“ And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they 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 has 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 that could be again. Oh...people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
― James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams
Baseball has always been a huge part of my life, from playing Little League in Succasunna, NJ in the 1960s, to countless sandlot games (why don't kids do this anymore?), to my Grandpa taking me to see the Mets at Shea Stadium, to playing catch with my son more times than I can count, to watching my son play in youth leagues, travel ball, high school, college, and minor leagues. It has most definitely been a constant in my life.
But just as everything else in life, things move on, chapters close, and new chapters begin. Leaving fond memories behind, as one grows older, seems to become the norm. And baseball, for the most part for me now has basically been relegated to watching the Atlanta Braves a few innings here and there.
However, my son, who now works full time in a career not related to baseball at all, recently decided to join a men's baseball league. He plays for the Atlanta Dragons and last weekend played in a tournament at the Gwinnett Braves Minor League Stadium - Coolray Field.
So last Saturday afternoon, baseball once again was front and center and I loved every minute of it! As James Earl Jones said "and they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters".
He had a great day on the mound, pitching six innings and striking out 13 batters! We'll take that any day!
Guys playing in this league do not do it for the money (they actually have to pay money to play), they do not do it for fame, they simply do it for love of the game.