By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
June 21, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- On a cornfield in Iowa, just over four hours across the Nebraska state line, James Earl Jones delivered one of the greatest movie speeches of all time in Field of Dreams.
His character, Terence Mann, spoke to Kevin Costner's Ray Kinsella about the importance of our national pastime to our culture.
That America has, "Been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again, but baseball has marked the time."
That the game, "Reminds us all that once was good and it could be again."
But it's baseball that's been rebuilt and destroyed over and over again in the 30 years since Field of Dreams was released. An era of steroids and lockouts that changed the majors forever.
A travel ball culture and politics that have completely altered the fabric of youth baseball, and not always for the better.
A college game in a seemingly constant state of evolution; growing, yet losing so many people and things that made it different and special.
Yet despite all that, Mike Martin has never changed. The man who always just wanted a chance remained that way.
Success is a drink, both intoxicating and addictive. It changes people and so often, it only leaves them wanting more.
But, never Martin.
Untainted by scandal, un-corrupted by success. A man who, whit his gracious smile and admirable tip of the cap, only wished to make the game better as well as the lives of those who played it for him.
We now know that Martin's career will end without a title. That there is no fairy tale ending.
But that, in and of itself, is almost fitting.
The story of Mike Martin is not one of the man who always got what he wanted, but one of the man who didn't and yet remained grateful, despite no fairy tale ending.
A man who will most certainly be "happily ever after," with his family, his faith and his came, all of which he loves so much.
And so, our pastime will continue to change at all levels and it's now Florida State baseball's turn to be erased like a blackboard and rebuilt.
But, despite all that, the one constant will remain Mike Martin.
11 has truly marked the time.
A reminder of all that was good, is good and can be good again.