My father's name was John Kinsella.
It's an lrish name.
He was born in North Dakota in 1896 and never saw a big city until he came back from France in 1918.
Settling in Chicago, he learned to live and die with the White Sox.
Died a little when they lost the 1919 World Series, died a lot when eight White Sox were accused of throwing that Series.
He played some in the minors, but nothing came of it.
Moved to Brooklyn in '35, married Mom in '38, was already an old man at the naval yards when I was born in 1952.
My name's Ray Kinsella.
Mom died when I was three, and I suppose Dad did the best he could.
Instead of Mother Goose, I was put to bed to stories of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Dad was a Yankees fan then, so I rooted for Brooklyn.
In '58, the Dodgers moved away, so we had to find other reasons to fight.
When I chose a college, I picked the farthest from home I could find.
This drove him up the wall, which, I suppose, was the point.
Officially, my major was English, but really, it was the '60s.
I marched, I smoked some grass, I tried to like sitar music, and I met Annie.
The only thing we had in common was that she came from Iowa, and I'd once heard of lowa.
After graduation, we moved to the Midwest and stayed with her family as long as we could, almost a full afternoon.
Annie and I got married in June of '74.
Dad died that fall.
A few years later, Karin was born.
She smelled weird, but we loved her anyway.
Then Annie got the crazy idea she could talk me into buying a farm.
I'm 36 years old, I love my family, I love baseball, and I'm about to become a farmer.
But until I heard the voice, I'd never done a crazy thing in my whole life.
If you build it, he will come.
If you build it, he will come.
Annie, what was that?
What was what?
That voice just now. What was it?
We didn't hear anything.
If you build it, he will come.
Okay, you must have heard that!
Sorry. Hey, come on in to dinner.
Let's go, pumpkin.
Is there, like, a sound truck on the highway?
Nope. Hey, Karin, dinner's ready!
Kids with a radio?
Hey, are you really hearing voices?
What did it say?
"If you build it, he will come."
if you build what, who will come?
He didn't say.
I hate it when that happens.
If you build it, he will come.
Build what? What is this?
It's okay, honey. I... I'm just talking to the cornfield.
Anyway, I was walking down along the street, and I heard this voice saying, "Good evening, Mr. Dowd."
Well, I turned around, and here was this big, six-foot rabbit leaning up against the lamppost.
Why did you do that? It was funny.
Trust me, Karin. It's not funny.
The man is sick. Very sick.
Karin, honey, get your book bag. Let's go!
Hon, I'll take her today.
I've got errands to do in town.
Hey. What if the voice calls while you're gone?
Take a message.
In all those years, did you ever... it's just I've heard that sometimes farmers in the field...
They hear things. You know, voices.
You hearing voices?
No. it's just I heard some farmers do.
I, of course, don't, so I was wondering if I was doing something wrong.
Did you... Did you ever hear voices out there?
Who's hearing voices?
Out in the fields. No, I'm not.
Noises. That darned tractor...
I'm just going to get some 3-in-1 oil. That ought to do it.
It was nice... Nice talking to you.
If you build it, he will come.
All right, that's it! Huh? Who the...
Who are you, huh? What do you want from me?
Son of a... if you build it, he will come.
If you build it...
if you build it,
he will come.
You don't suppose this is like an acid flashback, do you?
I never took acid.
Maybe you will someday. It's like a flash-forward.
Annie, there's more.
Honey, why don't you eat a little bit?
I... I think I know what "if you build it, he will come" means.
Why do I not think this is so good?
I think it means that if I build a baseball field out there, Shoeless Joe Jackson will get to come back and play ball again.
Boy, I thought my family was crazy, but this is the craziest thing ever.
I know. it's totally nuts. I mean, Shoeless Joe!
He's dead. Died in '51. He's dead.
They suspended him, right?
He's still dead?
As far as I know.
Did you know Babe Ruth copied his swing?
If I did, I've forgotten it.
He was supposed to be so graceful and agile.
I'd actually like to see him play again, to let him play, to right an old wrong.
Wait. Wait a minute, Bosco.
Are you actually thinking of doing this?
I mean, I can't think of one good reason why I should, but...
I'm 36. I have a wife, a child, and a mortgage, and I'm scared to death I'm turning into my father.
What's your father got to do with all of this?
I never forgave him for getting old.
By the time he was as old as I am now, he was ancient.
I mean, he must have had dreams, but he never did anything about them.
For all I know, he may have even heard voices, too, but he sure didn't listen to them.
The man never did one spontaneous thing in all the years I knew him.
Annie, I'm afraid of that happening to me, and something tells me this may be my last chance to do something about it.
I want to build that field.
Do you think I'm crazy?
