2017-03-23 / Editorials

Finding magic in our own field of dreams

Acorn Editorial Board

The rains that passed through last month kept youth softball and baseball teams from playing on Thousand Oaks fields before the start of the season.

But the emerald green carpets of stadium-like grass left behind by the heavy showers at the city’s various ballparks were well worth the wait. It’s that time of year when the sky turns to robin’s-egg blue and the sunlight sticks around a little longer every day. It’s time to play ball.

New uniforms, new shoes, new equipment and new teammates make the start of the season a time to smile and realize that no matter what’s happening in this big crazy world, it’s still a game between the base paths. From the first pitch to the last out, let’s remember that most of the players on the field needed help eating their Cheerios just a few short years ago and won’t be eligible for a Cy Young Award anytime soon.

Here’s to those coaches who believe integrity and sportsmanship are as important as batting averages and ERAs. It’s OK to be competitive, but don’t let winning or losing define you.

We admire the umpires who take pride in their work and have to deal with finicky parents, many of whom wouldn’t get behind the plate even if you paid them. Our thanks also go to all the other parents and family members who pitch in—sometimes literally— to make softball and baseball leagues possible.

Those who have been there know how fleeting these years are. Though we may have a trophy tucked away somewhere memorializing that one standout season, the greatest souvenir is the memories made during these springtime games. As the old saying goes, the days are long but the years are short.

Toward the end of “Field of Dreams,” the 1989 film written by Phil Robinson and based on W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe,” James Earl Jones’ character, Terence Mann, delivers an impassioned speech to assure the film’s protagonist, Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, that he doesn’t need to sell the Iowa corn farm he’s turned into a magical baseball field.

In it, Jones’ baritone voice intones: “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s 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 it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

So too will people come to our own field of dreams.

Even if it’s not cut from a cornfield, the magic is most assuredly there.

Return to top