I caught “The Rookie” on TV tonight for about the 20th time, and it occurred to me the reason the movie hits home is because it’s not just a baseball movie. Don’t get me wrong, it IS a baseball movie, but it’s more than that; it tells a story that transcends the sport.
It’s a movie about pursuing your dreams with everything you have. How the road to achieving your goals is a long one, and – especially in the military – can be a lonely one.
When the Dennis Quaid character got told that he was going to the show, he could barely contain his emotions. The look on his face reminded me of the look in the eyes of Sailors who just learned they had been selected for promotion. The stage may be smaller for those in uniform, but the lights are no less dim, and the accomplishment no less significant.
He was homesick as he worked his way through the minor leagues, but his family supported him because they believed in his cause. Military families are the same. Their loved ones have to go on the road to do their jobs, and their cause is important too. So they endure the separation until that glorious moment when they are united again.
As he returned to Texas for the first time in months, the town came out to cheer him, just as America cheers the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coastguardsmen when they return after a deployment. They cheer not only for the accomplishment, but also for the years of training, discipline and endurance behind it.
But it all comes back to your dreams, doesn’t it? His love of baseball drove him. Love of country and all it stands for drives our men and women in uniform. Same story, different uniform.
The Rookie – it’s a baseball movie, but it’s a lot more.