Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak

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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