The baseball community as a whole owes a great debt to Kevin Costner for providing the template of what an actor playing the sport should look like. He managed to be a ballplayer out there from Bull Durham through For Love of the Game. That's just honest, important work. To understand the importance of passing as a decent athlete on screen seems obvious but we've seen it go wrong so many times before. Never with Costner, who always looked comfortable with a bat in his hand or shinguard on his leg.
Costner, now 66, is the guest of honor for Major League Baseball's Field of Dreams game tonight. He showed up in Iowa or Heaven yesterday and walked onto a Dyersville diamond to loosen up for first-pitch duties and showed that, yeah, he still has it.
Make no mistake, there's still some zip on those throws. And defensive prowess to burn as at one point he gets up for a high toss. It's a baseball player confident in his baseball, smooth as can be.
All of this to say, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Costner could hop into any beer league with players 30-40 years his junior and still contribute. You just know he'd figure out a way to put the ball in play and be a factor on the basepaths with guile overcoming his veteran legs.
Actually as I'm saying this, one wonders if MLB didn't miss an enormous opportunity play in tonight's game. Tell me that wouldn't have gotten some eyeballs.