But I also think if you really feel you should do this,
then you should do it.
What the hell is he doing?
He's plowing under his corn.
Ty Cobb called him the greatest left fielder of all time.
He said his glove was the place where triples go to die.
Could he hit? Could he hit?
Lifetime average .356, third highest in history.
Why'd they call him Shoeless Joe?
When he was still in the minors, he bought a new pair of spikes and hurt his feet.
In the sixth inning, he took them off and played in his socks.
The players kidded him, called him "Shoeless Joe," and the name stuck.
He's going to lose his farm.
Then in 1919, his team, the Chicago White Sox, they threw the World Series.
It means they lost on purpose.
Gamblers paid them to. Except Shoeless Joe.
He did take their money, but nobody ever proved he did one thing to lose those games.
If he threw it, how do you explain he hit .375 for the Series and committed no errors?
Twelve hits including the Series' only home run, and they said he's trying to lose?
The commissioner of baseball suspended eight of the players, including the great Shoeless Joe Jackson, for life.
It means they never let him play the game again.
My father said he saw him years later playing under a made-up name in some 10th-rate league in Carolina.
He'd put on 50 pounds, and his spring was gone from his step but he could still hit.
Dad used to say nobody could hit like Shoeless Joe.
I think that's the first time I've ever seen you smile when you mentioned your father.
I have just created something totally illogical.
That's what I like about it.
Am I completely nuts?
It's a good baseball field, Ray.
It's kind of pretty, isn't it?
Something's going to happen out there.
I can feel it.
So, for the veteran southpaw, his summer of woes continues.
That's four straight hits in the inning.
Daddy, what's a "southpaw"?
It means a left-handed pitcher, honey.
So how bad is it?
Well, considering how much less acreage we have for corn, I say we'll probably almost break even.
We used up all our savings on that field, Ray.
Just a minute, Karin.
So what are you saying? We can't keep the field?
Makes it real hard to keep the farm.
In a minute, Karin!
There's a man out there on your lawn.
I'll put up some coffee. Why don't you go on outside?
I'll get some out there.
I bet it's good to be playing again, huh?
Getting thrown out of baseball was like having part of me amputated.
I've heard that old men wake up and scratch itchy legs that have been dust for over 50 years.
That was me.
I'd wake up at night with the smell of the ballpark in my nose, with the cool of the grass on my feet,
the thrill of the grass.
Can you pitch?
Yeah, not bad.
Don't we need a catcher?
Not if you get it near the plate.
I'm pitching to Shoeless Joe Jackson.
See if you can hit my curve.
You can hit the curve ball.
Put one right here, huh?
Right, you're a low ball hitter.
Man, I did love this game.
I'd have played for food money.
It was the game, the sounds, the smells.
Did you ever hold a ball or a glove to your face?
I used to love traveling on the trains from town to town.
The hotels, brass spittoons in the lobbies, brass beds in the rooms.
It was the crowd, rising to their feet when the ball was hit deep.
I'd have played for nothing.
It's my family.
What's with the lights?
Oh, all the stadiums have them now.
Even Wrigley Field.
It's harder to see the ball.
The owners found that more people can attend night games.
Mr. Jackson, this is my wife Annie and my daughter Karin.
Are you a ghost?
What do you think?
You look real to me.
Then I guess I'm real.
Would you like to come inside?
Thanks. I don't think I can.
Can I come back again?
Yeah. I built this for you.
There are others, you know.
There were eight of us. It would really mean a lot to them.
Yeah, anytime. They're all welcome here.
Hey, is this heaven?
Where's he going?
I don't know.
We're keeping this field.
You bet your ass we are.
You're going to lose your farm, pal.
How can you lose something so big?
He misplaced the house once. Yeah, but it turned up.
Ray, come on. Ray? Ray?
This stupid baseball field's going to bankrupt you.
If you default on your loan, you're going to lose everything.
My partners will give you a fair price.
Thanks, Mark. Thanks, Mark, but no.
What are you holding onto this place for?
You never liked lowa.
That's not true.
You don't know the first thing about farming.
I know a lot about farming. More than you think.
Well, then how could you plow under your major crop?
What's a crop?
Come on. That is funny. What's a crop?
Daddy, the baseball game is on.
Annie, I don't believe this guy.
I'm trying to bail him out, and he leaves to watch television.
He used to be normal. Yeah.
Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!
All right! Home base!
Watch Joe's feet.
A good left fielder knows what pitch is coming.
He can tell from the bat's angle which way the ball's heading.
Stick it in your ear, Gandil.
If you'd have run like that against Detroit, I'd have won 20 games!
For Pete's sakes, Cicotte, that was 68 years ago.
Give it up!
