Shortly after arriving on the Island of Culebra (near Puerto Rico) my girlfriend and I, along with my younger brother, did what anyone would do: we grabbed our swim suits, a cooler full of beers, our gloves, and headed to the beach. After spending a day in the sun we decided to hop on our rented golf cart and explore the 11 square mile island that had quickly charmed us with it’s sweet waters and even sweeter libations. Emphasis on the libations.
As we were cruising around, I, at the disdain of my two passengers, slammed on the breaks as soon as I saw those lights hanging high up in the sky. “Is that a baseball field?”
Though abandoned and unkept, this patch of dirt and grass had shaken me to my core. I quickly flung my sandals off in the grandstands and ran onto that moist caribbean dirt as barefoot as I had ever been in my life. I didn’t need Nike cleats or Under Armour socks. Not once did I wonder where my Phiten bracelet or my Gatorade were. Here I was with my future wife and my kid brother trading between us two gloves, a baseball, and a video camera. For if only a brief moment, I did not wan’t or need.
The moment flew by as my brother air-mailed me by 10 feet. I made sure to walk extra slow to the outfield grass, feeling each blade of overgrown grass beneath my feet, and picked up our lone baseball. As I slowly spun around I didn’t see a run-down field and my 24 year-old brother or my girlfriend of 5 years: Instead I saw a cathedral of a baseball stadium with a perfectly manicured infield and a couple of kids having a game of catch. My baseball life flashed before my eyes that day, punctuated with that indescribable feeling you get deep inside with your first home run or your first double play.
In that moment we were all once again children living a dream.