The Field of Dreams in Dyersville Iowa on Thu Aug 12, 2021 hosted by Major League Baseball featuring the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. The most watch game in 16 years. (photo from Fox Sports TV)
Field of Dreams game. Most Watched game in 16 years.
That’s Amaury News and Commentary.
By Amaury Pi-González
Fox’s Field of Dreams game that aired last night (Aug 12th) on the FOX network was the most watched regular season baseball game in the US in 16 years.
Years past Major League Baseball games were played in different countries. MLB has played regular season games in: England, Japan, México, Puerto Rico, Australia. The game has become more international than ever, and there is nothing wrong with that. We live in a smaller world with social media and instant communications; everybody is more “tuned-in” than ever before. In some of these games outside the US, the game was the season opener.
It is worthwhile to remember that this great game of baseball that we love was originally invented here in the United States of America. There was nothing wrong, but a touch of genius by The Commissioner of Baseball and the powers-to-be, to come up with the idea of a Field of Dreams game, at the same location where the popular 1989 movie of the same name took place.
In the small country town of Dyersville, Iowa, in the middle of the country. The #1 corn producer in the country, Iowa was the scene for the game this Thursday, a total Home Run by all involved.
Baseball is the ultimate team sport, but at the same time, it emphasizes individualism, like no other sport. When a hitter stands alone at the plate, he stands there, trying to hit the ball and help his team into victory, which is exactly what Tim Anderson did in the ninth inning.
The Field of Dreams game was a total success and shows how great baseball can be. The romanticism and escapism of the location (a field build next to the original field and house, where the movie was filmed) was an awesome thing to see. FOX TV carried the game and spectacular shots, specially doing the sunset with a sky that could have been painted by sports painter-artist LeRoy Neiman.
“It was a small movie” said star of the film Kevin Costner, who is the first to say, it has become a film that forever will be a reminder of what baseball can do. He said: “A movie where there was no car chase, no love scene, but the final scene was a man playing catch with his father.”
Any of us who had played baseball from little league to high school or beyond, understand the love involved of playing catch with your father. That connection that is forever connects us all. One of the most poignant scenes was prior to the game, when Kevin Costner came out of the corn field followed 30 seconds later by players from both teams, New York and Chicago, walking slowly and shaking hands with Mr. Costner.
The television production was supreme, in a surreal setting in the middle of a corn field, where an 8,000 seat baseball park and diamond was build. Two Major League teams, contending to go deep in October, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, played an exciting game, a “traditional” nine innings game like it would had taken place in the 1920’s with uniforms of that time. Then a Hollywood ending when the lead changed twice in the ninth, culminating with the dramatic home run to right field by Tim Anderson, the leader of this White Sox team, their shortstop and leadoff hitter.
The main reason this was a total success? The players loved it, and let’s face it; the players are the key part of the game, which is what people come to see. The players were truly enjoying this game, they were smiling, they were talking, they seemed to be part of ‘taking it all in’ the whole experience. Most of these players where little boys, some not even born, when Field of Dreams first came to the screen 32 years ago.
Commissioner of Baseball Fred Manfred told everybody, “This will not be the only time”. This was a great idea by MLB, to marry the nostalgia and romanticism of a great baseball film-story to a real baseball game, not an exhibition, but a game between two contending teams in a typical American setting, a small town in the Midwest. Norman Rockwell would have loved this. Burt Lancaster was there in spirit.
This Field of Dreams game sends us all back to the days when baseball was the National Pastime.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Hall of Fame Museum and does News and Commentary at http://www.sportsradioservice.com