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"Morris knows that his passion and his dream are one and the same, and he applies himself wholeheartedly to accomplish his dream."

 

Raymond Teague is the author of Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies That
Inspire, Explore and Empower
, from Unity House. 

He is an award-winning
journalist, an editor of spiritual publications, a popular New Thought
speaker, and a lifelong movie buff. 

His book is available by clicking the "Buy the Book" link above or by clicking here.

  Raymond Teague, 
"Reel Spirit" Movie Reviews

The Rookie
(2002, 127 minutes, G) 

"Impossible dreams" need not be impossible, as this inspirational true story of baseball player Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) proves.

The film opens with the legend that St. Rita, the patron saint of impossible dreams, twice blessed the small town of Big Lake, Texas - once at the oil town's founding and later with the success of Morris, a high school science teacher and baseball coach who always dreamed of pitching in the major leagues.

Morris had given up on his boyhood dream and had settled into life as a husband, father and teacher. As a young man, Morris played in the minor leagues for five years, but arm injuries forced him to leave the field in 1989.

While coaching the losing Big Lake Owls baseball team, Morris gives his players a pep talk. "You quit on me, and worst of all, you quit on yourself," he tells them.

"I'm talking about having dreams, and all of that starts right here," Morris continues, pointing inward.

One of the students is brave enough to ask Morris, who has demonstrated to them that he can still throw, "What about you? You're the one who should be wanting something more."

Suddenly, the pep talk is turned on Morris and he must confront the reasons for quitting on his own "impossible" dream.

Morris accepts the players' bargain that if they win district and go to the state championship, he will try out again for the minor leagues, with the hope of going on to the majors.

Just as Morris cares about his players, so the team and the townspeople care about him. The relationships show how important it is for each of us to have others believe in our abilities and dreams. Having others believe in him gives Morris the incentive to believe in himself, so that when the day arrives when he registers to try out for the minors, he says, "I'm here for me" and truly believes in himself.

At a try out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Morris discovers, much to his surprise, that he is throwing at 98 mph - much better than in his earlier years.

With success, however, come some lingering doubts. In overcoming those doubts, another's help is needed. Morris goes to his father, with whom he has a stilted relationship, for advice. His father tells Jim that his grandfather used to say that it is okay to think about what you want to do, until it is time to start doing what you are meant to do.

Morris doesn't at first recognize the advice as being valuable. The idea is extremely important in making dreams come true. Too often people talk about their dreams and consider and analyze them for so long, that they miss the opportunities to accomplish them. They fail to realize that action eventually must accompany the desire in order to make dreams come true; procrastination doesn't do it.

To accomplish our dreams, it also is necessary to recognize what it is for which we have a true passion. At another time of doubting his decision to be a baseball player at his age (mid-30s), Jim's wife, Lorri (Rachel Griffiths), asks him, "Do you still love it? Just think about that, okay?"

When he looks within, as he told his high school team to do, Morris knows that his passion and his dream are one and the same, and he applies himself wholeheartedly to accomplish his dream.

The Rookie, written by Mike Rich and directed by John Lee Hancock, is an honest and emotionally satisfying film that contains worthwhile, realistic lessons to inspire dreamers of all ages.

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