Wednesday, January 11, 2006

NOTHING BETTER THAN THAT

The Sox have lately signed 39 year old backup 1B, and Jim Rice still isn’t in the Hall of Fame (regardless of whether he should be). Baseball is fun, it’s dirty, and sometimes it’s painful to watch while other times it shows the things that are never thought of. The time before the true superstars, when baseball players were still guys who eked out livings, when MLB was just starting to assert its increasingly centralized nature, and right at the hinge between the dead ball and live ball eras, baseball had hit all the right notes. Some of the most entertaining characters ever to not play the game were Willie Mays Hayes, the intensely cocky speedster, Ricky Vaughn, the nearsighted closer, Jake Taylor, the grizzled catcher and team leader, and Lou Brown, the almost impossibly grizzled manager. The Field of Dreams takes the latter and adds the former. It holds at its heart the father-son bond, which is so central to so many baseball lives, and there’s an intense sadness about it - a question of what might have been that pervades baseball history.

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