Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2017

They Will Come

2014-06-24 12.02.43

 

TODAY IS MONDAY, but it is more than Monday. Yesterday was Easter, but it was more than Easter.

Today is the first full day of Baseball Season. Yesterday was the celebration of the traditional Opening Day of the season. The sun is shining and I can smell horsehide and pine tar in the air.

For those of us who love The Game today is Christmas morning, the Fourth of July, and the Last Day of School combined. We have longed to hear the roar of the Crowd, the crack of the bat and the cry of the Hot Dog Vendor – all music to our ears. Oh, the First Day of Baseball has arrived!

The Art and the Science of The Game are presented once again. The skill that it takes to hit a round ball with a round bat – and to hit it squarely brings The Crowd to its feet. The ballet of the infielders turning a double play with the fluid grace of Nureyev and Fred Astaire can make The Fans go silent with awe.

Baseball is more than just a child’s game played by grownups. It is a thread from the past into the future – My past and my future – your past and your future.

It cannot be stated any better than the words spoken by James Earl Jones’ character, Terence Mann, in the film “Field of Dreams.”

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 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. Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

 Dawn and I have been to “The Field of Dreams.” It still exists in Dyersville, Iowa. You can go there and you can play on that diamond, sit on those bleachers, and come out of that corn. I urge you to do it.

And when you do go there you will be struck by its simplicity and by its grandeur. It is a patch of grass where people speak in whispers as if they were in a cathedral.

They are.

Play ball!

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One thought on “They Will Come

  1. OPENING DAY GENESIS.

    BY GLENN BIRKEMEIER

    – – – –
    [Originally published April 7, 2005.]

    – – –
    In the big inning, God created Heaven on Earth. And it was without form, and void. God separated the dirt from the grass. He called the grass Outfield and the dirt He called Infield. God made the Infield a 90-foot square and the Outfield not less than 400 feet to center and 320 feet down the lines. He declared this Fair Territory. All other territory, God then declared, was Foul.

    And God divided the players into two teams of nine players each, under direction of a manager, to play The Game on His field. God called some of these players Pitchers and some of them Hitters. He placed a Pitcher precisely 60 feet 6 inches from a Hitter. Then God commanded that it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the ol’ Ballgame.

    And God granted jurisdiction of The Game to lesser Gods, whom He called Umpires. God said the Umpires are infallible, blessed with Heavenly authority, whose judgment is not to be questioned under penalty of expulsion from The Game. And God looked at his creation and He was pleased. Then God created the Infield Fly Rule to confuse nonbelievers.

    And God said, Let there be light beer, and there was. And, God said, let there be peanuts and hot dogs and overpriced souvenirs and let there be frosty chocolate malts with little wooden spoons that you can buy nowhere else except at this Heaven, which God called a Ballpark, and there was. God looked at His creation and it was good.

    And the Lord God formed, from the dust, a collection of elite players in His own image. The Lord God then breathed the breath of life into His creation. God called this creation the National League.

    And God said, It is not good for the National League to be alone. The Lord God shall make it a mate. And thus, while the National League slept, God took several of its top players and created the American League.

    And God blessed The Game, saying, Be fruitful and multiply. Put teams in every city with deserving fans, God added, even if this occurs at the expense of starting-pitching depth.

    From time to time, God understood, The Game would be corrupted by the Serpent. The Serpent was more cunning than any other beast and he would take many wicked forms: the Black Sox, segregation, the Designated Hitter, the Reserve Clause, dead balls, juiced balls, spit balls, corked bats, George Steinbrenner, AstroTurf, the 1981 strike, collusion, lockouts, Pete Rose, the 1994 strike, greenies, cocaine, HGH, Andro, steroids, $20 parking, corporate mallparks, Scott Boras, Donald Fehr, and Bud Selig.

    But, God said, the goodness in The Game shall always prevail. As needed, the Lord shall bestow upon The Game a Savior. And the Savior, like the Serpent, can take many forms. The Savior shall remind Fans how blessed The Game truly is. The Savior shall be called by many names, including Cy, Matty, Honus, Big Train, the Babe, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, Lou Gehrig, Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson, Buck O’Neil, Hank Greenberg, Red Barber, Harry Carey, Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck, Roberto Clemente, Ernie Banks, Hammerin’ Hank, Cool Papa, Dizzy, Lefty, Whitey, Stan the Man, Big Klu, the Say Hey Kid, Campy, Duke, the Mick, the Splendid Splinter, the Gas House Gang, the Big Red Machine, the Damn Yankees, Pudge Fisk, Pudge Rodriguez, Yaz, Pops, the Wizard of Oz, Fernando, George Brett, Moonlight Graham, Roy Hobbs, Wild Thing Vaughn, Bingo Long, the Ryan Express, Donnie Baseball, Rickey, Eck, the Big Unit, the Cactus League, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Camden Yards, Rotisserie Drafts, Web Gems, Derek Jeter, Dontrelle Willis, Vlad Guerrero, and, from the Far East, Ichiro. And, God guaranteed, there are many more to come.

    God looked upon His creation and He was very pleased. And God spoke, yelling, PLAY BALL!

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