Dream Pitcher

updated 08/24/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/24/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT

YOU GROW UP PLAYING BASEBALL AND dreaming," says Timothy Bus-field, 35, "and then all those dreams are erased." No more. Bus-field, who played Elliot in ABC's thirtysomething and Kevin Costner's brother-in-law in 1989's Field of Dreams, has been summoned from the bull pen of life to pitch for the semipro Sacramento Smokeys this summer. In five starts the sidearming righthander has a 2-1 record. "These," he says, "have been the best five baseball games of my life."

After playing in high school (in Michigan and Arkansas), Bus-field got a pair of pro tryouts, but he says, "I was slow, real slow." He last pitched in 1984 in a Los Angeles adult league. Between starts, Bus-field acts and directs in local theater in Sacramento, near where he lives with his second wife, Jennifer, 31, a homemaker, and their three children. Not everyone is thrilled by his comeback. "I really wanted to do well against him," says Cliff Carattini, manager of the Campbell Rockies, who were thrashed by Bus-field's Smokeys, 9—2. "I hated thirtysomething."

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