BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE (April 28, 2014):
It’s springtime, 2014. The Astros are in the cellar. All is right with the world. But we still love them. Not because on any given night they might start a kid from the carwash in left. Or because April means another shot at the worst record in baseball.
No. Because despite the futility of their efforts, in them we still see a glimmer of hope. The kind of hope we learned at ball fields of our own.
In my first decade, our diamond was a place with rusty bleachers and a few old soda cans where we learned to lose gracefully. But always in the sultry summer air hovered the off-chance that our team could rise up and smite a giant. Redemption was possible.
In the movie “Field of Dreams,” Ray Kinsella spent his last dime building a baseball diamond in a corn field. Mystical voices told him, “If you build it, they will come.” And they did. Thousands of spectators driven by hope lined up for miles to watch a team of ghosts from baseball’s past, including his own father.
Ray was right. A baseball field is a magic place. A medium to rediscover our past. To connect with our roots.
Each morning I run by an old baseball diamond and remember a young fellow who grew up playing for our hapless team. A light-hitting third baseman who stopped grounders with his torso, he once won a game with a fluke hit and rounded first in tears of joy. On that day hope sprang eternal and perhaps changed a life.
Tomorrow I’ll stop and sit for a while on the bleachers, alone, and ask him.
Malcolm D. Gibson
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