Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The One Constant
"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 that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come" –Terrence Mann - "Field of Dreams"
I have been alive through 13 presidential elections. And if you are any kind of baseball fan, you are superstitious. The number "13" spooks me about as much as forgetting a bag of seeds, not wearing the right socks or not shouting the right words before my sons comes to bat.
The number 13 is a stressful number for baseball goons like me and that explains why this has been a stressful election year. Financial turmoil, uncertainty about jobs, money, the candidates, their credentials, intent and ability. Whew...I'm worn out...
So this past weekend, I went on a drive to find a good fall ball contest. There were tons of football games on TV and at the local high schools...that was too much noise. I just wanted to sit back, relax and watch our great Pastime and unwind. Folks...it did the trick. Baseball is great therapy...yet another reason to love this game.
When you dissect the words of the character Terrence Mann in Field of Dreams, you begin to realize that baseball is and always has been the one constant in our lives that we can use as therapy or as a reference to mark a moment in our lives that touched us.
Roger Maris's 61 was the height of the Kennedy era...
Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA in 1968 was low as low can go as was our nations political climate after the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.
1975 was the year I graduated High school, but was also the year of one of the greatest World Series ever when the Cincinnati's Big Red Machine beat the Boston Red Sox. Even though the Sox lost, who could forget Fisk's 12 inning Walk -Off to force a game 7?
Tug McGraw's dominance in the 1980 World Series was also the year I graduated college and happened just weeks before the Reagan years began.
My son was born just before the "Earthquake series" in 1989.
I could go on, but the world...at least in my world, is defined by baseball.
Think about the milestones in your own sons life. I bet a lot of the moments you remember or chronicled, were on a baseball field. Were a lot of your happier family trips at big national tourney's? Are some of your favorite family video and pics of baseball games, times by the hotel pool after a game or team dinners? If so, then you too have marked the time of your lives by baseball. Not basketball...not football...But baseball. Because like our lives, baseball moves methodically along...pitch by pitch...out by out...inning by inning...game by game.
We are approaching a milestone in our world in the weeks ahead with a new kind of presidential ticket, no matter who wins...We are facing turmoil in our financial markets and are about to approve solutions that could change everything.
What baseball event will mark this time in our history?
I have a prediction? In a time of unprecedented change on our world, it would only make sense that a similar change happen in the world of baseball.
My prediction is that the Cubs...yes...The Cubs...will finally win the World Series...and to make it even more dramatic...it will be against the Rays.
What a way to mark the time in this crazy upside down world we live in. What a great feel good story this would be to get us back on track as a country too. Go Cubby's!
You heard it here first!