but I probably will! What brought on this melancholy I hear you ask? Well I just finished watching one of the most beautiful and poignant movies I’ve ever seen, and for about the tenth time! ‘Field of Dreams’, 1989, starred Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster. For those of you who haven’t seen it, treat yourselves! It’s about a near bankrupt Iowa corn farmer (Costner), who, having had a troubled relationship with his late father, hears a voice who tells him, ‘If you build it, he will come!’ Costner’s character duly ploughs under some of his ready to harvest corn in order to build a baseball diamond, allowing all the late, great American baseball players to return from heaven to play again, including the seven players banned for life over the 1919 Black Sox Scandal. Near the end of the movie Kostner’s character gets to meets his father when the man is still in his prime, and the two men briefly bond over their love of the game.
I’ve neither played baseball, or followed the sport, however every time I watch the movie I cry over various scenes. You see I too am full of regret, and not just over my relationship with my late father, but over the numerous bad decisions I’ve made in my life. Oh wouldn’t it be wonderful, sweet, if those of us eaten up by regret could have been born with the accumulated wisdom gathered over a lifetime’s experiences, and thus avoid making those bad decisions that led to regret in the first place? Christ, the last thing I want to do is die with a tear in my eye, but with a smile on my face, but I guess this will not come to pass! They say we learn more from failure than from success, but surely it would be shrewder to learn from other people’s failures rather than from making ones of our own?
*During the 1919 World Series the Chicago White Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds, and 8 White Sox players were later accused of intentionally losing games in exchange for money from gamblers. Although the 8 players were acquitted in court, they were all banned from baseball for life. It was widely believed New York racketeer Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series, but nothing was ever proved.
*The only other great baseball movie I know of is ‘The Natural’, starring Robert Redford.