Fans of nostalgia and fans of Kevin Costner can eat their respective hearts out over what happened this past week. Major League Baseball took a return visit to Iowa for an actual game between two ball clubs with the cornfield backdrop and old-timey uniforms. It was a true Field of Dreams game and this one lived up to all the magic that the movie originally gave us so many years ago. Kevin Costner MC’d the event and it brought back heartwarming memories of the movie classic.
The game was played on Thursday and it featured the New York Yankees versus the Chicago White Sox, both wearing throwback uniforms to the 1920s. If you can imagine the players walking out the corn stalks in the Kevin Costner classic, this is very much what it looked like. In preparation for the game, Major League Baseball built an 8,000 seat stadium in a farm in Dyersville, Iowa, the same town in which the movie was filmed. This wasn’t on the same exact location, but let’s not split hairs too much about the moment.
You can even see Kevin Costner emerge onto the Field of Dreams grass for the first time in advance of the two teams playing. It is clearly an emotional moment for the actor and icon who took part in one of the great sports movies back in 1989. Check out what happens when he sees the field and steps onto the replica version that we saw in the movie.
And you can also watch the speech Kevin Costner gave to the crowd before the game. If you are a fan of the movie, this will give you chills especially when he asks the crowd “Is this heaven?” to which they respond, “No, it’s Iowa.” This is the conversation Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella has with Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the original film after the latter has essentially come back from the dead to play baseball once again.
The Field of Dreams game did fantastic numbers for Fox on Thursday, drawing almost six million viewers which amounted to the most-viewed regular-season game for Major League Baseball since 2005. The final score was 9-8 White Sox over the Yankees with Tim Anderson hitting a storybook walk-off home run into the cornfields to end the game. For baseball nostalgists, this couldn’t have worked out any better. And from all points of view, the game was a major win.
Of course, Kevin Costner starred in the original movie more than 30 years ago in a story about a farmer who has visions of building a baseball field over his cornfields. He here’s those iconic voices like “If you build it, he will come,” that spurs him into action. It is a movie that is part fantasy and part sports movie, but all iconic. It features some truly heartwarming performances in a story about an outlier who follows his dreams in order to bring some closure to his relationship with his father. There is a reason the movie continues to stand the test of time. And it is awesome to see that nostalgia come back in the form of an actual game.