Hey! You guys want to play ball or what?
At least I got muscles.
At most you got muscles.
Come on, asshole! Pitch!
Weaver, be nice.
It's okay. I don't mind.
All right, Karin.
Hey, hey, hey!
Ray? Honey, Mom and everybody's leaving now.
Oh, well, it was... You know.
Thanks for coming.
Ray, think about what I said. I'm just trying to help.
Thought you two were watching some game.
It's not really a game. It's more like practice.
There's only eight of them. They can't play a real game.
Eight of what?
Who them? Them them.
You don't see them?
Karin, honey, what are you watching?
The baseball men.
Do you see the baseball men right now?
Of course I do.
What, you really don't see them?
It's not very polite to try to make other people feel stupid.
Mom, wait a minute. Mom! Wait a minute.
Dee. Dee, wait. You don't see these people?
It's not funny, Annie.
They couldn't see it.
This is really interesting.
Hey, Ray, look at this.
Sixty-eight years since I wore this uniform, still fits me like a glove.
You must keep in pretty good shape.
Now let's see, I died in '70.
That means I haven't had a cigarette in 18 years.
You don't smoke, do you?
Karin! Ray! Dinner!
"Ray, dinner." "Dinner, Ray."
All right, all right.
Come on. Let's hit the showers.
See you later.
See you, guys.
I'm melting! I'm melting!
Come on, you knucklehead.
That is so cool.
Ease his pain.
I'm sorry. What? I didn't understand. What?
Ease his pain.
Ease his pain. What...
What the hell does that mean, ease his pain?
What pain? All right. Whose pain?
Thanks a lot.
Come on, honey, wash up. We got the PTA meeting after dinner.
Talking about banning books again, really subversive books, like The Wizard of Oz, Diary of Anne Frank.
What happened to you?
The voice is back.
You don't have to build a football field, do you?
He said, "Ease his pain."
Ease whose pain?
I asked him. He wouldn't say.
I don't think so.
One of the other players?
I don't think so.
This is a very nonspecific voice out there, and he's starting to piss me off.
I was having a fun day today, a good day.
Want a fry?
And I say, smut and filth like this has no place in our schools.
Fascist. I'd like to ease her pain.
Mrs. Kessinik, Mrs. Kessinik.
That book you're waving about is hardly smut.
It's considered by many critics to be the classic novel about the 1960s.
No, no. The Supreme Court says it's not.
And it's author, Mr. Mann... ls sick!
Terence Mann is a Pulitzer Prize winner.
He's widely regarded as the finest satirist of his time.
He's a pervert!
Probably a Communist, too!
What planet are these people from?
Mr. Harris, the so-called novels of Terence Mann endorse promiscuity, godlessness, the mongrelization of the races, and disrespect to high-ranking officers of the United States Army.
And that's why right-thinking school boards all across the country having been banning this man's S-H-l-T since 1969.
You know why he stopped writing books. Because he masturbates.
Excuse me, madam.
Terence Mann was a warm, gentle voice of reason during a time of great madness.
He coined the phrase, "Make love, not war."
While other people were chanting, "Burn, baby, burn," he was talking about love and peace and understanding.
I cherished his books, and I dearly wish he had written more.
Maybe if you had experienced even a little bit of the '60s, you might feel the same way, too.
I experienced the '60s.
No, you had two '50s and moved right on into the '70s.
Annie, look at this.
Your husband plowed under his corn and built a baseball field.
Now, there's an intelligent response.
Annie... Honey, it's all right. I'll be cool.
At least he is not a book burner, you Nazi cow.
At least I'm not married to the biggest horse's ass in three counties.
All right, Beulah, do you want to step outside?
All right, honey. I've got a better idea.
Let's take a vote. Who's for Eva Braun?
Who wants to burn books?
Who wants to spit on the Constitution of the United States of America? Anybody?
All right. Now, who's for the Bill of Rights?
Who thinks freedom is a pretty darn good thing?
Come on! Come on! Let's see those hands!
Who thinks we have to stand up to the kind of censorship they had under Stalin?
All right. There you go. America, I love you. I'm proud of you.
Let's go. We got to go.
This is great!
I figured it out. I figured it out.
Was that great, or what? I figured it out.
It's just like the '60s again! I just figured it out.
"Step outside, you Nazi cow."
I know whose pain I'm supposed to ease.
What? I know whose pain I'm supposed to ease.
I just halted the spread of neofascism in America...
Terence Mann. What about him?
That's whose pain. You sure?
I was right about building the field, wasn't I?
Well, what's his pain? I don't know.
How are you supposed to ease it? I don't know.
Ray. Well, Ann...
