“People will come, Ray.

They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past.

‘Of course, we won’t mind if you look around,’ you’ll say. ‘It’s only twenty dollars per person.’

They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game, and it’ll be as if they’d dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s 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, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.

Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

* * * * * * * *

Now click here for the audio magic.

Does it get any better than that? Seriously. Does it?

And does anyone actually say the word “baseball” better than Jones in that speech? It’s as if we’ve been saying it wrong all these years, forgetting that it’s actually two words, splendiforously tied together. Honestly, I’d support any bill that says for the rest of our lives, whenever anyone uses the word “baseball”, Jones’ pronunciation should simply be superimposed over it, via some advanced computer chip thingee secured in our brains.

I’mma start a movement, my sisters and brothers. And that movement is the “Terrance Mann for MLB President” movement. Sure, he’s a fictional character, which means he’d be tough to secure for most of the important union meetings. But, as a fictional character, he’s also likely to be 34% more effective than Bud Selig. And that’s gotta count for something.

Better yet, get James Earl Jones to portray Terrance Mann full-time, and be the de facto commissioner. Gotta be a better gig than those Verizon ads. He’d just travel from park to park to recite this masterpiece. Shaking hands, laughing that booming laugh as he pulls on his suspenders. Telling kids to put down the drugs and pick up a baseball. I can see it. And it’s beautiful.

It’s opening day, folks. Stay home. Watch baseball.