Tonight the New York Yankees will play in one of the most long-awaited baseball games of the season or, for that matter, any season. It’s not an exhibition game; it’s not a playoff game, although it might have the feel of such; it will likely be watched by as many baseball fans of any team as game seven of a World Series.
Tonight on the FOX Network at 7 pm EDT, the “Field of Dreams” game will be played in the farmlands of Dyersville, Iowa, between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. It will be the first major league baseball game ever to be played in the state of Iowa.
The game was inspired by the 1989 movie Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. When Iowa farmer Ray (Costner) hears a mysterious voice one night in his cornfield saying, “If you build it, he will come,” he decides to act on it. Many thought Ray was crazy, but nevertheless, he eeks out a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfields supported by his wife, Annie. It wasn’t long that the ghosts of great players began emerging from the cornfields to play ball, notably “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.
The movie is much more complicated than it seems as Ray finds out it is much more than bringing baseball greats out to play. It’s as much about his relationship with his father and a reconciliation.
In 2012 the land that holds the original Field of Dreams diamond was sold to Denise Stillman. From the day she bought the land, she pushed MLB to have a major league baseball game on her land. In 2016 she married her husband Tom Mietzel; together, they formed Go the Distance. Denise worked for years to cajole MLB to build the park. In the meantime, she developed liver cancer. In 2019 Mietzel finally signed a deal with MLB to build the park. The White Sox and Yankees game was originally to take place in 2020, but the coronavirus prevented that. Unfortunately, Denise died in 2018 before she could see her dream come true.
Tonight, when this iconic game begins in the stands, will be 8,000 adoring baseball fans that will include Mietzel, Stillman’s two children, Keven Costner, and other actors from the film. For the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, it’s a real game that counts toward their standings. The Yankees are 6 games out in the AL East; the White Sox comfortably leads the AL Central.
“If you build it, he will come” comes true tonight, it took 30 years, but it is now a reality.
“When you think about it, what’s so impressive about it, one woman’s vision and one woman’s courage, and now Major League Baseball is playing its first game in Iowa,” Mietzel said. “I think what’s going on today is a huge legacy to her, to her skills, and to her love, and to her willingness to keep working, even knowing that she would not live to see what was eventually going to come to pass.”
Tonight’s 7 pm game was originally scheduled to have Yankee ace Gerrit Cole on the mound for the Yankees, but the Covid virus has prevented that. Tonight Yankee pitcher Andrew Heaney 7-8 ERA 5.45, will take the mound facing the former Yankee (2018) and White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn 10-3 ERA 2.04.