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The Rookie

I just watched Disney’s 2002 movie The Rookie again. Dennis Quaid plays Jimmy Morris, the high school teacher and baseball coach who becomes the oldest rookie in Major League Baseball over ten years after injury forced him to retire as a minor leaguer. The show blows me away every time.

One of the story’s most dramatic moments comes after the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (and Jimmy himself) discover that he can throw 98 miles per hour. They immediately want Jimmy to play for one of their farm teams. He could have another shot at chasing his dream, but it would mean leaving his wife and children for a few months in Middle-of-nowhere, Texas. Jimmy goes to his father for advice, and the punk says this.

“Your grandfather once told me that it was okay to think about what you want to do until it was time to start doing what you were meant to do.”
Jimmy walks away depressed. Next scene he’s ranting to his wife about how his dad must constantly think about how to destroy him. But he had it all wrong.

I think Jimmy’s father had unknowingly told him to go play ball. What Jimmy wanted to do and what he was meant to do were one and the same. Most of the time they are. It’s just hard for Jimmy and us to see that in the heat of the moment if we’re either not honest or confident enough about what we really want to do and what we’re meant to do.

And from that perspective, Jimmy’s dad is really saying that at some point we have to stop the pathetic debates over what we want to do and start doing what, deep down inside ourselves, we know we're meant to do.

Posted by Ian Ybarra on 8 November 2005