Any kid of my generation, whether they’re a Baltimore Orioles fan or not, knows the movie Field of Dreams. I was a child of eight years old when it came out in theaters in 1989, however my Dad took me to see it. To this day, it’s my all-time favorite movie; and I’ve heard many people my age say the same thing. So I was more than a bit interested when I read this article today, saying that the cast of the movie will be having a reunion over Father’s Day weekend (June 13-15th) this year at the Dyersville, Iowa farm where the movie was originally filmed. (And yes for the record, the baseball field is still there.)
The reunion will include the movie being shown in center field, followed by a Q & A with the actors themselves. the only cast members that are already announced as being a part of the festivities are Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), Timothy Busfield (who played Kinsella’s brother-in-law, Mark), and Dwier Brown (John Kinsella). The weekend will also include a daylong baseball tournament on June 14th in which cast members and other celebrities will act as managers. Among other events, fathers and sons will be invited down to the field to “have a catch” over the course of the weekend.
Let me be not-the-first to say that this is a great idea. While there can be no question that Field of Dreams is a special movie to Iowans
more so than anyone else, it also rings very real in Baltimore as well. Oriole Park at Camden Yards was in the early phases of construction when the movie was released, and the memory of Field of Dreams was still very fresh in the public’s mind when the Orioles opened the new ballpark in April of 1992. In fact as many people my age and above will remember, the closing ceremony at Memorial Stadium (September, 1991) featured the music from the now legendary baseball movie, along with the audio from perhaps my favorite snippet of the movie:
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, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.
This is not to say that you have to be of my generation to like Field of Dreams, as I feel that the message and the motifs are certainly timeless. Different people can certainly take away different things from the story, from treasure your past while you have it, to don’t be afraid to dare to dream. And perhaps we all forget those things among others at various times in our lives.
Needless to say, I think that baseball probably has more aspects of popular culture tied to it than any other sport, from movies such as Field of Dreams, to songs such as John Fogerty’s Centerfield. However the fact is that the aforementioned quote isn’t just a quote from a movie, as baseball has been the one constant through all the years. While those steamrollers representative of our country have rolled on, baseball has continued to mark our culture and our time.
On a somewhat selfish whim, I hope that James Earl Jones (Terrence Mann) is planning to be at this event. The character of Terrence Mann all but made the movie, and by that I mean that the incredible job Jones did in character was the key. And obviously what event surrounding this movie would be complete without Ray Liotta (“Shoeless Joe” Jackson) hitting Kevin Cosner’s curve ball up the middle?! It should be a great event, and I certainly look forward to hearing about it when the time comes.