Pop Cuesta is standing in the middle of Jefferson High School's baseball field, just like he has for the past 37 years, watching about 20 first–and second-year students practice the hook slide, wondering what happened to the fundamentals. He shakes his head as one kid runs toward an imaginary second base and plows into the ground like a sleepy water buffalo. Pop shakes his head. He sends the young junior varsity players on a run around the outfield perimeter. "Let's go, son! Get moving," he shouts calmly. He gathers them around first base and asks, "Does anyone know what a one-way lead is?" He shakes his head again as only a few kids raise their hands. They listen closely as Pop–Coach Cuesta to them–goes over the fundamentals of base running. "Fundamentals," he will repeat repeatedly during the two-hour practice, "base running, bunting, sliding. Nobody taught them to you, so I'll have to teach you all."
"Janie, come on, get up!" she said, shaking me roughly out of a lazy Saturday morning reverie. Blinking sleepy eyes, I groaned in short-lived protest and then rolled out of bed. The gruff intruder on this humid summer morning was not my mother or one of my siblings. It was the local park director, Mochine Fernandez (pronounced "Mo-cheen"), rousing my two sisters and me to play a softball game. Quickly getting ready, we hurried out to her waiting station wagon. There were three more stops, and after rounding up her softball team, we headed across town to play ball.
The one constant throughout all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good and what could be again. -James Earl Jones, Field of Dreams
"THE BEST OF THE BEST"
Winston Churchill liked the mild Optimo cigar manufactured by A. Santaella Cigars, and so did Babe Ruth. Tampa was one of "The Babe's" favorite places to visit–he had made his mark here on April 4, 1919, in a pre-season game the Boston Red Sox played against the New York Giants. He knocked a 587-foot home run out of the Tampa Fair Grounds, over a fence, and into a furrow in a farmer's field!