On Aug. 12, among the corn stalks in the heart of Iowa, we saw the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox play a game in honor of the 32nd anniversary of the motion picture that warmed the hearts of baseball fans for decades — “Field of Dreams,” starring James Earl Jones, Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan.
Recreating movie moments in real life — isn’t that just a gut punch right into our nostalgic feelings?
Everything about the day felt like magic. Tickets were available to a select crowd — nearly $400 for bleacher seats — and every seat was filled in Dyersville, Iowa. The old school uniforms were perfect. And 5.9 million viewers tuned in via Fox Sports, making it the most watched regular season game in the past 16 years.
To top it off, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson launched a pitch from the Yankees’ Zack Britton into the corn. Fireworks exploded as Anderson rounded third to be mobbed by his teammates at home to end the first game at the Field of Dreams.
Watching the game left my heart feeling full. This game shows the potential for incorporating popular films into real-life sporting events, if it’s done right.
I know the numbers support a repeat of the Field of Dreams game.
I am all for it.
I recognize that playing a baseball game in Iowa is a lot easier than, say, honoring “The Sandlot,” or having the Tampa Bay Buccaneers perform the pregame routine of the T.C. Williams Titans from “Remember the Titans.”
But I’m still excited for the next two teams to emerge from the Iowa corn and take the field.
Corey Kirk is sports editor for the Baker City Herald.