BASEBALL HEAVEN: A “Field Of Dreams” at Citi Field • Latino Sports

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BASEBALL HEAVEN: A “Field Of Dreams” at Citi Field

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Credit: Danny Torres

FLUSHING – It was 30 years ago that a fantasy-drama sports film called Field of Dreams was completed in Dyersville, Iowa. The following year, this memorable film was released nationwide and captured the hearts of baseball enthusiasts and in particular fathers and sons who were able to rekindle their close relationships through a simple game of catch.

Even the ending of this iconic motion picture still brings a tear to the eyes of passionate fans who watch this film over and over again. For this writer, I’ll always keep a box of Kleenex close by and make sure no one is around.

Remember – there’s no crying in baseball. And yet directly behind the towering batting cage at Citi Field, there’s a “Field of Dreams” moment that occurs prior to every home game in Flushing.

For every Met fan, it’s a surreal moment that a descriptive word commonly used such as “Awesome” simply transforms into – “Amazin”.

Robert Torres, 54, and his youngest son Daniel, 12, had the extraordinary opportunity to watch batting practice, collect autographs, take a ‘selfie’ with their favorite player and even on this beautiful, Monday afternoon meet the principal owner of the New York Mets, Mr. Fred Wilpon.

Robert will tell you it was more than just the players and walking on the field. It was bigger than that.

Credit: Danny Torres/Latino Sports

“As a lifelong Mets’ fan, to get this opportunity to be with my son and letting him experience what I wanted to when I was young, these experiences are going to be set in stone. We can have conversations about this day 20-30 years from now,” Torres said with his beloved son by his side.

Now I’ve interviewed a number of Major League Baseball players with the common Hispanic surname (including former Met players Andrés “Yungo” Torres and current Nationals’ reliever, Carlos Torres) but it was quite hilarious to think that I would be interviewing a 12-year-old named Daniel Torres who just happened to be at Citi Field.

With a skinny 4’ 11” frame, Daniel, who attends PS/IS 49 in Middle Village, is a pretty knowledgeable sports fan. Although his father instilled at a very young age to be a part of the Mets’ fandom, he completely understood the significance of being on the field.

“The best experience is being up-close with the players and it’s cool to see them in person,” Torres said. Not only did Daniel get autographs from Met players, the opposing players and coaches were quite accommodating to autograph requests and pictures.

Like his father, Daniel has cheered for the Amazins’ his entire life and was quick to point out who were his two favorite players – José Reyes and Asdrúbal Cabrera. As I glanced over to watch father and son enjoy their remaining moments on the ballfield, I couldn’t help but recall that heartfelt scene at the conclusion of Field of Dreams.

Ray Kinsella (son): “Hey Dad…you want to have a catch?”

John Kinsella (father): “I’d like that.”

This 1989 movie made such an indelible mark in the hearts of countless sports fans that can never be erased. And certainly Robert and Daniel will never forget that Monday afternoon at Citi Field as they stood behind a towering batting cage. I won’t either.

Thanks Robert. And thank you, Daniel Torres.

About Danny Torres

Bronx native, Danny Torres is a high school teacher, an avid baseball fan and freelance sports journalist. Besides his work with Latinosports.com, he has written for MLB.com, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y, the N.Y. Mets, the Puerto Rico Daily Sun and Manhattan Times. He was a frequent guest on 'Solamente Pelota', a now-defunct sports program on XM/Sirius satellite radio. In 2010, he contributed to an updated prologue for the re-released book, 'Clemente, the Enduring Legacy' by Kal Wagenheim. In 2011, as part of a series commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month on MLB.com, he contributed to a five-part series saluting the greatest Latino pitchers in baseball. Finally, in December, 2011, he participated in a panel discussion connected with the Smithsonian exhibition, 'Beyond Baseball, The Life of Roberto Clemente' in Baltimore, Maryland. In December, 2012, he appeared on the front page of 'El Diario/La Prensa', a NY Spanish daily newspaper and was featured in a five-part series dedicated to the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player, Roberto Clemente who tragically died 40 years ago.

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