I can remember. Baseball is very poetic in a way that often doesn’t require words. It is in the coloring of the lush green grass, in the perfectly raked clay of the infield, the pristine whiteness of bases that have yet to be trampled upon by players rounding the bases in hopes of getting to the next one. Baseball has rhythm. I hear many bemoan the “slowness of a game” but it is a peaceful game punctuated with moments of excitement that rip you from your seat and demand that you high five the person next to you whether you know them or not. Baseball is a team sport and yet a solitary figure on any given night can be the hero or the goat. Baseball is ritual. From making sure not to step on baselines , pounding a fist into your glove, or watching the coaches for the signal to steal or swing away. Baseball brings the little kid out of grown men like myself who would like nothing more on an afternoon to sit with a bag of peanuts, a cold beverage, and a scorecard and watch as the game unfolds before us and brings us the joys and the pains of being a fan. I love baseball.

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Every year on this day I am transported to the scene in Field of Dreams where James Earl Jones’ character gives his monologue about baseball and why Kevin Costner should keep his baseball field in the middle of nowhere.  The text of that speech is below as is a clip from Youtube. Happy Opening Day to you no matter who your favorite team may be.

“Ray, people will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you have a look around,” you’ll say. “It’s only twenty dollars per person.” They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they’ll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.

People will come, Ray.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

-Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) Field of Dreams

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5 responses

7 04 2009
jason

Great Post and as Tobys dad said on the WW that one time….”I just had the strongest memory”
WOW….so good man…I never played a day of baseball but I am also a lover of the game …Watching takes me back to watching with my Dad…
Great Post and as Tobys dad said on the WW that one time….

7 04 2009
The Bean

Field of Dreams is by far one of the best movies ever made. Definitely in my top 5 if not in my top 3. I was a Braves fan for years but as you know I have drifted back to my baseball roots and am once again a Cardinals fan.

14 04 2009
searcy

amazing! seriously an awesome post on baseball. i love it too and still remember my mad skills at playing catcher for church league softball. did i ever actually catch one of the pitches?

14 02 2010
Karen

All I can say is:

I love baseball, too!

You write so beautifully, I know exactly what you mean.
I play softball and I really love the sport. My whole family loves baseball actually 🙂
Oh, and I’ve seen the movie. Absolutely great, indeed!

The smell of leather, grass and a breeze on a summerevening is the best in the world.

27 04 2010
Justin

What stadium is in the picture you have there, its beautiful

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