Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball reminiscences in an Iowa cornfield

By Jake Mintz
FOX Sports activities MLB Author

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — It actually isn’t in regards to the film in any respect.

Certain, “Field of Dreams” has its moments, some good appearing performances and a bunch of iconic traces, however the movie in its entirety doesn’t resonate with each kind of baseball fan. For a few of us, the schmaltz is only a bit too heavy-handed, the nostalgia a tad too thick, the issues of the characters too unrelatable.

And that’s OK. As a result of the true magnetism of the MLB at Field of Dreams Game has little to do with the film; it’s extra about what the environment, atmosphere and distinctive bodily house conjure up from our particular person baseball reminiscences. Even probably the most cynical amongst us would battle to walk by the Iowa cornfields with out occupied with the folks and locations related to probably the most formative moments from our personal relationships with the sport.

In different phrases: All of us have our personal Field of Dreams.

Johnny Bench on the great thing about Field of Dreams and his love for the sport

Johnny Bench on the beauty of Field of Dreams and his love for the game

Johnny Bench talks with the FOX MLB crew about how a lot he loves the Field of Dreams Game. After which he challenges Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz to carry 5 baseballs in a single hand.

Whereas the competition Thursday evening between the Cubs and Reds lacked the enthralling, edge-of-your-seat insanity that we noticed in final yr’s Sox-Yanks barnburner, it had its share of high quality moments … identical to the film. Chicago plated three within the prime of the primary behind a Seiya Suzuki double and an Ian Happ single after which held on for a pleasant, if considerably uneventful, 4-2 victory.

Cubs starter Drew Smyly was terrific on the evening, tossing 5 innings of scoreless ball, and whereas a Matt Reynolds double within the seventh lower Cincy’s deficit in half, the again finish of Chicago’s bullpen delivered the products and shut the door late. 

In contrast to final yr, the one fireworks have been, nicely, fireworks, which once more erupted from past the faux-farmhouse batter’s eye seconds after the ultimate out was recorded.

Field of Dreams: Cubs bounce to early lead over Reds

Field of Dreams: Cubs jump to early lead over Reds

The Chicago Cubs take an early 3-0 lead over the Cincinnati Reds with three straight hits within the first inning of the Field of Dreams Game.

My level is that the sport itself was removed from the principle character Thursday in Iowa. As a substitute, the matchup performed third fiddle to the picturesque, one-of-a-kind setting within the cornfields and the magnificent pregame festivities that concerned Ken Griffeys Junior and Senior rising from the cornfield for a father-son catch. 

All of it served to create a spellbinding and emotional day that impressed most of the gamers taking part to share their reminiscences of the ballfields, folks and moments that formed their baseball journeys.

For Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner, that particular diamond was — and nonetheless is — Greenman Field in his hometown of Oakland, California. Positioned lower than a mile from the Oakland Coliseum, the seemingly run-of-the-mill public park stays an important a part of Hoerner’s baseball id. He immediately recalled one memorable night underneath the lights when he was 10 years outdated.

“I’ll never forget it. We had one game where the A’s had their fireworks night at the same time,” he informed FOX Sports activities earlier than batting follow Thursday. “The fireworks were going off from outside the stadium, so we basically got to play a night game underneath the A’s fireworks, just like that scene from ‘The Sandlot.’”

David Ross and Tom Verducci on the importance of Field of Dreams Game

David Ross and Tom Verducci on the significance of Field of Dreams Game

Chicago Cubs supervisor David Ross talks to Tom Verducci in regards to the significance of the Field of Dreams Game in Iowa and what it means to Main League Baseball.

Chicago catcher and MLB veteran Yan Gomes informed the story of how his distinctive upbringing outdoors Sao Paolo, Brazil, solidified his ardour for the game. Born and raised within the municipality of Mogi das Cruzes, Gomes vividly remembers town of 450,000’s solely baseball advanced.

“There were only two fields,” he mentioned. “The big one with lights and a Little-League-sized dirt field outside it. Nothing special.” He then gestured to the “Field of Dreams” film area we have been strolling throughout and famous, “It was kind of like this field, actually.”

Gomes remembers watching his older brother play within the stadium with lights and craving to in the future develop huge and sufficiently old to hitch him. Two-and-a-half a long time later, Gomes was enjoying underneath the brightest lights the game has to supply.

That urge to play at evening, underneath the lights was a vital a part of Happ’s youth baseball expertise as nicely. The Cubs’ All-Star outfielder, who grew up in suburban Pittsburgh, can nonetheless bear in mind his first dwelling run at Dixon Field in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, on the nook of Greenhurst Drive and Cedar Boulevard.

“That was the spot, man. That was the one field with lights, and we all wanted to play there,” he mentioned. “My first homer there is still a really cool memory. Wood bat, under the lights, off the bleachers beyond the field in center … My mom might actually still have that baseball somewhere.”

Mic’d Up: Ian Happ talks about his feelings enjoying within the Field of Dreams Game

Mic'd Up: Ian Happ talks about his emotions playing in the Field of Dreams Game

Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ talks about his feelings enjoying on the Field of Dreams and reminisces about how a lot he beloved enjoying in entrance of baseball followers in Iowa.

However for Chicago hurler Wade Miley, that particular place wasn’t a area or a stadium or perhaps a ballpark. Issues in Hammond, Louisiana, have been a lot less complicated than that; all Miley and his companions wanted was a patch of grass.

“It sounds silly now, but it was all about my grandparents’ front yard,” he mentioned. “That’s where I fell in love with the game, where I learned the game. From when I was about 6, we were out there playing all afternoon. We tossed our bases down, cut out baselines for ourselves with a lawn mower.”

After 12 years within the bigs and virtually $50 million earned, the left-hander nonetheless spends his offseasons in Hammond and considers it dwelling. When it’s heat sufficient, Miley and his household nonetheless collect in that entrance yard to play Whiffle ball, a long time after he fell head over heels for the sport.

If Miley’s story sounds acquainted and relatable, that’s precisely the purpose and precisely the aim of the Field of Dreams Game. It’s a possibility — for baseball followers and baseball gamers — to take a deep breath through the hectic MLB season to mirror and recognize what the game means to every of us. 

Joey Votto on watching ‘Field of Dreams’ together with his late father and the possibility to play in Iowa

Joey Votto on watching 'Field of Dreams' with his late father and the chance to play in Iowa

Joey Votto talks with FOX Sports activities’ Ken Rosenthal about his connection between watching “Field of Dreams” together with his late father and now attending to play within the Iowa area.

And that’s what’s so uniquely unifying in regards to the Field of Dreams Game: The reminiscences that pop up for these on the sphere are virtually similar to the reminiscences that pop up for these within the stands, these within the press field and people within the broadcast sales space.

Whether or not you used to play, by no means performed in any respect or nonetheless receives a commission tens of millions of {dollars} to play, everybody underneath baseball’s spell can level to a ballfield — huge or small or surrounded by corn — that, like cupid’s arrow, without end ties us to this lovely sport.

Jake Mintz is the louder half of @CespedesBBQ and a baseball author for FOX Sports activities. He’s an Orioles fan dwelling in New York Metropolis, and thus, he leads a lonely existence most Octobers. If he’s not watching baseball, he’s virtually definitely driving his bike. You may comply with him on Twitter @Jake_Mintz.

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