Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baseball Dreams, Part 1

Hey ! It's good to be back !

The next few posts may not have much to do with baseball cards or the Cleveland Indians so I hope you will all be patient with me. Some of the bloggers may not be interested but I know at least a couple of you will be.

The first picture you are about to see is one of utmost importance and has a very sacred aura.

This may be the most valued item that made it's way back to Ohio with us. Everyone thinks I'm crazy and maybe they're right!

The red, sandy dirt and small grass particles that I scraped from the sides of my shoe after playing ball with my two sons on the field of dreams. We played three way catch to warm up and then pitched to each other while my wife took videos.

We used my son's gps to get us here. The curved road in the background leads to this sign but it's not the same road you see lit up at the end of the movie. The long line of headlights fading into the night,indicating people will come, just don't jibe up with roads we had to go down to get here! This place is really out in the cornfields. We followed several different genuine dirt roads, leaving thick clouds behind and a layer of Iowa dust all over the back of our white rental van !

There is a long driveway leading up the house and playing field once you turn at the sign.

As we approached the property the sight was very, very familiar. Except for the fence, which provides little privacy for the owners, it looked just like the movie. As it should.

It's not quite the same without the tall corn beyond the outfield but it still sent shivers down my spine when I got out of the car and walked toward the field. All of the special moments of the movie were going through my head in a whirlwind of baseball memories.

Here we are, standing behind home plate, just gazing at the beautiful field. It had been raining for the past several days but the baseball gods were good to us this day. It was chilly and overcast but no rain. The field was covered with a fine gravel and seems to have a very good drainage system. All was set for a little small ball !

After playing some 3-way catch to warm up, I stepped up to the plate. Bat in hand, going through my "Mike Hargrove" routine, I connected with the first pitch. As you can see, the ball is heading out on it's flight through the hazy Iowa sky. I know it looks like a line drive, but I believe this is the hit that became a towering fly ball, easily clearing the height of the light towers, landing about 400-450 ft. away. ( Hey, you weren't there. It's my word against yours!!)

Then, stepping out to the mound, I baffled my sons with my devastating curve and 104 mph fast ball.

Here, our youngest son Andy, is pitching to his brother Josh.

And this is what happens when you're almost 60 years old and try to judge a pop fly with bifocals! I swore that ball was over my head. I started running back, turned my head to find the ball and did just that. Two days later I still had trouble opening my mouth wide enough to take a bite of hot dog. It's all better now, and I stayed in the game!

This is the view from from center field. We walked out to check out the corn.

Sure enough, it was there !
We had a really great time and had the field all to ourselves for about 1 1/2 hours, except for 2 or 3 older people who stopped to look around. Andy and I are working on a video clip for U - Tube. If it works it will be hilarious !!
Next up, Van Meter and the Bob Feller museum.


  1. Sounds like a great time. My only experience with Iowa is I drove across it once. Flat!

  2. Very nice. I hope to do that with my son, some day. Well, not the getting hit in the face with a ball part.

  3. I'm hoping to make it out that way this summer with Tracey, if everything goes according to plan.

    Looks like you had a great time!

  4. I went there 12 years ago and it was a great experience.

  5. I have got to do this with my kids one day soon! What a great experience!! I can't wait to see the video and read more about your trip!