For the first time ever, Major League Baseball will actually experience a little slice of heaven — or Iowa — whichever way you want to look at it.
The New York Yankees will meet the Chicago White Sox in Dyersville, Iowa on Thursday night (7:15 p.m. ET) for Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams Game, which is to be played in an 8,000-seat stadium amongst the cornfields adjacent to the site of the iconic 1989 baseball movie, Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner (Ray Kinsella), James Earl Jones (Terrence Mann), and Ray Liotta (Shoeless Joe Jackson).
The Yankees and White Sox were chosen by MLB to participate in the game because they were the two favorite teams of Ray’s (Costner) father, John Kinsella — played by Dwier Brown — at different points of his life, as explained in the film.
“It’s such a great idea, such a cool thing, and I’m glad the Yankees are a part of it,” Yankees announcer and five-time World Series champion, Paul O’Neill, said (h/t MLB.com). “The stories and the old-time players, it brings back memories of what the game used to be like. … This movie was kind of like my childhood dream, and this keeps it alive, to bring Major League players to this field.”
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1990 and selected to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2017, Field of Dreams tells the story of Ray Kinsella, who is driven by a mystical voice in his Iowa cornfield to plow his crop and build a baseball field. Upon completion, the ghosts of baseball’s earliest stars arrive — most notably Shoeless Joe Jackson of the White Sox — and later on, Ray’s father John where Costner delivers one of the most famous baseball lines in cinematic history: “Hey dad? Want to have a catch?”
“It’s just been an amazing thing,” Brown, who played John Kinsella in Field of Dreams, said. “I was an actor for 40 years, and nobody stops and asks me about the episodes of ER I did. But a certain amount of people, they look at me strangely from across the room, and then come over and tell me some amazing story of how that movie changed their relationship with their dad.”
As baseball fans “watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters,” as James Earl Jones so eloquently stated in his final monologue of the film, the players will be just as giddy to experience the place where magic just might still exist.
“I’m excited about running through the cornfields, because who wouldn’t be?” White Sox closer Liam Hendriks said. “I want to be able to walk on the set and sit in those wooden bleachers and do my own little Shoeless Joe thing and walk through the corn onto the actual field.”