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With sweat dripping from his brow and giant plug of chaw in his cheek, Hanks delivers the oft-quoted “There's no crying in baseball” tirade to a sobbing female player whose miscue could have cost her team.
The rant was significant enough to beat out Belushi's “Toga! Toga!” line from “Animal House” and Bogart's “Of all the gin joints in all the towns” from “Casablanca” on the American Film Institute's list of greatest movie quotes of all time.
It was the only line of the film that elicited a belly laugh as big as Veterans Stadium from my father.
Dad saw the brilliance in Hanks' performance and, as a ballplayer and coach in his younger years, knew the frustration of players not executing the fundamentals of the game.
As a 12-year-old, it just made me laugh.
Of course, there's crying in baseball. Just three years earlier, I sat in my boyhood home on my parents' bed watching Phillie Mike Schmidt give a tearful retirement speech. Dad even stepped aside to wipe away a tear.
But there hasn't been any crying in baseball for me since, not even in 1993 when Joe Carter of Toronto dashed so many Philadelphia dreams.
That is, until a year ago.
It was July of 2007 when Dad was admitted to the hospital for the second time that summer. The doctors initially thought it was pancreatitis, but the jaundice and weight loss were harbingers of something much worse.
The cancer diagnosis came soon after and, with it, Dad's decision not to seek treatment.