Marcia R Baldwin Juanita N Lewis Mary K Hilterbran Jack D Reed ‘I had no gumption except to get high’ Long-lost siblings meet for the first time after nearly six decades apart Freedom Festival to honor the American Flag ‘Music and Memory’ at Adams County Manor renews lives lost to dementia Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy takes gold at 2017 Ohio Police and Fire Games Toole awarded Winchester Alumni Scholarship Lady Devils host Summer Varsity Shootout In 14U, Peebles finishes regular season with blowout win Der professionelle Basketball-Traum Local pair attend Wabash College Wrestling Camp Shootouts in the summer time Eight dollars and three keys When life gets messy Hot summer days were no sweat Janice McGlothin Jeannine O Evans Gerald Grooms Marvin Setty Richard G Waldron Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders

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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