The window for the cable industry to make a deal with Major League Baseball for its Extra Innings package is closing. (It ends Saturday.) As time clicks away, I fear that Bud Selig and Co. have no intention of honoring their public pronouncements. Fine, I’ve come to expect that. But I flipped on Field of Dreams this morning at the most awesomest part. When Terence Mann (James Earl Jones) delivered his monologue, he reminded me why I love baseball. Consider:
Here is the text of that monologue for those who prefer a quicker read.
Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.
And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.
People will come Ray.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again.
Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
Thank God Bud Selig didn’t write the screenplay for Field of Dreams. If he had, Terence Mann would’ve said that only baseball fans
watching DirecTV driving a Mercedes SUV could pay the $20 per person and sit in the bleachers. He might make an exception and let people watching MLB.tv riding a Segway get in for $10.
The monologue’s closing wouldn’t be nearly as powerful then, I suspect. Oh… people will come, Ray. People will most likely come.