A review by Jenni:
What I love about this episode:
"Families should stick together. Not be stuck with each
other." I like that quote from Tess.
"Tess says to be a good angel I need to absorb as much human
experience as I can." It's not that the quote from Gloria,
outta context, is really that powerful or anything. But that
line of thinking has been on my mind a lot lately. What if
an angel actually dwelt among us? What if he saw us as
children, was there as we married and/or had children, as we grew
old, and then as we died? What sort of angel would he
become? I have my theories. And drafted
stories... But I like that TBAA planted these ideas in my
head with lines like that and episodes like "There, But For the
Grace of God" and "Black Like Monica" and "Children of the Night"
and so many others in which the angels really and truly
experienced human life.
Mr. Aaron gives a much more natural performance than some people
who have appeared as themselves.
As I admit below, this episode really doesn't appeal to me.
But I do like the historical portion. Just the look of it
and getting a sense of what the early African American players had
to go through. I think maybe part of the issue is nowadays
modern baseball is so scandal-ridden. It's hard for me to
get invested in Ben and his fellow players. But equal rights
is always something worth getting invested in.
I've been listening to patriotic music lately. Seemed like a
positive thing to do. So I was moved by Tess' performance of
the anthem paired with the players coming together to salute the
flag. And while I'm thinking this had to have been filmed
before 9-11, I'm sure many people were especially moved to see and
hear her performance less than a month later.
"God gives His children gifts because He loves them."
Another good Tess quote. Just wish it had stopped there...
I definitely think knowing our heritage, as stressed here, is a
good thing. And honoring our ancestors, however we count
them, is important, too.
I only noticed this on second viewing but I love that both Candy
and Ben have 11 on their jerseys. Has a nice full circle
What I didn't love about
I really wish they hadn't given Monica that
new gift. Something about it is unsettling to me and it just
doesn't play as well as when Andrew or Tess would provide the
historical perspective. I understand that it was likely
added because Monica needed to become more independent. But
it just makes me think too much of Medium or something. The fact that I don't
recall any instances of it in S9 makes me think I'm not alone in
my distaste for it.
I'm afraid this episode just doesn't interest me or keep my
attention. The fact that I'm not a sports fan may be part of
it. Possibly also that there are no female characters save
Andrew didn't get to be in the flashbacks
meaning we were sorely deprived of Mr. Dye in period costuming.
Tess' quote about God giving gifts starts out great but then just
gets cruddy IMO. Angels don't have family, heritage, or
legacy? Umm... okay. Silly me thought they had a
Father and brothers and sisters in His fellow children. We
all have a divine heritage and nobody who devotes all their time
to spreading the message "God loves you!" can be said to not have
a legacy. And they don't have anyone to be proud of or pass
that pride onto?! Crikey. What is the
supervisor/trainee relationship if not that?! I'll agree
that they don't have those things in the exact same way we
do. But differences are stressed far more than necessary in
Could even dearly beloved Andrew convince me to eat a hot
How did I totally forget Babe Ruth was in this?
that made me feel swoony:
Anyone ever noticed Andrew has kinda bad table manners?
::giggle:: It's cute. But really... he's licking his
fingers here (he also does this in "Psalm 151," he chews with food
in his mouth in "Buy Me a Rose." Dude's kinda a mess.
And yet I love him.
In all seriousness, it "burns me up," too, to see kids get treated
poorly in sports to the point that they lose the love of the
game. This is what I mean about how Andrew sometimes seems
more sensitive and picks up on stuff when the others are just
Andrew tosses a baseball from hand to hand. Not only does it
make me happy to see him doing something playful but it's another
example of how his hands often didn't stay still. And I find
that endearing for some reason.
So I like that Tess quote that I typed out at the top of this
review. But in Dyeland stories Andrew sometimes quips that
the girls are "stuck with me." So I'd just like to go on
record as saying that if I knew Andrew, I'd be totally cool both
with sticking together with him and being stuck with him.
Sad... I want inside Andrew's head when he comments that his
baseball glove is "definitely from another time." I wanna
know its history with him!
