While Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders did quote the movie “Field of Dreams” in his remarks before a softball game at the Field of Dreams Aug. 19, it was a paraphrase of a Nelson Mandela quote he used to explain his vision for America.
“Nelson Mandela said, ‘Everything is impossible until we make it happen,’” Sanders said in brief remarks. “We are going to make it happen, and I don’t mean just this campaign. I’m talking about transforming America.”
His remarks touched on guaranteeing health care for all Americans, making the minimum wage $15 per hour, free college tuition for all at public universities and colleges, and leading the way on climate change by taking on the fossil fuel industry.
During his remarks before the game, there was no mention of President Donald Trump or any of Sanders’ rivals seeking the Democratic nomination.
He said his message was consistent with the message of the movie. “If we have the courage to think big, if we have the courage to take on the greed of the powerful special interests, if we stand together and not allow anybody to divide us by the color of our skin, or where we were born, or our religion or sexual orientation, if we stand together for a common purpose, we can fulfill that dream.”
The softball game featured Sanders and his team of campaign staffers against a team made up of members of the Leaders, Believers, Achievers Foundation (LBA). The LBA team defeated Sanders’ team, the Revolutionaries, 14-8, in the six-inning contest.
On hand to do commentary during the game was actress Susan Sarandon and freelance journalist, former ESPN Magazine writer and granddaughter of Yogi Berra, Lindsay Berra.
An estimated crowd of 650 included a diverse mix of young and old. Among those in attendance was MFL MarMac teacher, Cheryl Drowns. Drowns, who previously taught at Beckman Catholic, said she is a strong supporter of Sanders.
“I like that he works for people and isn’t selling out to corporations,” she explained. “His policies will help the working class.”
Shafer, Minn. resident Tom Hagerty rode his bicycle to the field from Dyersville. “I’m prepping for a big Wisconsin bike ride next year. This is my first time at the Field of Dreams. I’ve been a big supporter of Bernie since 2016.”
Sarandon was in Iowa with Sanders during his 2016 campaign. “I’ve been here before the last time around. I love the people of Iowa and their support of Bernie. I feel somewhat connected to the field with my baseball background because of my role in Bull Durham.”
Sarandon’s son, Jack Robbins, is a staffer for Sanders and hit a home run in the game. “I’m proud to say my son hit a home run at the Field of Dreams,” she said. “This is my first time at the field. It’s gorgeous out here.”
She added she’ll be back on the campaign trail with Sanders in the future. “I’m going back to New York tomorrow, but whenever I’m free and the campaign wants me, I’ll be there.”