Field of Dreams comes to life in Oakland, thanks to Steven Vogt

Baseball is a spiritual experience, and one of the aspects that makes it so is that it obliterates linear time. Baseball renders time circular, even spherical, a phenomenon perfectly illustrated by the denouement of Field of Dreams in which Ray Kinsella and his long-since deceased father play catch. Ray’s dad appears as a young man, yet perfectly aware that he is Ray’s dad. Ray now truly experiences his father as both father and as a young man before fatherhood and responsibility and time have worn him down. Linear time is completely removed from the equation, which gives “depth,” as theologian Paul Tillich described it, to their game of catch. Naturally, this removal does not bother the characters, but interestingly, it does not seem to bother the audience, either, because the audience instinctively responds to this vicarious restoration of depth. Depth, in this context, is experiencing all points of time in the present moment. When the voice tells Ray to “Build it and he will come,” the voice isn’t talking about Shoeless Joe Jackson at all. “He” is Ray’s dad.

Field of Dreams played out in Oakland last Wednesday on the regular season’s final day. A’s catcher Steven Vogt began his 10 year major league career in Oakland, played for several teams, including the World Champion Atlanta Braves last year and wound up back in Oakland this season, which he announced in September, would be his last. In his first plate appearance, he was surprised and delighted to hear the voices of his three children introduce him over the stadium P.A. system. “Now batting, our dad, #21, Steven Vogt!” He looks as if he’s ready to cry as he approaches the plate. When he came to bat in the 7th inning in a 2-0 ballgame, the 37 year old dad homered. I’m not sure that it was a legal homer, because if you watch the replay, Vogt seems to float around the bases, never actually touching any of them, a grin filling the ballpark and the joy on his face brighter than the afternoon sunshine. The homer on the last at-bat of his career, launched an Oakland comeback and the A’s won, 3-2. For the record, Vogt’s homer landed in the same spot as his first career home run, which also happened to be his first major league hit.

There was Vogt, a happy dad, and a joyous little boy all at the same time. It was Ray Kinsella come to life, being an adult dad and a son and boy all in the same moment.

And by the way, there is crying in baseball.

Click here for a page which contains video of both the kids’ introduction and their dad’s home run.

Steven Vogt’s final trip around the bases.

About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
This entry was posted in Baseball in General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Field of Dreams comes to life in Oakland, thanks to Steven Vogt

  1. Albert Smith says:

    This is what makes baseball great. Todays bat flipping, chest pounding thugs should take notice.


  2. Bonnie Lane says:

    What a beautiful, real life story.


  3. Jerry Lane says:

    Pretty philosophical, Bub. All time great sport story. I don’t suppose Vogt is the first to go yard in his first and last AB but I’ll bet he is the first, and likely last, to do it in the same ball park to the same seating section.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s