Field of Dreams Game

From BR Bullpen

The Field of Dreams Game is a major league baseball game that was first played between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox on August 12, 2021 at a temporary ballpark erected near the field built for the movie Field of Dreams in a cornfield in Dyersville, IA. It was the first major league game to be played in the state of Iowa since the days of the National Association. The game was originally scheduled to be played on August 13, 2020, but fell victim to the Coronavirus pandemic. When the game was played, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced that there would be future editions as well.

The presence of the White Sox at the game was important, given the 1989 film that inspired the game, and the book it was based on, Shoeless Joe (1982), both feature prominently members of the "Black Sox", the tainted 1919 Chicago White Sox who threw the 1919 World Series, and especially their best player, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. They were chosen as the home team for the game.

The temporary ballpark seated 8,000, with tickets only sold to Iowa residents through a lottery. Players entered the field through a gate in the outfield, emerging from a neighboring corn field in a scene worthy of the movie. The ballpark's design was modeled on old Comiskey Park and both teams wore throwback uniforms modelled on those of 1919, although for the Yankees, this was hardly noticeable given how little their uniform has changed over the years. Actors Kevin Costner, the star of the movie, and Dwier Brown, who played his father, were both present. In an interesting twist, Iowa native Pat Hoberg was the home plate umpire. While the seats were dismantled after the game, the field itself was preserved for future use.

The game itself was an absolute barnburner, featuring no less than 8 home runs hit into the cornrows beyond the outfield fence, and a thrilling ending. The White Sox scored first on a solo shot by Jose Abreu off Andrew Heaney in the bottom of the 1st. The Yankees replied with a three-run shot by Aaron Judge off Lance Lynn in the 3rd, but in the bottom of that inning, Chicago scored four, including three on a long ball by Eloy Jimenez. Seby Zavala added to the lead with a two-run blast in the 4th. Brett Gardner made a terrific catch against the center field wall to deprive Jimenez of extra bases in the bottom of the 5th, then brought the Yankees closer with a long ball of his own in the 6th. It was 7-4 for Chicago entering the top of the 9th, but closer Liam Hendriks fell apart, allowing a lead-off single to Tyler Wade, and with two outs another long ball to Judge to bring the Yankees within one, a walk to Joey Gallo and a homer to Giancarlo Stanton to put the Yankees ahead, 8-7. But the White Sox were not done; with closer Aroldis Chapman unavailable, Zack Britton was asked to close out the win and failed as well, allowing a one-out walk to Zavala before Tim Anderson hit a walk-off homer into the night, the ball landing in the corn stalks to end the game.

The game was played in absolutely perfect weather and featured thrilling overhead shots featuring the ballfield, the endless corn fields, a corn maze built just beyond the right field fence, the original ballfield built for the movie, where, appropriately, random visitors were playing catch, as well as the farmhouse, now turned into a museum. There was a hot air balloon overflying the area at one point, just beyond the fence as the sun was setting, and Hollywood could not have dreamt of better visuals. The game received a very high amount of media attention and coverage and was one of the most successful promotions organized by MLB in recent years.

The second edition took place on August 11, 2022, with the Chicago Cubs defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 4-2. No game is scheduled for 2023, when the site will undergo extensive renovations. In 2024, MLB decided to spice things up by moving the game to another historic setting - Rickwood Field in Birmingham, AL, the oldest functional ballpark in North America and a former Negro Leagues park.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "Excitement builds for Field of Dreams Game",, August 9, 2021. [1]
  • Anthony Castrovince: "Yanks, White Sox to play at ‘Field of Dreams’",, August 8, 2019. [2]
  • Daniel P. Finney: "Field of Dreams: From outfield windows to camera angles, how MLB will create baseball magic in Iowa", USA Today, August 17, 2019. [3]
  • Alyson Footer, Bryan Hoch and Scott Merkin: "9 coolest moments from Field of Dreams Game",, August 13, 2021. [4]
  • Thomas Harrigan: "Field of Dreams game set for Aug. 12, 2021",, November 23, 2020. [5]
  • Bryan Hoch: "What to know about Field of Dreams Game",, August 12, 2021. [6]
  • Scott Merkin: "TA scripts Dream ending with walk-off HR",, August 13, 2021. [7]
  • Jon Morosi: "Gaze at the grandeur! Iowa's Field of Dreams",, May 14, 2021. [8]
  • Jon Paul Morosi: "Field of Dreams: Reality eternally on deck",, August 11, 2021. [9]

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