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Best of 2019, #2: Field of Dreams Game Announced

Field of Dreams Ballpark rendering

We end 2019 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Ballpark Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #2: Major League Baseball announces a 2020 regular-season game at the Field of Dreams site.

On August 13, 2020, the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees will square off in a regular-season game at the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville, IA, bringing major-league action to the filming location of one the most beloved baseball films ever made.

Plans for the game were announced by MLB and the two teams in August, setting the stage for what should be a memorable game in a unique location. Field of Dreams, the big-screen adaption of the W.P. Kinsella novel Shoeless Joe, was released to acclaim in 1989 with a cast that included stars Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones, and Amy Madigan. It has remained popular with baseball and movie fans alike, and a field has been left intact at the production site, allowing it to becoming a sought-out tourist destination.

Next summer, fans will come to the site for the contest between the White Sox and the Yankees, which will be the first MLB regular-season game played in Iowa. Staging the game there will require diligent planning for an elaborate facilities measure. The actual Field of Dreams playing surface on the site is far too small and not up to MLB standards, so a portion of the surrounding cornfield has been cleared to make way for the temporary facility that will host the White Sox and Yankees. In that space will rise an 8,000-seat venue, which will include the playing field, temporary facilities, and infrastructure needed to host an MLB regular-season game that is being nationally televised on FOX. Leading fans into the ballpark will be a pathway through the cornfield, with the venue to overlook the filming location.

The game will technically be a home date for the White Sox, and previously announced plans for the temporary ballpark call for it to honor the team’s history. This will be done by mimicking the design of the original Comiskey Park (1910-1990), with features that pay homage to the former White Sox home, including the shape of the outfield and bullpens beyond the center-field fence.

Staging a regular-season game in unique locations has become commonplace for MLB in recent years, with some examples including the 2016 contest at Fort Bragg (which also required the use of a temporary ballpark), the annual Little League Classic at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field–home of the Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season A; NY-Penn League)–that has been staged since 2017, and 2019’s London series between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox, which will be followed by a series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in 2020. The Field of Dreams game, though, should be particularly memorable given how the film resonates decades after its original relea, which should help draw plenty of attention to the contest leading up to when it is played.

Rendering courtesy MLB.

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Best of 2019, #6: Robo-Umps Debut Under MLB/Atlantic League Deal

Best of 2019, #7: New MiLB Ballparks Debut

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