“Shoeless” Joe Jackson said, “If you build it, he will come.”
Ten years ago, Steve Hilby stepped out of the Iowa cornfields and onto our Sun Lakes Field of Dreams. In the movie Field of Dreams, Archie said, “Sometimes we just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments when they’re happening.” That was one of them.
Steve may have asked, “Is this heaven?” Someone must’ve said, “No, you’re close—it’s Arizona.” Did Steve think, “Oh yeah … it’s where dreams can come true.”
On Oct. 21, Steve walked into the cornfield in centerfield with Shoeless Joe Jackson. No more fighting COVID, with his wife Cyndy doing all she could. Steve left us all behind.
He’s now up there playing with those gone before him. Our Field of Dreams has attracted many great ball players. We shouldn’t forget them. Appreciate the friendships while enjoying the gift of playing this game.
This is our cornfield. We fantasize about playing and Steve Hilby reappearing from that cornfield. He says, “Go the distance.” Relive your childhood dreams. Steve did. Did any of us think as kids we’d be playing now? We play our games, and it’s as though we dipped ourselves in magic waters.
To squint at a sky so blue it hurts your eyes. Is there magic in the sunlight that makes this dream come true? This is where it happens. If you want to play, we can take you there. When we’re on the field, this is the most special place in the world. We bring each other together. We dream we’re still very good and can still play! I’ve said many times, “As long as we’re playing ball, we’ll never get old.”
Our field is more than grass and dirt. It’s where we get to be kids again. Steve did. We know how he loved playing with friends and those he just met. He loved umpiring and playing shortstop. He always had an enthusiastic smile. Let’s practice his enthusiastic good sportsmanship. We will miss his cheerful greetings. Steve was that special person who made it possible for others to enjoy this game. We need to be thankful for all the time and effort he put into making dreams happen.
So, enjoy those special moments … remember people like Steve who keep dreams going. Thank God for the blessings we have. Pray for each other: we are “Living the Dream.”