Category: Dreamers Tribune

The Dreamer’s Tribune: Karl’s 200 & 100 Milestones

Karl Gardner of the Credit River Care Bears reflects on 200 at-bats and 100 runs.

When Craig asked to me to sub for the Uncertainty a few years ago, I probably agreed less because I wanted to play softball and more because I wanted to see some friendly faces out in the sun on the occasional afternoon. However, after experiencing the deep community and ethic of care that the Uncertainty was organized around–and after finding that softball was actually super fun–I knew I’d be coming back! 

I’m so glad that we took these principles community, care, and friendly competition and built a league of our own upon them. I’ve played a handful of different organized sports over the years, and none have been as nourishing as the Field of Dreamers. Now, I’m always blabbing on to my friends about our league and how unique what we’ve built really is. And the walk-up songs? A+.

Reaching 200 at-bats under the lights at the Skydome has been so much fun. And to reach 100 runs (shouldn’t it be getting easier to run around those bases?!) is a testament to all the great teammates I’ve had who’ve batted me in on the Rouge River Ballsheviks, the Credit River Comrades, and this year the Credit River Care Bears. Looking forward to an amazing third season on the field with all you dreamers!

The Dreamers Tribune: Merle’s Farewell

Through three seasons with the Uncertainty and two seasons on the Rouge River (Ballsheviks and now Blush) as part of the Field of Dreamers I have learned and unlearned. I have learned to embrace conflict, to win with grace, to find victories in losses, to ask for help, and that other worlds and ways of being are truly possible. I struck out nearly every time I went up to bat during my first two seasons with the uncertainty. The experience of a team of people, most of whom I did not know, cheering for me as I struck out has changed me. Being valued even as I feel I am fucking up has taught me to value myself differently, to take more chances, to keep trying even when I am not immediately skilled.

I have played and I have captained and I have tried my darndest to be a leader on the field for the players that feel like they are fucking up. Fucking up can be a generative space to be in, where we recognize the ways we are incomplete and the ways we depend on each other and the ways we can grow. We all come to softball with our own stuff to work through and the field generously creates a space for us to shift our relationships to cooperation, competition and the land we are on.

I will be gone for the remainder of the season as I begin a PhD at the University of Minnesota. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the league: players, coordinating committee members, subs, people cheering from the side, partners and families and friends that have made this space possible through supporting us, feeding us, loving us. Thank you to the land we play on. I am so grateful for the opportunity to fuck up and be bad and still be cared for. Thank you.

The Dreamers Tribune: The Path to 300

What started as a little experiment to blow off some tension from days of high intensity migrant justice organizing with No One Is Illegal and maybe also as a way to find a space of commonality between my normie friends and my radical pals, the Insurgency Recreation Softball Team emerged. In the old days I’d write recaps of the games as though we were all guerillas in the mountains of Chiapas fighting against the forces of power and capital.  Little did I know that our team would come to be engaging in a political experiment, one that actually includes folks who have worked directly with the Zapatistas.

These last 11 years have gone by so quickly that I didn’t even know that I was approaching my 300th career hit this weekend. So when I stepped into the box in the top of the 6th and launched a screaming line drive that was nearly caught by my former Humber teammate and pal, Laura Pin, I touched 1st base with a feeling of nostalgia for the decade + of baseball-making that I’ve done with all of you.  Some of you have been on the ride since the very first season – I see you Ryan Hayes and Johann Juarez – and others like Jill Aoki-Barrett and Samira Banihashemi are playing along for the first time.  Our team has had legends like Saeed Basiri – who played wearing war-paint while drinking a perrier and smoking a cigarette in the outfield. Like Adrian Rodill – who once shared a diamond with former National League MVP Joey Votto, but spent the better part of six season helping crush our opponents with incredible power and defense. Like Kim Lehmann – who gave us such great teachings about thinking of play as a site of politics and relationship-building. Like Andrew Thompson – who was the first to introduce short, short, short-shorts to the league.

We play among legends.
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