Skip to content

Cubs, Reds play at Iowa's 'Field of Dreams'

It's the second go-round for Major League Baseball at the site in Dyersville — population of about 4,400 — after the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox put on a show last year in the first MLB game in Iowa.

Associated Press
Associated Press
| 4 min read
Cubs, Reds play at Iowa's 'Field of Dreams'

Embed from Getty Images

By JAY COHEN | AP Baseball Writer

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — David Bell's grandfather, father and brother played in the majors. Bell spent 12 years in the big leagues himself and worked as a coach and front office executive before taking over as manager of the Cincinnati Reds.

So yeah, “ Field of Dreams,” a movie about family and baseball, hits a little differently for him.

“Baseball's a big part of our life,” Bell said, “and I thought that the movie did a great job of kind of just telling the story of how important baseball can be to families and just to people in general.”

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute Thursday night when Bell's Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of eastern Iowa, a short walk from the field where Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan filmed the 1989 movie.

Under a light blue sky with a few dashes of clouds, workers put the final touches on the major league park on a warm Wednesday afternoon. A couple of youth teams played on the field from the movie as Cubs and Reds fans wandered around the grounds.

The game comes 2 1/2 months after Liotta, who played the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, died in May at age 67.

Each team will wear special uniforms inspired by how the franchises looked in the early 20th century, and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto and Chicago outfielder Ian Happ will be on two-way mics for the broadcast on FOX.

The Reds are considered the home team, and the three-game set concludes with games in Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday.

But first, Iowa.

“Just really excited,” Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki said through a translator. “It's not a field where you can play on every day.”

It's the second go-round for Major League Baseball at the site in Dyersville — population of about 4,400 — after the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox put on a show last year in the first MLB game in Iowa.

After Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton rallied New York to the lead in the top of the ninth inning, Tim Anderson lifted Chicago to a 9-8 victory with a dramatic two-run homer, sending the energetic shortstop on a memorable trip around the bases as fireworks exploded through the night sky.

“It looked amazing. It looked packed," Reds second baseman Jonathan India said. "It’s in the middle of nowhere, which is kind of crazy, to have a game like that. We’re going to go out there and enjoy it.”

Just like Jones' wise author Terence Mann says to Costner's Ray Kinsella in the film, people most definitely will come.

The makeshift ballpark seats only about 8,000 fans, less than the spring training homes for each team. The Cubs have strong ties to the Hawkeye State, going back to the franchise's time on WGN-TV and continuing to today with its Triple-A club a couple of hours away in Des Moines.

“There's moments in the season where you get something different that's exciting, and making sure you appreciate that I think is the main thing for me,” Cubs manager David Ross said.

“We'll be ready to go play."

While people will come, will they watch at home? That could go a long way toward determining if the “Field of Dreams” site becomes an annual date on the major league calendar or maybe just an occasional one.

Last year's game, featuring two playoff contenders filled with stars, attracted nearly 6 million viewers in what MLB said was the most-watched regular-season game on any network since 1998.

But the lowly Cubs and rebuilding Reds aren't exactly last year's Yankees and White Sox. The playoff hopes for the NL Central clubs evaporated a long time ago. There aren't a lot of major names around, either.

But there is nostalgia for the movie, an Academy Award nominee for best picture, and the sure-to-be picturesque landscape surrounding the game.

“It’s a popular movie that resonates with a lot of people, and I’m no different," Votto said. "I’m looking forward to it.”

AP Sports Writers Steve Megargee and Andrew Seligman, and AP freelance writer Matt Carlson contributed to this report.

Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Subscribe to the Chicago Journal


The Chicago Journal needs your support.

At just $12/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE


Subscribe to the Chicago Journal

CubsMLBSportsSports News

Associated Press Twitter

News and content from The Associated Press, which has been covering the world's most important stories since 1846.


Related Posts

Jets rout Chicago 7-2, handing Blackhawks 7th straight loss

Chicago fell behind 1-0 as it was outshot 17-7 in the first period. The Jets picked up the pace and took charge with four goals in the second before Dubois iced it in the third.

Jets rout Chicago 7-2, handing Blackhawks 7th straight loss

Bears fizzle on offense with Fields out

With Siemian leading the offense Sunday, the Bears gained just 292 total yards and went 4 of 13 on third down. But they got off to a solid start with Chicago scoring 10 points on its first two possessions.

Bears fizzle on offense with Fields out

Gilgeous-Alexander stars as Thunder beat Bulls 123-119 in OT

DeRozan scored 30 points for Chicago, which was coming off encouraging victories over Boston and Milwaukee. Zach LaVine had 27 points, and Nikola Vucevic finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Gilgeous-Alexander stars as Thunder beat Bulls 123-119 in OT