The payoff of the 1989 baseball movie Field of Dreams (based on the novel Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella) is our main character.
John getting to play catch again with his father (with whom he had a falling out shortly before his dad’s passing). Baseball memories and Hollywood time-travel magic aside, I was reminded of this scene last night when my nephew (age 11, who has never really asked me for much of anything) found 2 ball gloves out back at my house and poked his head through the door asking me if I wanted to play catch.
I hardly hesitated before I made my way out back to my tiny yard, and (after procuring my real glove from the back of my Teal Nissan Cube) we began throwing the ball back and forth. I remarked at his ambidexterity, as he writes with his left hand and was throwing with his right. He wanted to see how fast I could throw (hint: not very fast) and I began asking him if he knew anything about baseball. While he struggled to tell me what a home run was, I began to just have a nice bonding chat with my nephew.
There are two main takeaways for me based on this interaction where we pitched a piece of stitched leather around for a half hour or so. The first (and one I will continue to chew on) is about if the youth in America gives a damn about baseball and what that may or may not say about the future of the game. But the second is an easy takeaway.
When is the last time you, my good reader, have played catch? Have you taken time to dig out your old glove and let the sound of the ball hitting the leather take you back to the time of your youth? Have you given yourself a moment to breathe and be reminded that it’s okay to take a break on a warm spring evening and make time for the pastime?
A common excuse is “I don’t have time” or “I am too busy”. I would argue that those are arbitrary rules we have set on ourselves. If something is important to us, we will make the time for it. Otherwise, it isn’t that important.
Dear reader, you have my permission to take a break and play catch.
If not today, when?