This I Believe

Gabriel - Mill Valley, California
Entered on April 17, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I have many constants in my life: family, friends, religion, and The Field of Dreams. I have watched this movie a billion times and when I see it on TV, I’m always ready to watch it for the billionth and first time. The movie is about an Iowa farmer who builds a baseball field and follows his dreams because he believes in the voice that tells him to do it. The movie hooked me on baseball – not watching it, but walking onto the field with my glove in hand and playing. I believe in the passion that this character has for the sport and what he believes in. I believe in baseball, from the raised red laces of the ball to the powdery white chalk that lines the field.

I believe that heaven can be found anywhere, even Iowa, or a baseball diamond in the middle of San Rafael. My freshman year I was brought back to the movie as I walked onto the field from the dugout, the smell of the dewed grass and the lights shining down from above lighting every inch of the field. I knew at that moment why it was called The Field of Dreams. The field is heaven, this place where the unbelievable can happen, a place where dreams are made a reality, where my dreams were made a reality. It happened to me when I was twelve years old. We were in extra innings. I was turning third and heading home; I saw the catcher step in front of the base, like a guard protecting a treasure. As I slid under him and on top of the base, I won the game for my team. It was my storybook moment.

I believe in the sting of the bat on my hands as I make contact with the ball, sending it flying through the air, and the feel of my glove wrapping around the ball as it smacks the dark leather. I believe in getting inside the pitcher’s head as I take a lead off the bag. I believe in the crunch of dirt as I steal from one bag to another, my helmet bouncing up and down as I bolt to the safety that lies ahead on that little white square. I believe in the sound of my breathing as I run all out around the bases, sliding into the bag and popping up ready for the next play, the next chance to run. I believe in the possibility of loving the game so much that, as Shoeless Joe Jackson said, “I wake up at night with the smell of the ball park in my nose [and] the cool of the grass on my feet.”

I believe in passion. In living what I believe. In playing hard enough that when I am done my uniform is stained with dirt and grass. I believe in going whole-heartedly into everything and anything I do because otherwise I am just wasting time.