Soccer talent on display at 2017 SHAC preview Baseball community mourns the loss of Gene Bennett Winchester Homecoming Festival is Aug 25-27 Eleanor P Tumbleson Felicity man killed in Ohio River boating accident WUHS golfers take Portsmouth Invitational It was pretty cold that day Volleyball kicks off with SHAC Preview Night Young awarded Women’s Western Golf Foundation Scholarship One Mistake Senator Portman visits GE Test Facility in Peebles Adams County school districts facing some major challenges for the coming year Family, friends, and roots: the ties that bind residents of one Adams County village What is your strength? Just the chance to take a look back Ronnie L Wolford Dale J Marshall Herbert Purvis Great American Solar Eclipse coming Aug. 21 BREAKING NEWS: West Union wins fifth consecutive County Cup Wallace B Boden John L Fletcher Lady Indians golfers learning the links North Adams, West Union golfers open 2017 seasons This Labor Day, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Blanton announces candicacy for Court of Appeals Local student attends Congress of Future Medical Leaders MHS welcomes new principal Made in America When it feels like you’re spinning plates Bonfires and “building” a farm Lady Devils looking to take that next step 50 years of Bengal memories Ag Society delivers donation to Dragonfly Foundation Young Memorial Scholarship awarded to a pair of local seniors ‘Musical passion is in his blood’ Naylor named NAHS Principal Boldman retiring after 17 years as Homeless Shelter director Manchester concludes another River Days celebration Drug Treatment vs. Prison James R Brown Bobby Lawler Jr Adams County man charged with killing estranged girlfriend Lexie N Hopkins Volleyball, soccer previews coming this weekend Michael A Cheek Discover Ohio’s Ancient Cultures during Archaeology Day at Serpent Mound Summer Reading Program ends as new school year approaches Lady Hounds preparing for 2017 volleyball campaign, looking for more improvement A servant’s hands Oh my, nothing better than a sweet tooth Rec Park hosts All-Star Sunday A Saturday night peek at a gridiron future McDowell, McCarty awarded Farm Bureau Scholarships Adams County Medical Foundation awards Dr. Bruce Ashley Legacy Scholarships Your kid on heroin Jerry W Olinger Douglas R Burchett Wayne Cowles Shirley Collins Jack L Yates Wayne Grooms Sr Adams County Building and Loan merging with Southern Hills Community Bank Ahead of Sales Tax Holiday, Attorney General DeWine offers tips for consumers Delores L Cook Harold L Smith Pell, Seas have high hopes for new SSCC campus ‘We prayed and believed it was going to happen’ 4-H Scholarships awarded during Fair Week Showmanship Sweepstakes concludes Junior Fair Competitions Junior Fair Crops are a Premium Show Southern Ohio’s only blackberry farmer wants to make berry pickin’ fun again Challenges ahead for new MLSD Superintendent SAY Soccer celebrating 50 years North Adams hosts Youth Football Mini-Camp Lady Dragons host Soccer Shootout 38 years later, Indians football returns It’s time Ten years and twenty goats later When nobody is watching When a blackberry wasn’t just a cell phone, but delicious Heroin user’s mom says addiction is a disease, not a choice Mary A Wallingford Rickey L Vincent Pauline Ertel William Bryant ACOVSD announces 2017-18 policy for free and reduced lunches What we are made of When summer really arrived Horse project 4-H members head to Ohio State Fair Defender hosts annual Cornhole Tournament George’s Brave Shave’ benefits other Year of planning, work pays off for 2017 fair Local teen opens new business Why can’t you stop? Camp first step in preparation for 2018 Greyhounds on the gridiron Young awarded SEDAB Scholarship Fair hosts Hall of Fame broadcaster Peebles goes back-to-back at the Barnyard The sport of goats

A father, a son, and a ‘Field of Dreams’

“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.”

Aficionados of baseball movies will recognize the above quote from the film”Field of Dreams.” I have seen that movie numerous times and thought it is a very enjoyable film, I never seemed to quite “get it.” Where were these baseball players in the cornfield coming from and why could only certain people see them and communicate with them?

The answers to those questions dawned on me a couple of Sundays ago while sitting in church. The same reason that people were sitting in those pews that morning was the reason that the residents of that Iowa farm could see Shoeless Joe and his buddies-faith and belief. The whole movie was about faith and belief in a game that is intertwined with the history of America, but it also was about something else very important about the game of baseball-the special bond that the game can bring between fathers and sons.

That’s where I come in. Fifteen years of joy came to an end for me last weekend when my son played his last game and walked off the field for the final time, and yes, before you ask, I have shed more than a few tears since, just privately. Our baseball journey began when Jordan was four years old and ended last Saturday on a dusty field in West Union. In those years, we have run the entire spectrum of baseball experiences. We’ve had undefeated seasons, championship seasons, and seasons that didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped. We’ve been though hot streaks at the plate and batting slumps, errors and great plays in the field, and I can proudly say that in all those years I never missed an inning or an at-bat of Jordan’s, but it also dawned on me last weekend that my days in the dugout were over too. It was a tough weekend folks.

A lot changed in those 15 years of baseball as Jordan grew from the shy, little kid to the grown man who can now look down on his Dad when they stand side by side. We’ve come a long way from the days when the highlight of the day may have been the after game snacks provided by the team’s mothers to hopping in the car with his girlfriend after the game and sending his Dad home with Mom. It wasn’t lost on me that the drive with him to West Union on Saturday was the last one with him in uniform, though I doubt it even crossed his mind. By the way, that dirty uniform has been lying on the floor of our bathroom since Saturday. It has become a monument, a pile of clothes with 15 years of memories. His Mom hasn’t picked it up either, I think she understands. That pile of dirty clothes is my Iowa cornfield.

Now with it over, we both move on to new phases of our lives and in three weeks I will be sending him off to college, which by the way, I am not looking forward to. I really just want to keep him home with me forever, but life has its cycles and it’s time for another one. My secret wish though is quite simple. One time before he leaves, I wish he would grab both of our gloves and just say, “Dad, wanna have a catch?”

By Mark Carpenter

Staff Columnist

Reach Mark Carpenter at 937-544-2391 or by e-mail at mcarpenter@civitasmedia.com.

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