Most people remember the famous line in Field Dreams – and no, we aren’t talking about, “if you build it, he will come.” The line, so perfectly delivered by Kevin Costner, “dad, do you want to have a catch,” still makes grown men tear up because it reminds these grown men of their youth and that connection with their father.
And often times, having a catch with your dad in the backyard leads to great memories that reach far beyond baseball or even sports. Other times, it plants a seed for the love of the game and can lead to playing baseball not only in high school but in college.
For Kade Cupp, it ended up being all of that and so much more.
“I used to play catch with my dad all the time when I was little,” says Cupp, now a senior at Huron HS. “He would teach me different kinds of pitches and it was the coolest thing ever to me.”
That’s the young boy talking – coolest thing ever!
As that young boy began to grow, he discovered other parts of the great game that intrigued him and tugged at him.
“Baseball takes the most overall skill to be good at,” says Cupp. “I love how much of a mental game it is as it is physical.”
Cupp, who was both a shortstop and starting pitcher during his career with the River Rats, didn’t play baseball his first year at Huron but got in the batter’s box his sophomore year.
“Most of our class except for one were all on JV my sophomore year,” he says. “I was on varsity for the second half of that season.”
As a junior, he earned not only a roster spot on the varsity team but also a starting lineup role with a talented Huron team. He batted .364 and was one of the top pitchers on the team along with Joe Wade. They formed a dominant one-two punch at the top of coach David Brooks’ rotation.
Cupp earned All-Conference Honorable Mention his junior season.
“The highlight of my season last year was beating Pioneer and Skyline,” he said. “We knew how much better we were than them coming into the series and to get the jobs done felt great. Especially in Districts, coming from behind and beating Pioneer like we did.”
Unfortunately, Cupp and the River Rats won’t get to throw a pitch, turn a double play or knock in a winning run this season. It hasn’t been easy on anyone.
“It’s been awfully difficult,” says Cupp. “We were going to be a very good team with seven returning starters and a load of pitching compared to last year. We were going to take what’s ours and win Districts and the goal was a state championship.”
While they will never get to chase that dream, Cupp says there are still plenty of great memories in his Huron career box score, and it’s the players and coaches on the lineup card he’s going to miss the most.
“I’ll miss my teammates and my coaches,” he says. “I know I’ll be friends with my teammates for life because these are my closest friends. Some of my best friends are on the team and I’ll miss being able to do what I love with them. I’ll also miss the best coach I’ve ever had in Coach Brooks. Without him nothing is possible and he loves the game and us with all his heart.”
Cupp is trying to accept and deal with these sudden changes the best he can. “You have to be able to accept it,” he says. “I’ve made my peace with it even though it’s hard not being able to do what I love with my brothers.
“I miss school a lot because school means playing baseball. I’ve been working out, doing drills that I can, and playing a lot of Call of Duty with my teammates.”
His call of duty in a few months will be taking his education and the game of baseball to the next level. He will be playing baseball on a scholarship next year at Madonna University.
“I’m going to be most likely studying nursing,” says Kade, the son of Kristen Smither, Dan Cupp and Jimmy Jarvis (stepdad). “I picked this school because they have a very good baseball program and has every program I am potentially interested in school-wise.”
In the, “want to have a catch,” clip on YouTube for Field of Dreams, this was one of the comments – felt it was worth sharing.
“Took a girl I really liked to see this film – first date. Blubbered uncontrollably (along with pretty much every guy in the theater) during this scene. She was not impressed – guess I was too ‘wimpy’ for her. That was the end of that potential relationship. After that, knowing I would choke up, I rented the DVD, and watched it with a new girlfriend. She cried too. Married her!