The Game

The Game

I have always been a fan of baseball. It started in elementary school when tryouts were held for a little league from Brinkerhoff Elementary School, my school. In those days, not everyone got to play on sports teams. Only the best athletes were chosen from each school and they made up the league. As the shortest person in my school (and the skinniest!), I did not make the team any year. I did get to go to see the Cleveland Indians play every year with the church men’s group. I remember having to wear winter coats, hats and gloves once when the Yankees from New York were in town. The snowflakes were going sideways in the “breeze” off Lake Erie. A player hit three home runs that day for the Indians, probable the only time that ever happened. This week the Indians announced that they were going to “retire” their Chief Wahoo logo which debuted in 1947. For years, Native Americans and others have encouraged the Cleveland team to stop using the logo, citing its offensive nature. I never liked the logo, either; not so much because of the offensiveness, but I always thought it silly and childish in appearance. I don’t know what their new logo will look like, but I am certain it will be preferable to Chief Wahoo.

In middle school, I was introduced to fast-pitch softball and played that game throughout high school and college. I grew into the game; you might say…height and weight wise. When there were no more pitchers left and none in training, slow pitch softball became the only option. The demise of the Jeffersontown Church League meant the end of my playing days and now a new hip might mean I won’t play senior ball either.

That doesn’t diminish my affection for the game; instead I have developed an appreciation for movies about the game. There are a number of baseball movies, each with its own perspective and in some cases with a window into life. In no particular order, I would recommend these films for a mid-winter’s night as we await the spring and another season of America’s game.

Major League and its sequel (okay, it has to be first, the Indians…beating the Yankees!)

For Love of the Game (second chances in the game and in life)

The Natural (second chances in the game and in life)

Field of Dreams (what if you build it?)

Bull Durham (the craziness of the minor leagues and a bit of romance as well)

42 (the story of Jackie Robinson with Peewee Reece of Louisville fame!)

Bad News Bears and its sequel (the spirit of the game)

The Sandlot (kids playing the game for the love of it)

The Rookie (you never grow too old to play the game)

A League of Their Own (the women who kept the game alive during WW II)

Mr. Baseball (a collision of American and Japanese traditions)

 I ran out of room!