Sunday, May 18, 2014

Field of Dreams

Those who know me well enough might know the story. They know that, in the spring of 1989, it wouldn't have been wise for me to go see "Field of Dreams" at the Jefferson Valley Mall.

They would also be working in hindsight. As I went there with my girlfriend that night, I thought I was going to see a baseball movie with Kevin Costner. It wasn't supposed to be heavy lifting, and goodness knows I needed to be light at that time.

You see, my father had just passed away that March, so a baseball movie was EXACTLY what I needed. However, the movie I should have been seeing was "Major League" or maybe "Bull Durham" (which came out in 1988).

Instead, we got a nice fantasy film, based on a book, that had flaws (Shoeless Joe Jackson batting right-handed), and a nice story. It also had some comedy at times, and lots of old baseball uniforms. And it had Burt Lancaster, who probably overacted a touch, but what was the harm?

It had a lot of things that we baseball fans enjoy.

It also had a father-son back story, and ended with the now-deceased father showing up wearing a model of an early-20th Century Yankees uniform. It isn't an exact Yankees uniform (or Highlanders, if you please), but it is close to the model they wore between 1909 and 1911 (sans pinstripes).

Still, the interlocking NY is there. The pinstripes are thrown in for effect. And father and son have a catch.

I was the last one out of the theater because I was dumbfounded and now shaking.

The movie, in many ways, has not aged well. Critics don't quite love it so much anymore. I still have a framed movie poster that I've since moved. I'll still watch it when it comes on, and I still enjoy it, personally. At the same time, it's a test of will to get through that last scene without reaching for the tissues.

Joe Posnanski decided to revisit the movie and his own connection with it, and wrote about it on NBC Sports Hardball Talk.

By the way, the list of "best" baseball movies from Kyle Smith at the New York Post that Joe displays is laughable. "Fear Strikes Out"? Holy wow that movie is horrible.

That's another post for another time.

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