Look, he's my favorite writer, too, but what's Terence Mann got to do with baseball?
Annie, it's incredible. By the early '70s, Mann decides people have become either too extremist or too apathetic to listen.
So he stops writing books, he starts writing poetry about whales, and then he starts fooling around with a computer.
Know what he does now?
He writes software for interactive children's videos.
They teach kids how to resolve their conflicts peacefully.
God, what an amazing guy.
What's that got to do with baseball?
In the April 1962 issue of Jet Magazine, there's a story called "This ls Not A Kite." it's not his best work, but the story's hero is named John Kinsella, my father.
What do you mean, "Wow"?
Big wow! What's it got to do with baseball?
Okay, the last interview he ever gave was in 1973.
Guess what it's about.
Some kind of team sport.
Mann was a baseball fanatic. Listen to this.
"My earliest recurring dream was to play at Ebbets Field
"with Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"It never happened. The Dodgers left Brooklyn.
"Ebbets Field is gone, but I still dream that dream."
The man wrote the best books of his generation.
He was a pioneer in the civil rights and the antiwar movement.
I mean, he made the cover of Newsweek.
He knew everybody. He did everything. He helped shape his time.
The guy hung out with the Beatles.
It wasn't enough. What he missed was baseball.
Oh, my God! What?
"As a small boy, he had a bat named Rosebud."
Give me that. Sorry.
The guy hasn't been to a baseball game since 1958.
So, in order to ease his pain, you're supposed to take him to a ballgame.
Ray, this is nuttier than building the baseball field.
No. No, it's not.
It's pretty weird, but building the field was 5, 10% weirder.
I'm going to have to nip this one in the bud.
We're having moderate-to-heavy financial difficulties here.
And you can't take off for Boston while we're going broke in lowa.
This is really new territory for us, but we're dealing with primal forces of nature.
The prudent thing is not to quibble over details.
Yeah, but why do you have to go? Why can't the voice send somebody else?
How about Shirley MacLaine? Is she too busy?
What does this have to do with you?
That's what I have to find out.
Ray, we are behind on the mortgage. That field ate up all of our savings.
We could lose this farm.
I won't even stay in motels. I'll sleep in the car. I'll beg for food.
No. No! Now, this is too much!
Now, look. I understand your need to prove to yourself and to the world you are not turning into your father, but you've done it.
You believed in the magic. It happened. Isn't that enough?
It's more than that. I know this is totally nuts, but there's another reason I'm supposed to do it.
I feel it as strongly as I've felt anything.
There's a reason.
What? Just tell me what it is.
Something's going to happen at the game.
There's something at Fenway Park.
I got to be there with Terence Mann to find it out.
Is Fenway the one with the big green wall in left field?
I dreamt last night you were at Fenway with Terence Mann.
Was I sitting on the first base side? Yes.
About halfway up on the aisle?
Yeah. Eating a hot dog. Eating a hot dog.
I had the same dream.
I'll help you pack.
Hi, I'm Ray Kinsella.
Hi, I'm Ray Kinsella. It's a great pleasure to finally get to...
Hi, I'm Ray Kinsella. I'm a big fan of yours.
How do you do, Mr. Mann?
I have to take you to a base...
All right, stupid, put your hands up and get in the trunk.
He lives right around here. Do you know him?
He's sort of a tall black man. I'm a friend of his.
If he was much of a friend, he could give you the directions himself.
That's a good point. Thank you.
I don't know where he lives. Get away from me!
I ain't going to tell you nothing.
Go away! You're a pest!
Two blocks down, right-hand side.
First door that don't have a chicken in the window is his.
Who the hell are you?
Sir, my name's Ray Kinsella.
We got a learning disability here?
If I could just have one minute, please.
Look, I can't tell you the secret of life, and I don't have any answers for you.
I don't give interviews, and I'm no longer a public figure.
I just want to be left alone, so piss off.
Look, I've come 1,500 miles to see you at the risk of losing my home and alienating my wife.
All I'm asking is one minute.
Okay, I understand your desire for privacy, and I wouldn't dream of intruding if this weren't extremely important.
Oh, God. I don't do causes anymore.
This isn't a cause.
I don't need money or an endorsement.
You once wrote, "There comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place
"and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds
"to show you what's possible."
Oh, my God!
You're from the '60s.
Well, yeah. Actually...
Back to the '60s.
No place for you here in the future. Get back while you still can!
You've changed, you know that?
Yes, I suppose I have.
How about this? Peace, love, dope. Now get the hell out of here!
You've really pissed me off.
I was hoping I wouldn't have to do it this way.
What the hell is that?
It's a gun.
It's your finger.
No, it's a gun.
Let me see it.
I'm not going to show you my gun.
