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.
-Terence Mann, Field of Dreams
I grew up in Northern California, while my Dad lived in Southern California. My Mom didn’t watch much baseball when I was growing up, but nearly every summer my Dad took us to see the Dodgers play. I became a Dodgers fan, despite growing up in Giants territory.
After college, I moved to Arizona where I met my husband, a sports writer. We moved to Reno, where he covered a Triple-A baseball team and where our first daughter was born. In the years we lived in Nevada, the Dodgers moved their Spring Training camp from Florida to Arizona, and my Pumpkin, now 5, attended her first game at Camelback Ranch while she was in utero, the March before she was born, when we visited for our baby shower. Her first Easter Egg hunt was on the Reno Aces baseball field; her first Fourth of July was spent at Dodgers Stadium, where she watched the boys in blue win and caught her first fireworks show.
Since her sister was born, we’ve visited three Major League ballparks together as a family of four. The girls and I have driven to the other side of the Valley to have a hot dog and watch the Dodgers practice. The girls know the words to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and ask for Cracker Jacks when they hear we’re going to a game.
Man, I did love this game. I’d have played for food money. It was the game… The sounds, the smells. Did you ever hold a ball or a glove to your face?
-Shoeless Joe Jackson, Field of Dreams
Being married to a sports writer means I have my hands full with a 3 and 5-year-old during Spring Training while he takes on extra work. It’s hard to take them both to games on my own at this stage. But if I can get them out one-on-one, I treasure it. I anticipate as they get older, it will become easier, and hope they enjoy it more as they come to understand the game better. I love that they already love The Sandlot, and hope they’ll come to enjoy watching A League of Their Own and Field of Dreams with me and their Dad as well. I hope, even if they don’t play, they always love catching a game with us. I hope that we never have disagreements or stresses or distances between us, but that if we do, we’ll always be able to talk about the game.