Major League Baseball announced that on August 13, 2020 the new Field of Dreams (© Universal City Studios LLC) ballpark, “MLB at _Field of Dreams_” will be ready for the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankee game played in a temporary ballpark constructed in the cornfield next to the original ballfield used for the movie on the Lansing Family Farm, in Dyersville, Iowa. MLB and BrightView Holdings, Inc. plan to design the facility like the old Comiskey Park. Construction on the historical ballpark began this week and a video was release today showing drone footage of the area where it will be built next the original Field of Dreams. The Sports Techie community blog loves sport movies of all varieties. Baseball is still the American pastime, right.
This amazing event is presented by GEICO as part of the GEICO Summer Series.
Social Media Fun
MLB’s tweet on August 8 when this news was released is awesome because it features a famous clip from the flick when Number 99, Shoeless Joe Jackson, played by Yankees outfielder, Aaron Judge, asks Kevin Costner, “Hey, is this heaven?” Kevin responds in awe, “No, it’s Iowa.”
Comiskey Park Redesign
Shoeless Joe played in the old Comiskey Park in Chicago, the White Sox home from 1910-1990. The new Field of Dreams ballpark (see rendering in 3D) will pay homage to the old facility. The bullpens are to be built behind the centerfield wall, it will have similar outfield shapes and there are plans to construct the right field fence as a transparent wall with windows enabling the 8,000 fans in attendance and the millions watching on television, digital devices and computers, the ability to see the corn fields swaying in the late summer wind, assuming there is no drought preventing them from growing as our world fights rapid climate change.
The fan experience will be unique for the lucky fans in attendance as they can walk on a pathway that passed through the cornfields and the original Field of Dreams site. The path ends up at the temporary ballpark where fans can sit and enjoy the ambiance as if they were in the movie, 30-years ago this year.
“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,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the league’s announcement of the game. “We look forward to celebrating the movie’s enduring message of how baseball brings people together at this special cornfield in Iowa.”
Denise Stillman and a group of investors purchased the field in 2011 and made it a goal to preserve the Field of Dreams and create it to be a special place for baseball fans, tournament players and families. Stillman began first worked with MLB in 2015 leading up to this once-in-a-lifetime event.
The Game 101
The White Sox and Yankees airs on FOX TV at 7 p.m. EST. This marks the first MLB to ever be played in Iowa as well.
Jerry Reinsdorf, Chairman of the Chicago White Sox, said: “Field of Dreams is an iconic, generational baseball story built upon a deep love of the game that transcends even the most impossible of circumstances. The filmmakers tell a beautiful story that resonates to this day. It is an incredible honor for the White Sox franchise to be the home team against the Yankees in a special setting that will capture everyone’s imagination just like the movie does. It seems very fitting that 30 years after the film’s debut, MLB will build a ballfield in an Iowa cornfield where we will come to play a game so that baseball fans can create their own memories to be cherished for decades.”
There is limited ticket availability, more information will be announced by MLB in the next several months.
Hal Steinbrenner, Managing General Partner of the New York Yankees, said: “The Yankees organization is proud to participate in such a unique celebration of baseball. Field of Dreams captures the pure essence of baseball, and it continues to bring generations of fans – and families – together to embrace its timeless roots. It’s a distinct honor for us to showcase our great game in such an iconic and intimate setting while promoting the movie’s legacy. I fully expect that this experience will exemplify why baseball remains a cherished American pastime.”
BrightView is the Official Field Consultant to MLB. The company is the largest provider of commercial landscaping services across the United States, employing 22,000 people.
This special project is tailor made for BrightView. As MLB’s consultants, they converted historic, minor league Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pa. to major-league quality for the Little League Classic in 2017. In 2016, the Fort Bragg Game included a temporary stadium constructed for the special game honoring military service members, veterans, and their families.
“It’s truly an honor to be part of this historic project and we are extremely excited to build and manage the field for the MLB game in Iowa,” said Murray Cook, President of BrightView Sports Turf. “Our team will install and perform all site work and construct the ballfield, bullpens, fencing, and foul poles, as well as oversee the installations of the backstop net and various player related areas.”
They also worked on other epic MLB games such as the 2019 London Series, the 2019 season opener in Japan, and the historic exhibition game in Havana, Cuba.
Sports Techie, I grew up a baseball super fan collecting cards and memorized the player’s stats on the back of the card. In 1989, when the movie Field of Dreams was released, I was 19-years old and like many of my teenage peers and millions of kids before me, we all dreamed of being a professional big league baseball player.
Earlier this year I was in Ocala, Florida with my 6-year old son and we were driving on a golf cart around my Aunt and Uncle’s horse farm when we stumbled upon a ball field next to a church. The broken down, barebones venue instantly reminded me of the Field of Dream movie starring Costner as an Iowa farmer who builds a baseball field in the middle of a corn field after hearing a voice tell him, “If you build it, he will come.” Ghosts of players from the past soon appear led by ‘Shoeless” Joe.
Field of Dreams stars Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Amy Madigan. In 2017, the film was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
My son has yet to see the movie but I will make sure he does before the big league matchup on the sports tech enhanced, “MLB at _Field of Dreams_”.
If you don’t have tears in your eyes at the end of the movie, you must be a Trump supporter.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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