I'm not going to hurt you. I need you to come with...
What are you doing?
I'll beat you with a crowbar until you go away.
Whoa! Wait! You can't do that.
There are rules here? Oh, no. There are no rules here.
You're a pacifist!
Thank you. Thank you.
So what? You kidnapping me? What's the deal here?
I was hoping I could just convince you to come with me.
So you are kidnapping me?
I have to take you to a baseball game.
Tonight's game. Red Sox, A's.
Something will happen there.
I don't know what, but we'll find out when it does.
My name's Ray Kinsella.
You used my father's name for a character in one of your stories.
You're seeing a whole team of psychiatrists, aren't you?
I don't blame you for thinking that, but, no, I'm not.
I swear to God, I'm the least crazy person I've ever known.
Why are you kidnapping me to a baseball game?
Want a cup of coffee?
Want some cookies?
I read an interview you gave a long time ago about how you always dreamed of playing at Ebbets Field and how sad you felt when they tore it down.
I never said that.
I don't even recall thinking that.
This is so weird.
This whole thing is so weird.
Then why go through with it?
It's a long story.
But it's a really good story.
I'll tell you on the way.
I'm not going to get rid of you, am I?
Come to this game. I'll never bother you again, not even...
Not even a Christmas card.
So what do you do with yourself these days?
I live, I work.
I learned how to cook.
I take walks and watch sunsets.
Don't you miss being involved?
I was the East Coast distributor of involved.
I ate it and drank it and breathed it.
Then they killed Martin and Bobby, they elected Tricky Dick twice, and now people like you think I must be miserable because I'm not involved anymore.
I've got news for you.
I spent all my misery years ago.
I have no more pain left for any of you.
I gave at the office.
So what do you want?
I want them to stop looking to me for answers, begging me to speak again, write again, be a leader.
I want them to start thinking for themselves.
I want my privacy.
No, I meant what do you want?
Dog and a beer.
Okay, I understand.
You should be entitled to as much privacy as you want, but why stop writing?
I haven't published a word in 17 years, and still I have to endure lunatics like you.
What do you think would happen if I suddenly came out with a new book?
They'd bleed me dry.
Go the distance.
Go the distance.
What's the matter?
You didn't see that?
I'm sorry. I guess you didn't have to be here.
Whenever you want to go, we can go.
Fine. Let's go.
What is it you're not telling me?
I've already taken up too much of your time.
I wish I had your passion, Ray.
Misdirected though it might be, it is still a passion.
I used to feel that way about things, but...
You got another message, didn't you?
You'll think I'm crazy.
I already think you're crazy.
What did it say?
It said, "The man's done enough. Leave him alone."
You saw it.
You saw it. New York Giants, 1922.
He played one game. He never got to bat.
What did I see? Chisholm, Minnesota.
We were the only ones who saw it. Did you hear the voice, too?
It's what told me to find you. Did you hear it?
"Go the distance"?
Yes. Do you know what it means?
It means we're going to Minnesota to find "Moonlight" Graham.
We're going... We?
I must be out of my mind.
What do we do when we find him?
How the hell am I supposed to know?
That's right. You're right. You're right.
This is so bitching.
I don't believe I'm doing this.
Hey, Annie, guess what? I'm with Terence Mann.
Oh, my God. You kidnapped him.
No, I didn't. He wanted to.
Sorry, but I'm going to be a few days longer.
We're going to Minnesota. I don't believe this.
What's in Minnesota?
An old ballplayer. I'll explain when I get home.
How are things with you?
Great. Look, Ann, I got to go, okay?
Give Karin a hug for me, and I love you.
I love you, too.
Hey, someday explain all this to me, okay?
Why didn't you tell him?
Annie, you got no choice in the matter.
Half a dozen Grahams.
No Archibald. No "Moonlight."
Excuse me. Maybe you can help us.
We're looking for an ex-baseball player named Archibald Graham.
Oh, you mean Doc Graham.
No. I think his nickname was "Moonlight."
Well, that's Dr. Graham.
His baseball career never amounted to much.
He went back to school.
His father was a doctor.
Do you know where we can find him?
It's nothing bad. We're not from the IRS.
Doc Graham is dead.
He died in 1972.
"And there were times when children could not afford
"eyeglasses or milk or clothing.
"Yet, no child was ever denied these essentials
"because, in the background, there was always Dr. Graham.
"Without any fanfare or publicity, "the glasses or the milk or the ticket to the ballgame
"found their way into the child's pocket."
You wrote that.
The day he died.
Can I see that?
You're a good writer.
So are you.
Well, he sounds like he was a wonderful man.
Half the towns in North America have a Doc Graham.
