Go the Distance: Cubs, Reds play at Iowa’s ‘Field of Dreams’
11:04 JST, August 12, 2022
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — David Bell’s grandfather, father and brother played in the majors. Bell spent 12 years in the big leagues himself and worked as a coach and front office executive before taking over as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
So yeah, “ Field of Dreams,” a movie about family and baseball, hits a little differently for him.
“Baseball’s a big part of our life,” Bell said, “and I thought that the movie did a great job of kind of just telling the story of how important baseball can be to families and just to people in general.”
“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute Thursday night when Bell’s Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of eastern Iowa, a short walk from the field where Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan filmed the 1989 movie.
Under a light blue sky with a few dashes of clouds, workers put the final touches on the major league park on a warm Wednesday afternoon. A couple of youth teams played on the field from the movie as Cubs and Reds fans wandered around the grounds.
The game comes 2 1/2 months after Liotta, who played the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, died in May at age 67.
Each team will wear special uniforms inspired by how the franchises looked in the early 20th century, and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto and Chicago outfielder Ian Happ will be on two-way mics for the broadcast on FOX.
The Reds are considered the home team, and the three-game set concludes with games in Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday.
But first, Iowa.
“Just really excited,” Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki said through a translator. “It’s not a field where you can play on every day.”
It’s the second go-round for Major League Baseball at the site in Dyersville — population of about 4,400 — after the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox put on a show last year in the first MLB game in Iowa.
After Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton rallied New York to the lead in the top of the ninth inning, Tim Anderson lifted Chicago to a 9-8 victory with a dramatic two-run homer, sending the energetic shortstop on a memorable trip around the bases as fireworks exploded through the night sky.
“It looked amazing. It looked packed,” Reds second baseman Jonathan India said. “It’s in the middle of nowhere, which is kind of crazy, to have a game like that. We’re going to go out there and enjoy it.”
Just like Jones’ wise author Terence Mann says to Costner’s Ray Kinsella in the film, people most definitely will come.
The makeshift ballpark seats only about 8,000 fans, less than the spring training homes for each team. The Cubs have strong ties to the Hawkeye State, going back to the franchise’s time on WGN-TV and continuing to today with its Triple-A club a couple of hours away in Des Moines.
“There’s moments in the season where you get something different that’s exciting, and making sure you appreciate that I think is the main thing for me,” Cubs manager David Ross said.
“We’ll be ready to go play.”
While people will come, will they watch at home? That could go a long way toward determining if the “Field of Dreams” site becomes an annual date on the major league calendar or maybe just an occasional one.
Last year’s game, featuring two playoff contenders filled with stars, attracted nearly 6 million viewers in what MLB said was the most-watched regular-season game on any network since 1998.
But the lowly Cubs and rebuilding Reds aren’t exactly last year’s Yankees and White Sox. The playoff hopes for the NL Central clubs evaporated a long time ago. There aren’t a lot of major names around, either.
But there is nostalgia for the movie, an Academy Award nominee for best picture, and the sure-to-be picturesque landscape surrounding the game.
“It’s a popular movie that resonates with a lot of people, and I’m no different,” Votto said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
"Sports" POPULAR ARTICLE
Shohei Ohtani Gets Married, He Says on His Official Instagram Account (Update 2)
Shohei Ohtani Says Wife Is ‘Ordinary Japanese Woman’; Couple Met 3 Years Ago, Got Engaged Last Year (UPDATE 1)
Ex-yokozuna Hakuho to Face Demotion in JSA over Violence by Stable’s Wrestler
Kiyoto Hirabayashi of Kokugakuin University Wins Osaka Marathon V; Does Not Break Qualifying Time for Paris Olympics
Super Bowl : Travis Kelce Brings Home the Hardware, Holds Up ‘End of the Bargain’ with Taylor Swift
JN ACCESS RANKING
- Current Account Surplus Doubles in ’23
- ‘All-country’ Stock Mutual Funds Popular with NISA Investors
- Japan Real Wages Fall at Steepest Pace in 9 Years in 2023
- Pressure Mounting for Wage Increases in Shunto Negotiations; Fears about the Response of Struggling SMEs
- North Korean Workers in China Riot over Unpaid Wages; 2,000 Occupy Factory, Kill Plant Manager