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MLB continues ‘Field of Dreams’ construction in Iowa, but will it come?

The Yankees and White Sox are supposed to play a game Aug. 13 at the ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa. And even though the pandemic might change that, baseball is still planning for it.
A look at the farm in Dyersville, Iowa, where the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams" took place.
A look at the farm in Dyersville, Iowa, where the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams" took place. [ Associated Press ]
Published May 15, 2020

CHICAGO — The video is 45 seconds of baseball bliss.

It begins with a shot of the site where the Aug. 13 “MLB at Field of Dreams Game” between the White Sox and Yankees is scheduled to take place. It ends at the diamond where the iconic 1989 movie Field of Dreams was filmed.

Major League Baseball provided a glimpse of the progress of the temporary ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa, with the video on its Instagram and Twitter pages last week. The caption underneath the Instagram post read: “Sweet (Field of) Dreams. Construction is still underway in Iowa.”

To paraphrase the famous line in the movie, workers are building it, but it remains to be seen if any teams will be coming to play a game there this season.

MLB and the players union are discussing a proposal for the 2020 season. The plan reportedly includes an 82-game regular season, with an emphasis on divisional and regional play.

According to reports, the season would start in early July, and the Sox would face the other American League Central teams (Twins, Indians, Royals and Tigers) along with teams from the National League Central (Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates and Reds). Games would be played in home ballparks if possible and, at least early on, with no fans in the stands.

What would it all mean for the possible first major-league game in Iowa?

The “MLB at Field of Dreams Game” was announced in August, with the Sox and Yankees scheduled to meet for one game at a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark on the Dyersville farm where the film starring Kevin Costner took place.

Dyersville is about 200 miles west of Chicago. The Sox and Yankees were two of the favorite teams of one of the film’s characters, according to the news release that accompanied the game’s announcement. Some of the temporary ballpark’s features aim to pay homage to Comiskey Park.

MLB branched out to unique settings for games in recent seasons. The Fort Bragg (N.C.) Game in 2016 featured the Braves and Marlins. The Royals played the Tigers last season in Omaha, Neb., home of the College World Series. The annual Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., began in 2017, with the Cubs playing the Pirates there last season.

Sox players quickly embraced the opportunity.

“That’s pretty cool — get to head out to Iowa and play right in the cornfields,” pitcher Lucas Giolito said Aug. 9.

Hotel rooms in the surrounding areas were gobbled up quickly, even though tickets for the game had not been made available. The website lists a series of events, from exhibits to musical acts to pickup baseball games, to keep fans occupied.

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Fox Sports, scheduled to televise the game nationally, ran commercials hyping the event during the World Series. And a crew arrived at Sox spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz., in early March to film more promotions, including shortstop Tim Anderson riding a tractor.

A little more than a week later, MLB suspended the remainder of spring training and postponed the start of the season indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the weeks that followed, MLB announced the cancellation of the Mexico Series between the Padres and Diamondbacks scheduled for April 18-19 in Mexico City, the Puerto Rico Series between the Mets and Marlins scheduled for April 28-30 in San Juan and the London Series between the Cubs and Cardinals on June 13-14.

Time will tell what’s in store for a potential 2020 season and the “Field of Dreams Game.”


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