What makes this one so special we travel across the country to find him
16 years after he died?
There's got to be more.
He always wore an overcoat, he had white hair, and he always carried an umbrella.
What was the umbrella for?
It got to be a habit, something to hang on to.
He said he used it to beat away his lady admirers.
Tell me about his wife.
She moved to South Carolina after Doc passed.
She passed a couple years later.
She always wore blue.
The shopkeepers in town would stock blue hats because they knew if Doc walked by, he'd buy one.
When they cleaned out his office, they found boxes of blue hats that he never got around to give her.
I'll bet you didn't know that.
No, I didn't.
No screwing, no drinking, no opium, no midnight abortions, no illegitimate children, no shady finances.
You sound disappointed.
Shoeless Joe had a problem. That's why he needed you.
This guy doesn't need us.
Do you know you're missing?
"His father, who lives in Baltimore, "notified police after receiving no answer to repeated telephone calls."
I better call him.
You want me to...
I'm taking a walk. Be back in a while.
What do I tell him?
My name's Ray Kinsella. I'm from lowa.
Are you "Moonlight" Graham?
No one's called me "Moonlight" Graham in 50 years.
Well, I've come a very long way to see you.
I couldn't sleep tonight. Usually I sleep like a baby.
I told Alicia I was taking a walk.
Do you mind if I join you?
I'd like to talk to you.
Let's walk over to my office.
What do you want to talk to me about?
When you got to the majors, you played only one inning of one game.
What happened that inning?
It was the last day of the season, bottom of the eighth, we were way ahead.
In three weeks, I hadn't seen any action.
Suddenly old John McGraw points a bony finger in my direction and he says, "Right field."
I jumped up like I was sitting on a spring, grabbed my glove, and ran out on the field.
Did you get to make a play?
They never hit the ball out of the infield.
The game ended. The season was over.
I knew they'd send me back down.
I couldn't bear the thought of another year in the minors.
So I decided to hang them up.
Go on. Sit down.
So what was that like?
It was like coming this close to your dreams, then watch them brush past you, like a stranger in a crowd.
Then, you don't think about it.
We just don't recognize life's most significant moments while they're happening.
Back then I thought, "Well, there'll be other days."
I didn't realize that that was the only day.
And now, I want to ask you a question.
What's so interesting about half an inning that you'd come from lowa to talk to me about it 50 years after it happened?
I didn't really know till just now, but I think it's to ask you if you could do anything you wanted, if you could have a wish...
And you're the kind of a man who could grant me that wish?
I don't know. I'm just asking.
Well, you know, I never got to bat in the major leagues.
I'd have liked to have had that chance, just once, to stare down a big-league pitcher.
Then just as he goes into his windup, wink.
Make him think you know something he doesn't.
That's what I wish for.
The chance to squint at a sky so blue it hurts your eyes to look at it, to feel the tingle in your arms as you connect with the ball, run bases, stretching a double into a triple and flop face first into third, wrap your arms around the bag.
That's my wish. That's my wish.
Is there enough magic out there in the moonlight to make this dream come true?
What would you say if I said yes?
I think I'd actually believe you.
There's a place where things like that happen.
If you want to go, I can take you.
This is my most special place in all the world.
Once a place touches you like this, the wind never blows so cold again.
You feel for it, like it was your child.
I can't leave Chisholm.
I understand. I do.
But I really think you're supposed to come with us.
But your wish?
It'll have to stay a wish.
I was born here, I lived here, I'll die here, but no regrets.
Fifty years ago, for 5 minutes you came this close.
It would kill some men to get that close to their dream and not touch it.
God. They'd consider it a tragedy.
If I'd only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes, now that would have been a tragedy.
I better be getting home. Alicia will think I got a girlfriend.
And he smiled.
And then I figured, maybe we're not supposed to take him with us.
I don't know.
I don't know why in the hell we were supposed to come here.
Maybe it's to find out if one inning can change the world.
Think it did?
Did for these people.
If he'd gotten a hit, he might have stayed in baseball.
I don't know.
Oh, your wife called. She wants you to call her tonight.
I'm fine. I'm just so glad it's you.
Listen, I talked to the bank, and I asked them if we could miss a payment or two, and they told me that they had just sold the note on the farm to Mark and his partners.
Right. So they own the paper now.
He says if we don't sell to them, they're going to foreclose.
Ray, we don't have the money.
Look, I've got to take Mr. Mann back to Boston first.
Okay? So, it's...
Wait a second.
I'm going to lowa with you.
We're coming home.
Hell, I can't quit now. I got to see this ballpark.
Not everyone can see it. You might not.
Give it a try.
I need all the karma I can get right now.
Thanks. You're the first car by.
