ON THE SIDELINES: Field of Dreams game comes at a great time

by Aug 20, 2021SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi



One Feather Staff


I’ve written many times about the ability of sports to provide nice distractions from a stressful world.  Major League Baseball came up with one of the best ones I’ve ever seen.

The Chicago White Sox squared off against the New York Yankees on Thursday, Aug. 12.  But the game wasn’t held in the Windy City nor the Big Apple.  It was held in a cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa.  The Field of Dreams game was based on the magic of the 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, and Ray Liotta.

The movie was about redemption and finding positive, dreamlike spots in a person’s life.  The game did the same for many as we’re currently living in an incredibly stressful time.  With the news being dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the turmoil in Afghanistan, and partisan politics, it was awesome to see the power that a game can have.

The response was incredible.  Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has already confirmed that this will become an annual event with the next game scheduled between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 11, 2022.

The game itself was also incredible with the White Sox edging the Yankees 9-8 on a two-run walk-off homerun in the ninth inning.  It even included an incredible Iowa sunset which if you’ve never seen one, you need to see one soon – it’s heavenly.

“It’s perfect,” Kevin Costner, who played the lead character of Ray Kinsella in the movie, said prior to the start of the Aug. 12 game.

A lot of people worldwide agreed.  The game itself had a viewership of 5.9 million making it the most-watched regular season MLB game in 16 years.

The movie itself starts with the famous line, “If you build it, he will come.”  And viewers learn later that the “he” is Ray Kinsella’s late father.  In this case, “he” was the collective baseball fandom yearning for a three-hour escape for our current reality.  Iowa and the Field of Dreams provided it for sure.

Terence Mann, played by James Earl Jones, says in the movie, “This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray.  It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again.”

It is that hopeful nature that people latch on to with this movie and this game.  Baseball provides hope, and this game couldn’t have come at a better time.

The game also reminds us to look at life as, well, a game and not take it too seriously.  But, like a game, we need to be mindful of what we’re doing and concentrate on what’s important.

In the movie, Archie “Moonlight” Graham – played by Frank Whaley – sums it up best, “We just don’t recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they’re happening.  Back then, I thought, ‘well, there’ll be other days.  I didn’t realize that was the only day.”

Try to make your days fun and make them count.  Try not to get too stressed in this stress powder keg we all live in today.  And let’s give kudos for a game of baseball played in a cornfield in Iowa for giving millions of people a brush with their childhood – a brush with a time that once was good.