As the world is turning upside down and America looking rather pathetic and confused. As we witness Afghanistan collapse and 20 years of sacrifice down the toilet, I think back to the Yankees-White Sox game at the Field of Dreams.
James Earl Jones speech in which he tells Ray, the people will come, following the theme of the movie, build the field and they will come.
Baseball began before the beginning of the Civil War and the first professional team, Cincinnati Red Stocking began 1869 during President Grant first term. The National League was formed in 1876 as President Hayes won a controversial election and after American became a World Power by winning the Spanish American War.
The first World Series was played during Teddy Roosevelt first term. As America went from a rural farming nation, fought a Civil War, began the industrial period of the second half of the 19th century and entered the 20th century, baseball was there.
World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II, baseball was there and during the post War era to the present which saw the beginning of the computer era and today, a America in disarray, baseball is still here.
Baseball was part of our history and while baseball has lost its popularity compared to football and basketball, it still reigns as a major sport. It is now a international sport, with players from around the world populating our national pastimes where the leading home run hitter is Japanese. Kansas City leading player Salvador Perez is a immigrant and now US citizen.
As for the game, White Sox won the game 9-8 with a walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth and it was perfect. Tim Anderson walk off homer was something that had not happened in 102 years, a walk off homer to defeat the Yankees. And the last man to hit a walk off homer against the Yankees in a White Sox uniform was Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was major character in the movie.
Denise Stillman, a business woman, who led a group of investors to buy the field with the idea of turning it a Mecca of youth baseball and dream of having a major league baseball game there. Lawsuits and aggressive cancer nearly derailed the dream but after Stillman’s death, her family pursued her dream and this past week, it happened. A major league game happened. And the White Sox Tim Anderson did what no one since Shoeless Joe Jackson did, beat the Yankees with a walk off homer.
Kevin Costner has starred in two of the best sports film in history, Field of Dreams and Bull Durham. I have been to the field of dreams and been to Durham field, the home of the movie Bull Durham. As the world looks like it is collapsing, this movie reminds us of the power of baseball but also the power of America.
Mann: 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 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.
Mann: 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.
Mann: People will come, Ray.
Mann: 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 — it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.
Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.