How far you going?
If it's okay, I'll just ride along a while. I play baseball.
Hop in. All right.
I'm looking for a place to play.
I heard that all through the Midwest, they have towns with teams.
In some places, they'll find you a day job so you can play ball nights and weekends.
It's your lucky day. We're going someplace kind of like that.
I'm Ray Kinsella. This is Terence Mann.
I'm Archie Graham.
It's funny the way he described towns finding you a job so you could play on their team.
They haven't done that for years.
Dad did that for a while, but that was in the '20s.
What happened to your father?
He never made it as a ballplayer. He wanted his son to make it for him.
By 10, playing baseball got to be like eating vegetables or taking out garbage.
When I was 14, I started to refuse.
Can you believe that?
American boy refusing to have a catch with his father?
That's when I read The Boat Rocker by Terence Mann.
I never played catch with him again.
That's the crap people always lay on me.
It's not my fault you wouldn't play catch with him.
Anyway, when I was 17, I packed my things, said something awful, and left.
After a while, I wanted to come home, but I didn't know how.
Made it back for the funeral, though.
What was the awful thing you said?
To your father?
I said I could never respect a man whose hero was a criminal.
Who was his hero?
Shoeless Joe Jackson.
You knew he wasn't a criminal.
Then why did you say it?
I was 17.
The son of a bitch died before I could take it back.
Before I could tell him, you know.
He never met my wife.
He never saw his granddaughter.
This is your penance.
I can't bring my father back.
So the least you can do is bring back his hero.
Now I know what everybody's purpose here is, except mine.
Karin, come here.
Oh, we missed you.
Are you, okay?
Yeah. This is Terence Mann.
And this young fella is...This is Archie Graham.
He's come to practice with the team.
He'll be able to do a lot more than that.
What does that mean?
What do you say? What do you say?
Hey, Ray. Welcome back.
Oh, my God.
That's Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Of course it is.
You didn't believe me?
I thought I did, but...
Oh, my God.
Hi, Annie. Hi, Joe.
Good to see you.
Terry, I'd like you to meet Shoeless Joe Jackson.
Joe, Terry Mann.
It's a pleasure meeting you.
The pleasure's mine.
We got tired of just having practices, so we brought another team out so we'd have some real games.
I don't mind.
Where'd they come from?
Where did we come from?
So many wanted to play here. We had to beat them off with a stick.
Hey, that's Smokey Joe Wood and Mel Ott and Gil Hodges.
Ty Cobb wanted to play.
Nobody could stand him when we were alive.
We told him to stick it.
Hey, are you Graham?
Why are you on the sidelines? Came to play ball, didn't you?
All right. Well, go warm up.
It's more than that.
Go, Graham! Go, kid!
Come on, Archie!
He looks like a baby next to those guys.
Let's get a hit.
Watch it, boy!
Don't let him shake you up. Hang in there!
Knuckles, what did you throw at the kid for?
He winked at me.
Don't wink, kid.
Good thing for you he didn't throw the fastball.
Let's see that fastball.
Let's go. Come on.
Hey, ump! Come on. Give us a break!
How about a warning? Sure.
Watch out you don't get killed.
Those first two were high and tight.
What will the next one be?
Well, either low and away or in my ear.
He won't want to load the bases. So look for low and away.
But watch out for in your ear.
Come on, Archie! Let's go, kid!
Batter, batter, batter, batter!
Come on, Arch. It just takes one.
Never hit it, kid.
That's deep enough.
Son of a...
Way to go, Arch! Way to go!
This is the wave!
Way to go, man! Yeah, Archie.
That's what we needed.
Way to go.
Yeah. Way to go.
What is this?
What is this jerk doing?
Let me at him!
You're interrupting the game, Mark.
Ray, it's time to put away your little fantasies and come down to Earth.
It's not a fantasy. They're real.
Who is real?
Shoeless Joe Jackson, the White Sox, all of them.
He can't see any of them.
Well, who is this, Elvis?
As a matter of fact, it's Terence Mann.
How do you do? I'm the Easter bunny.
Let's settle this thing now. You have no money.
Look. I'm not selling. You have no money!
You have a stack of bills! Come fall, you got no crop to sell.
I have a deal that allows you to stay on the land.
We don't have to sell the farm.
You'll live in the house rent-free.
What about the team?
Do you realize how much this land is worth?
2,200 bucks an acre.
We can't keep a useless baseball diamond in rich farmland.
Read my lips. We're staying, all right? We're staying.
Ray, you're bankrupt!
I'm offering you a way to keep your home because I love my sister.
My partners don't care and are ready to foreclose.
Daddy, we don't have to sell the farm.
People will come.
What people, sweetheart?
