Baseball

Since it is an off week for the Cup boys I thought I would take a break from the NASCAR circuit myself.  I am still reading all of my usually sites, but I am taking a break from commenting and posting.  Of course, if some serious breaking news happens, then all bets are off.

I wanted to take this week to write about other interests of mine that most of you may not know about.  Besides being a major NASCAR junkie, I love all things sports related.  Next to NASCAR, football is my next sports passion, followed by baseball.  I love sports so much that I am taking a Sports History course this fall at our local major university.  It is a way for me to combine two things I love…sports and history.  I have several books, in fact it is 6 books, that I am required to read for this course.  Being the ever diligent student that I am, I have the book list and I have already read two of the books and currently reading the third book.  The second book is entitled Baseball: A History of America’s Game” Benjamin G. Rader.  I have to say it was a very intriguing book.  I was visiting with the professor of the course and he suggested I read Game of Shadows.  This is the book that discusses the whole Barry Bonds steroids thing.  I have been holding off even reading this book, but I respect this professor so I decided to give it read. 

I used to be a rabid baseball fan almost as rabid as I am about NASCAR.  In fact there was a time I preferred watching baseball instead of football.  I know that is hard to fathom from someone who lives in Texas.  I remember watching the Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Cubs on TNT/TBS and WGN respectively.  I was more partial to the Atlanta Braves however.  I can still remember those god awful baby blue uniforms they used to wear.  I remember my father and I would discuss the Cincinnati Reds.  I remember hearing about Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Pete Rose.  I still believe Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame for his on the field triumphs.  

But I didn’t really enjoy baseball until I became a fan of Roger Clemens.  I have been following his career since his playing days at the University of Texas.  I followed in to Boston, Toronto, New York, Houston and back to New York.  It has been somewhat difficult for me over the last several months to deal with all the controversy surrounding one of my sports heroes.  I just can’t believe all his accomplishments will be perceived as tainted because of it all.  

I have just finished watching one of the best baseball movies of all time…Field of Dreams.  My favorite part of the movie is towards the end where James Earl Jones, who plays Terrence Mann, gives the following speech to Ray…

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. 

I always get chills up my spine when I hear this speech and I always end up crying at the end when Kevin Costner’s character figures out the voices were talking about him and not his father.  And then when he see his father again and asks him “wanna have a catch”.  And then the two play catch.  I have male friends of mine break down in tears at this movie.  This movie touches everyone on some kind of level.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend.  I will be watching the truck and Nationwide racing this weekend and perhaps catch a little baseball.

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