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'Field of Dreams' will host its first MLB game. Sort of

Jacob Bogage

By Jacob Bogage The Washington Post

Published August 9, 2019

'Field of Dreams' will host its first MLB game. Sort of
In 1989, a film studio built a ballfield in an Iowa cornfield. Soon, Major League Baseball will come.

The "Field of Dreams" movie set in Dyersville, Iowa, will host the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox for a 2020 regular-season game, MLB announced Thursday.

The league will build a temporary 8,000-seat stadium adjacent to the field where, in the film, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Smoky Joe Wood, Mel Ott and Gil Hodges walked out from the acres of corn to play ball one last time beneath "a sky so blue it would hurt your eyes just to look at it," as Burt Lancaster's character, Moonlight Graham, said.

"Field of Dreams," adapted from W.P. Kinsella's 1982 novel "Shoeless Joe," is a fantasy-sports drama starring Kevin Costner as a struggling farmer who plows over part of his cornfield at the risk of foreclosure to reconnect with the game of his youth. It was nominated for three Academy Awards and was preserved in 2017 by the Library of Congress for "cultural, historic and aesthetic importance."

The film, which grossed $84.4 million at the box office, has attracted tourists to the farm in northeast Iowa for years.

"As a sport that is proud of its history linking generations, Major League Baseball is excited to bring a regular season game to the site of Field of Dreams," Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "We look forward to celebrating the movie's enduring message of how baseball brings people together at this special cornfield in Iowa."

Construction will begin next week, according to a league news release, and the two teams will play on Aug. 13, 2020. The contest will count as a Chicago home game. MLB chose the White Sox to play at the famous field because of the team's connection to the movie via the Black Sox scandal. Fox will broadcast the game nationally.

The ballpark's design will mimic Chicago's Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox from 1910 to 1990, with its outfield shape and bullpens beyond the center field fence. The wall in right field will include windows so fans can see the cornfield outside the stadium. Fans will walk through a pathway through that field, where the corn tops measure more than 9 feet tall, to reach the ballpark.

"It'll be surrounded by corn," Tom Mietzel, CEO of Go The Distance Baseball, which owns the field, told the Des Moines Register. "It's going to be beautiful. The layout is incredible. People are going to be awestruck by how incredible it's going to be."

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