The enigmatic Archibald "Moonlight" Graham in the "Field of Dreams" lamented never getting a chance to bat in the big leagues.
While a character in that film fantasy, Graham was actually a real person who distinguished himself as a doctor long after leaving baseball.
Nine years after Graham's cameo appearance in 1905, there was another no-hit wonder in the majors, Harry L. Kingman.
In 1914, he got up to bat - in fact, three times - but with only a walk and two strikeouts to show for it.
And, like Graham, Kingman's appearance in pro baseball proved a brief footnote in a meaningful life that, in the jargon of sports, made a real impact.
Kingman, who grew up in Claremont, is the only Pomona College grad to play in the big leagues. He spent most of his later life fighting for civil rights and working to end racial segregation and the Vietnam War.
"Harry Kingman is a very unique American citizen," wrote California Sen. Thomas H. Kuchel in 1964.
"His hopes and ambitions are for his country and not for himself. He believes in principle. `Equal justice under law' is, to Harry, an historic American principle and not a sham. His unselfish labors in our national Capitol have materially strengthened the case of decency in our country."
Kingman's road to activism oddly enough in the Chinese city of Tientsin where he was born in 1892, the son of American missionaries.
When Kingman was young, his father had medical problems forcing his family's return to the U.
Son Harry attended local schools and entered Pomona College as a bit of a hellion, finding pool and athletics much more appealing than academics.
Kingman excelled at the college in baseball, tennis, swimming, basketball and track and field, though barely remaining eligible during a less-than-glittering academic career.
After playing minor league baseball in the short-lived Southern California Baseball League, he signed with the Washington Senators and was quickly traded to the Yankees.
He got into three games for New York but it was obvious he wasn't destined to be a regular so he quit baseball.
After two years in the Army, Kingman spent six years in China as a missionary and teacher for the YMCA.
Then he was assigned to Berkeley to be director of the YMCA's Stiles Hall at the University of California.
Remember the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley during the 1960s and 1970s? Its roots go back into the 1930s and the two decades in which Kingman was a leader at Stiles Hall.
During that time, the residence hall was a hotbed for activism. Members opposed discrimination against blacks in the Bay Area while also promoting affordable housing for the poor. Japanese-Americans interned early in World War II got assistance there.
During the war, many blacks were being refused skilled jobs even with a shorthanded labor force.
Kingman was appointed by President Roosevelt as the West Coast director of the Fair Employment Practice Commission, an agency that worked to end discrimination in war industries.
Before U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist campaigns in Washington, California had its own red-baiting effort. It was in the form of state Sen. Jack B. Tunney's California Un-American Activities Committee.
Kingman, called to testify in 1946 about Berkeley's radical activities, was "lit into" by Tunney for its activism.
"I heartily disagree with Mt. Tunney's whole implication that the United States is so weak a nation that we must surrender the basic democratic civil liberties which our forebears fought to perpetuate," he recalled in a 1971 oral history at Berkeley.
"Our democracy still thrives on the clash of differing ideas, and still may profit from criticism by the humblist citizen."
Years later, after retiring from the YMCA, he and his wife Ruth formed the Citizen's Lobby for Freedom and Fair Play, mostly supported by their Social Security checks and some individual contributions.
The crown jewel in the Kingmans' activism was hundreds of hours successfully proding Congress to pass the landmark Civil Rights Act in 1964.
"Congress, which had dragged its feet for so long, has finally given powerful statutory force to securing America's noble ideals of equality of opportunity and justice for all," he wrote in a 1964 Pomona College alumni magazine.
The Kingmans retired from active political activities in 1968 and settled in Berkeley. Harry Kingman died at 90 in Oakland on Dec. 27, 1982.
In a "New Yorker" interview in 1957, Kingman recalled going out one day to Washington's ball park where he had made his baseball debut for the Yankees.
"I went down to home plate and stood there remembering what it had been like when I batted there forty-three years ago," he said.
"Then I walked over to the dugout, just as I had done that day. It seemed just as long and grim a walk as it ever had. The thought that I had struck out made me feel just as lousy at the age of 65 as it was when I was a kid."
Joe Blackstock writes on Inland Valley history. He can be reached at 909-483-9382, email at email@example.com or Twitter @JoeBlackstock