Monday, August 15, 2022

Yanks, Chisoxs go deep into the corn; Field of Dreams hosts more

DEARSVILLE, Iowa — As the bus took the New York Yankees through cornfields blanketing this quiet, rolling farmland of northeast Iowa, Aaron Judge noticed a difference from the usual arrivals in the next city.

The New York Yankees’ Field of Dreams site ride to play the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night caught everyone’s attention like a group of kids who couldn’t believe what they were getting to do.

“It was the first time people had put their headphones out, and they were just glued to the windows, checking out the scenery,” said Judge, a three-time All-Star right fielder.

“We have a lot of people from different countries who haven’t really seen the country like that, or people from big cities who haven’t really seen open fields and things like that, so it was great driving and everybody Seeing the city standing with signs on the side of the roads is making us happy,” he said.

The TV program, billed as the first Major League Baseball game in the state, was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which usually focuses on college and community sports, which draws headlines from presidential campaigns. and is fueled by it. Pig and grain industries.

It won’t even be a one-time visit. Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that the Field of Dreams game would return in August 2022, with the teams to be determined.

The stadium built from scratch — built to hold nearly 8,000 fans who watch the White Sox and Yankees play one of the most anticipated mid-August games in history — was placed next to the actual diamond where Kevin Costner played. The 1989 film starring was shot. Population 4,000, outside the city of Dyersville.

Costner came back for it, stealing the scene with slow, hard strolls into the outfield as his character Ray Kinsella often took to film before stopping to see the actual White Sox and the Yankees emerge from the corn for the pregame intro.

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Holding a ball in his hand while the film’s original symphonic score was played over the loudspeaker, Costner stepped up to a microphone and told the crowd, “That’s perfect.”

White Sox slugger Jose Abreu provided a picture-perfect highlight in the first inning, hitting a line drive that zipped over the fence in left field and disappeared into cornstalks.

The judge had his moment later, launching a three-run smash in the third – it was no box of corn, sailing to the deep right.

In fact, there were rows upon rows of corn between the two outfields. Yep, this is the same place where Shoeless Joe Jackson and his friends appeared — and disappeared — in an Academy Award-nominated film about fathers, children, culture, self-discovery, ghosts and, oh yeah, baseball.

“As a kid you dream of the chance to play Major League Baseball and you see some movies or heroes in comic books and fairy tales, and get the chance to actually be in the field of dreams and have a game here. To play and have family and friends here and represent the Yankees here, I never in my life thought I would ever experience that,” the judge said.

Major leaguers can be finicky about details when they’re on a road trip, wanting to maximize comfort and minimize intrusion for optimal performance on the field, but no one has ever played the game. The four-hour drive from Chicago didn’t notice any obstacles to play. and about a half-hour ride from the airport in Dubuque where both teams took off.

White Sox close Liam Hendrix was all smiles as he recalled his discovery of the White Farmhouse where the Kinsella family lives in the film which has been well placed as a tourist attraction.

Both teams had moments to film reenactments during pregame photo ops on the original field, before retreating into the corn and returning to regulation stadium to prepare for the game. Players were politely warned not to scratch their faces on the stalks and try to enter the maze – one of the fan attractions added to the site for the event – ​​to avoid getting lost.

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“Anyone who follows me on Instagram is going to be very sick with corns,” said Hendrix, whose phone storage was full after all the photos and videos he recorded.

Judge was born three years after “Field of Dreams” was released, but his father introduced him to the film when he was a child and he quickly became a huge fan. He said that some of his younger colleagues have not seen the film yet.

“I think one of these nights we’re going to sit down and I’ll have a DVD for him, ready to go,” said the judge with a wide smile.

The film, naturally, remains a strong source of local pride, and when public tickets were sold in limited quantities, Iowa residents were given purchasing preference. The “Field of Dreams Ghost Players”, many of whom were extras in the film, gathered on the film grounds in their 1919-style uniforms in honor of Jackson’s “Black Sox” team, which plays a key role in the plot.

“It’s given us a real identity. When you think of Diersville, it’s the “dream zone,” and all the hype we’ve been getting lately has been tremendous for the city and the region,” Said Judd Milbert, one of the Ghost Players, who developed the Globetrotters-style film troupe after joining youth clinics, performing comedy routines, and traveling around the world as a sports ambassador. They are all former college or semipro players who live in northeastern Iowa.

Ghost Players and everyone else could be gearing up for more next year.

“You never mess with a winning streak, but it seems like all the teams want to touch it. There’s going to be heated competition to play it,” Costner said before the game.

Nation World News Desk
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