Family, Faith & Fun

The Greatest

David painting

David and his catcher. Painting by “Aunt” Peggy Chantlos.

I drive a pickup truck, so naturally, I listen to country music.

The first time I heard Kenny Rogers’ song, “The Greatest,” we were on a family road trip somewhere between Miami and Vermont. The soft country ballad started playing and I was immediately enthralled. Great lyrics, catchy tune, and a story about a little boy playing baseball. Having a young baseball player sleeping quietly in the back of the van, it was an instant hit for me.

As the song goes, the little boy is standing alone in a field dreaming of his future as a big league ball player. He can hear the crowd cheering as his game winning hit is just moments away. But he’s down to his last strike. The pressure is on. It’s the moment for which every little baseball player dreams.

There was no question my little baseball player sleeping in the back was filled to overflowing with that dream. His young life was already logged full of countless hours swinging his bat, playing catch, and dreaming of great things to come. The more I listened, the more the song seemed to be written about my son.

The last few lyrics are simply brilliant. So much so that as soon as the song ended, our family vacation took an immediate detour as I drove off the highway in search of a record store until I owned a copy.

It goes without saying that not long after, I had my little baseball player standing in a field swinging his bat so we could produce our own version of, “The Greatest.” So here it is for you to also enjoy — and perhaps remember your dreams, too. Just be certain you watch and listen all the way to the end. And by the way, while young David, the star of this video, was none too happy about having to purposefully swing and miss, his dream remains very much alive.


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