August 21, 2021
Baseball celebrated the anniversary of the film Field of Dreams last week and played a real game in Dyersville. The circle is complete.
I generally enjoyed the mystical sports themed fantasy. For those half dozen or so of you who haven’t seen it, the ghost of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson returns to a converted Iowa cornfield to play baseball again, with some of his fellow departed friends. That’s the short of it. But something always bothered me about the plot.
Since this is obviously a fantasy, we can have it any which way we want. The players who emerge from the cornfield returned from the era before the game of baseball was integrated. In a fantasy world from the great beyond, it was a chance, in a small way, to right that wrong. Shoeless Joe Jackson and his 1919 teammates, Mel Ott, Gil Hodges. All present. All white.
All of us want to believe in these sorts of things. But in a true field of dreams, isn’t there room for Josh Gibson, Satchell Paige and Jackie Robinson? In a film crafted in 1989, don’t they have a right to share in the same dream, on the same field? Of course they do. That was a missed opportunity.