I’m super late to this party, but I finally just saw Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz. One word. Wow. Goose bump city. Yes, this film probably moved me a little bit differently than most being that I grew up in a house filled with music from The Band, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, etc. Yes, I grew up in Southern California. Yes, my parents were fringe hippies (Coach Mike Mayne!) Yes, we had the VW van with flowers painted on hubcaps.
All that said, this movie is flat out amazing. And for the purposes of this blog, what I’d like to do is make a connection between the performances in the film to baseball performance. Crazy? Yep, probably…but bear with me. I might just pull this off.
After I watched it, I made my 7 year old daughter watch the clip below with me. It’s my favorite part of the movie and I wanted to get her reaction. Check it out.
Ok, so her reaction? She loved it. Her exact words were, “they’re really good cause they play with their soul.” Bingo. I mean there’s a lot of talented bands, a lot of great voices, but not a lot of what The Staples and The Band and Martin Scorsese did right there. That clip had soul.
So here’s the connection. That feeling I got when I watched The Last Waltz is exactly the same feeling I get when I watch a baseball player…a baseball player who competes with his heart. There’s a lot of great athletes out there and a lot of great ballplayers, but not too many with this look in their eyes…there’s not too many George Bretts.
There’s not too many guys who are going to ride onto the field on a dirt bike like Robin Yount.
Not too many guys who take a hack like Reggie.
This is playing the game without fear. Without a safety net. When I see pictures like this, I see guys who are willing to take risks, are willing to look like fools, are brave enough to play with their heart regardless of what people might think. And to me, that is inspiring in the same exact way that The Band inspired me in The Last Waltz.
Do you get it? Did I make the connection? Or was this a complete dud. Was it a good try at least? What inspires you…gives you goose bumps (G rated)? Lemme know. Till next time, be well.
And oh yeah, I’m adding Levon Helm onto my all-time favorite drummer list.