That "Thank you for your time" right before he leaves Norm's shop
sounded really Southern and adorable. Or maybe the eye brow
raise right before it just enchanted me. I gonna be a
sapfest tonight, aren't I?
I love how into the game Andrew is. It's a lil disappointing
that I'm over halfway through this episode and Andrew hasn't been
given much to do. But I always wished they woulda given him
more boy time. (It's one of the reasons I wish Gloria hadn't
been a permanent angel... the gender imbalance just grew.)
So at least here he gets to enjoy some sports.
Music: Tess singing "Take Me
Out to the Ballgame" to start off. Then later she belts out
the National Anthem a capella.
This episode makes me nostalgic for Wild and Crazy Kids.
Tess talking about the eldest Mr. McCloud has a real significance
to it given her later bout with Alzheimer's.
Ben plays for the Richmond Braves. Candy played for the
Montgomery Marquees. October 24, 1934 is the date of Candy's
perfect game. Just sayin'.
One Tess is all I could handle and I'm not even drunk...
Sorry. I don't mean to sound mean but it's true. Two
Tesses in, say, that scene with Andrew in "The Violin Lesson"
would be a nightmare.
I would like it noted that I did not cry
during this episode. Instead, I cried while washing
dishes upon suddenly thinking of Andrew and his hat in "God Bless
the Child." Good gravy. And I teared up again watching
the CBS version which had a post 9-11 commercial. I forgot
how moving some of those were.
Scenes Hallmark cut:
- In the scene where Ben is running and the coach gives Monica
Norm's back story, there's a little cut from the top. The
coach hits a couple balls and gives Monica notes on another
player. Nothing crucial.
-They also cut some from the top of the act that follows Mr.
Aaron's scene. Ben is on the mound saying "I shall not
fail." He notes his dad is absent. He pitches, it's a
strike. Monica smiles. It pans to the other three
angels in the stands. Andrew, clearly impressed, notes that
"Ben's curve ball looks good!" There's a second
strike. You see someone in the stands with a poster bearing
Ben's name. And then it's where THC starts with Ben saying
Further on down
I decided there's little point in a four day weekend if it
doesn't involve an extra TBAA. :-)
Oh... yeah... I guess I really don't like Gloria's character at
parts. I forgot how seeing a forty-something woman behave
like a whiny child kinda makes my skin crawl.
I never really understood TBAA's desire to divorce the angels from
family symbolism. They're a family by virtue of having the
same Father. I think Human A-produces/adopts/marries-Human B
is a pretty narrow definition but one they seemed quite set
on. I can understand when Tess occasionally reminded Monica
that she was not her mother. But they are sisters...
I still wish we knew more about Andrew's mitt. I'm gonna sit
and imagine Joshua giving it to him and teaching Andrew and then
the two playing catch. Aww... I hope he got it fixed.
"You know there are a lot of things in this world that people
throw away because they think it's just too late to fix
them." Andrew giving us some food for thought.
I wish we'd been told more about how Monica's gift works.
Does the human have to give some sorta permission somehow or
no? Maybe this is addressed and I just don't remember.
Actually, I'm thinking no. Cause no one was even around to
give permission in "Shallow Water."
I love that Ben removes his cap for the "Star Spangled Banner"
even though it's a memory and Tess, one assumes, can't even see
him. He just knows it's right.
I like that orchestration when Babe Ruth first appears.
Tess' first couple lines of her statement to Norman are so
beautiful. But why do they not think angels have a family or
heritage or legacy? Family: God is the Father of angels and
humans and He only knows who else, we are all brothers and
sisters. Heritage: They were born of God Most High, Creator
of the Universe and All That Is. They have their
responsibilities, given to them by Him. They have their
storied history of Eden, of Bethlehem, of the Tomb. Legacy:
We're still talking about that angel with the flaming sword in
Eden! How is this not legacy? In TBAA-verse... does
Andrew not have a legacy with the Masons? How does this not
count? Procreation is not the sole way of obtaining any of
this. I do believe there are distinct differences between
angels and humans. But God as Father trumps all. That
makes us all kin without threatening the otherness and awe of the
the Episode Guide
photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and
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