Classic baseball film centers on father-son relationship

It’s one of the most iconic movies and best portrayals of what baseball means to this country.

It happens to be one of the best Father’s Day movies.

“Field of Dreams,” which came out in 1989, depicts an Iowa farmer who hears a voice suggesting him to build a baseball field. The voice doesn’t stop, sending several messages, including taking a renowned author to a game at Fenway Park to visiting a ghost whose dream was to have one major league at-bat.

Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, thinks these messages of building a field and easing someone’s pain is about Shoeless Joe Jackson, should appears in the ballfield shortly after completion. Jackson is infamous for the Black Sox scandal in the early 1900s and invites his team and others to play at the Iowa farm.

But the movie is more a quest to finding answers and reconciliation. It’s a story about a man and his father.

Ray’s father, John, played professionally and wanted his son to follow the same path. As Ray retells the story to Terrence Mann, the relationship with his father hit a wall when he didn’t want to pursue baseball and criticized his father for idolizing a criminal, Shoeless Joe.

The last 10 minutes of the movie are the best. During this span, Ray discovers his father as one of the ghost players in catcher’s gear as the rest leave the ballfield. John meets Ray’s wife and daughter for the first time and Ray asks to have a catch.

It’s a tear-jerking moment and one of the few exceptions where it’s OK for a man to cry while watching a movie. It’s moving and powerful. It mends a broken bond between father and son.

“Field of Dreams” is my favorite baseball-themed movie for many reasons, including an homage to the America’s favorite pastime and seeing some of the best players come back to Iowa. But more importantly, it’s simply about a son and his father making amends.

My relationship with my father, grandfathers and uncles has been rewarding because of the many experiences and life lessons. You learn a lot through the years and try to emulate some of those XXX when you become a parent. You want the best for your children and don’t to disappoint.

You want to see them succeed in anything they put their mind to, including academics and sports. You want to hear them name called when they walk on stage to receive a diploma. You want to see them on ESPN playing in the World Series or read about them in the news when they discovered a cure to a major disease.

Many lessons can be taught through your family and even in movies. From Ray’s quest that ended with a catch with his father to Leonardo Dicaprio’s Dom Cobb returning to the states to see his kids in “Inception” to Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper traveling through a black hole to help save his daughter and the rest of humanity in “Interstellar,” there’s no limit to what a father will do for his children.

Happy Father’s Day to every father figure who has and continues to make a difference.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at


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