Friday, April 3, 2009

Batter Up!

Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today!
We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field.
A-roundin’ third, and headed for home, it’s a brown-eyed handsome man;
Anyone can understand the way I feel.

- Centerfield by John Fogerty

The world famous Durham Bull. When he gets hit,
his eyes flare and his nose snorts streams of smoke.

Now I’m not that big of a baseball fan. But, every since my first game at Chicago’s old Comiskey Park, there’s just something about the start of the new baseball season that screams “SPRING” in my ear. [Note: Even though my first game was a White Sox game, my sister quickly rectified any potential fandom for the Southsiders by taking me to the North Side cathedral bounded by Clark and Addison streets and Sheffield and Waveland avenues. And while my first love is and always will be for my dreadful hometown Pirates, the Cubbies are a very close 1A.]

And while you won’t catch me watching more than five or 10 minutes of a game on TV for the next six months, I can think of few things finer than a summer evening at the ballpark. The laughter of friends (including those who couldn’t give a damn about the game) surrounds you as you gaze down toward a field of grass so green it almost hurts your eyes. The pitcher’s wind-up and delivery. The crack of the bat hitting a 94-mph fastball. A player hustling around first, stretching a single into a double and a play at second base.

I’m not a passionate baseball fan, but I am a fan of the time I spend at the ballpark each year with my friends.

And now, two of my favorite baseball movie quotes.

“Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”
- Crash Davis in Bull Durham

And, despite all the times baseball players and owners have disappointed us, I think these words pretty much say what we all feel about baseball:

“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 look around, you'll say. It's only $20 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; sit in shirtsleeves 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 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 of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
- Terence Mann in Field of Dreams

Play ball!

11 comments:

Liebchen said...

That Bull Durham quote is one of my absolute favorites.

And there's really nothing like a summer night at the ballpark.

Lisa said...

That baseball song annoys me, and I generally avoid baseball, but I absolutely love Field of Dreams. It makes me all teared up every time.

lustyreader said...

Bull Durham is the best baseball movie of all time. Here is a quote from my second fave baseball movie:

-Hey Rowengartner, how'd you like to play for the Chicago Cubs?
-Sure! But I gotta ask my mom first!

I also like when his arm is outta control and hits the doctor in the face and the doc says, "Funky, buttloving..!"

Fearless in Toronto said...

What happened to that Kevin Costner? I used to love him, back in those days.

And IMHO, Shoeless Joe is far superior to Field of Dreams. Hands down. Even though I like the film, too.

FoggyDew said...

Liebchen - Crash summed up his philosophy on life pretty well in those lines. Went to three or four Nats’ games last year. I'm thinking seven or eight is a good goal for 09.

Lisa - What if we played the song while you were watching FoD? Would that cause more tears?

Lusty - RotY is one of those movies I'll always stop and watch. What boy hasn't had this dream at least once? Also, that movie about the kid who inherits the Twinkies, that'll stop my channel flipping as well.

Fearless - Costner's like a bad penny, he'll turn up in another bad movie. I think his ratio of good to bad movies is like 1:20, so maybe he's due for a good one. Also, totally looking forward to the book.

JoLee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoLee said...

my favorite baseball quote is, "are you crying? there's no CRYING in baseball."

does that even count?

LiLu said...

The BoSox are coming! The BoSox are coming!

I'm just a wee bit excited.

FoggyDew said...

JoLee - That is INDEED one of the best baseball movie quotes. I even considered including it here but couldn't quite work it in. Boom, that's what she said!

LiLu - OK girly, let's get this straight: You're in a National League town now. And I quote, "I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter." See, in the big boy's league, the pitchers have to take their chances at the plate with everyone else. (But you're right, that'll be a good series. Have to see about getting tix.)

Ella said...

growing up in florida, the closest we had to a home team was the atlanta braves (my first game ever was one of theirs when i was 9 or 10). i'm hoping to make it to a few rays games this year.

cavy said...

THE GREAT BAMBINO!

oh! i thought you said, the great bambi.

THAT WIMPY DEER?!