Tomorrow marks what would’ve been Ray Eames’s 100th birthday. We’re speaking, of course, about the little lady at the helm of this motorcycle—not to be confused with her husband, and Kempt Icon, Charles. That means she was also at the helm of the most influential husband-and-wife duo in 20th-century American design. The Eames oeuvre has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance over the past few years—by now, Tumblr has probably conditioned you to recognize their molded wood lounger or fiberglass shell chairs on sight. But there was plenty more innovation (and quirkiness) coming out of the Eames design studio: educational math videos, textiles and art.
Drive 50 miles in any direction this summer and you’ll likely be steps away from a minor league ballpark. You won’t see Pujols or A-Rod there, unless they’re rehabbing a high ankle sprain or the like, but you also won’t see a concession stand selling shrimp tempura rolls and $25 Budweisers. As James Earl Jones said in Field of Dreams, “Baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.”
Save for Fenway, Wrigley and perhaps Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, nowhere is that nostalgic itch scratched more satisfyingly than under a century-old grandstand at a minor league park, cold beer and hot dog in hand, watching a couple dozen young ballplayers chase a dream shared by just about every American boy who ever lived.