From all over.
They'll just decide to take a vacation, see?
And they'll come to lowa City.
They'll think it's really boring. So they'll want to pay us.
Like buying a ticket.
You're not seriously listening to this, are you?
Wait a minute.
Why would anybody pay money to come here?
To watch the games.
It will be just like when they were little kids a long time ago.
They'll watch the game and remember what it was like.
What the hell is she talking about?
People will come.
All right. This is fascinating, but you don't have the money to bring the mortgage up to date.
You're still going to have to sell.
I'm sorry, Ray.
We got no choice.
People will come, Ray.
They'll come to lowa for reasons they can't even fathom.
They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it.
They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past.
"Of course, we won't mind if you look around," you'll say.
"It's only $20 per person."
They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it.
For it is money they have and peace they lack.
Just sign the papers.
Then they'll walk out to the bleachers and sit in their shirt sleeves 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 will 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.
Ray, when the bank opens in the morning, they'll foreclose.
People will come, Ray.
You're broke, Ray. You sell now, or you lose everything.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.
America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers.
It's 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 us of all that once was good, and it could be again.
Oh, people will come, Ray.
People will most definitely come.
Ray, you will lose everything.
You will be evicted.
Come on, Ray.
I'm not signing.
You're crazy. Absolutely nuts!
I can't do it, pal.
I mean, you build a baseball field in the middle of nowhere, and you stare at nothing.
It's not nothing. Your daughter's turned into a space case.
Get your hands off her!
Is she all right? Is she breathing?
Should I get the car?
I'm going to call Emergency.
What have we got here?
This child's choking to death. Get her up.
Hold her steady now.
Hot dog. Stuck in her throat.
She'll be all right.
She'll be turning handsprings before you know it.
Thank you, Doc.
Oh, my God. You can't go back.
Hey, it's all right.
I'm sorry. It's all right.
I best be getting on home before Alicia begins to think I got a girlfriend.
Good work, Doc.
Nice going, Doc.
Going to miss you, Doc.
Win one for me one day, will you, boys?
When did these ballplayers get here?
You were good.
Do not sell this farm, Ray. You got to keep this farm.
You've had a rough day. Go inside and get something cold to drink.
Yeah. That's a good idea.
Don't sell the farm, Ray.
We're going to call it a day.
See you tomorrow.
Hey, do you want to come with us?
You mean it?
No, not you.
Him? Come with you?
What is out there?
Come and find out.
Wait a second. Why him?
I built this field. You wouldn't be here if it weren't for me.
Ray, I'm unattached. You have a family.
I want to know what's out there.
But you're not invited.
Not invited? What do you mean I'm not invited?
That's my corn out there. You guys are guests in my corn.
I've done everything I've been asked to do.
I didn't understand it, but I've done it.
I haven't once asked what's in it for me.
What are you saying?
I'm saying, "What's in it for me?"
Is that why you did this?
I think you'd better stay here, Ray.
There's a reason they chose me, just as there's a reason they chose this field.
I gave that interview.
What interview? What are you talking about?
The one about Ebbets Field, the one that sent you to Boston to find me.
You lied to me.
You were kidnapping me at the time. You lied.
You said your finger was a gun.
That's a good point.
Listen to me, Ray. Listen to me.
There is something out there, and if I have the courage to go through with this, what a story it'll make.
"Shoeless Joe Jackson comes to lowa."
What? Are you going to write about it?
You bet I'll write about it.
You're going to write about it.
That's what I do.
Honey, where's he going?
Terry's been invited to go out with the others.
How are you feeling, sweetheart?
You mean out?
I want a full description.
Take care of this family.
What are you grinning at, you ghost?
"If you build it,
"he will come."
Oh, my God.
What? What is it?
It's my father.
"Ease his pain."
"Go the distance."
it was you.
It was you.
My God. I...
I only saw him years later when he was worn down by life.
Look at him.
He's got his whole life in front of him, and I'm not even a glint in his eye.
What do I say to him?
Why don't you introduce him to his granddaughter?
I just wanted to thank you folks for putting up this field, letting us play here.
I'm John Kinsella.
My wife Annie. Hi.
This is my daughter Karin.
Karin, this is my...
This is John.
Well, we're going to let you two talk.
I mean, if all these people are going to come, we got a lot of work to do.
It was very nice meeting you.
Come on, hon.
You catch a good game.
It's so beautiful here.
Well, for me it's like a dream come true.
Can I ask you something?
Is... Is this heaven?
I could have sworn it was heaven.
Is... ls there a heaven?
It's the place dreams come true.
Maybe this is heaven.
Good night, Ray.
Good night, John.
You want to have a catch?
I'd like that.