There have been two Field of Dreams games, the only two MLB games to ever take place in Iowa, and both times Chicago has won. It’s rather fitting for the many Iowans who made it to the games. In 2022 the White Sox beat the Yankees in walk-off fashion, which couldn’t have been more appropriate at the Field of Dreams, a movie essentially about former White Sox players. Now this year, the Cubs beat the Reds in front of a packed crowd.
The 2022 game was not as electric as the White Sox/Yanks battle a year prior, but the fan experience was nearly the same. Even though the Reds and Cubs are in a dead heat for last place in the National League Central, there was not a fan in the place without a smile on their face Thursday. 8,000 fans can fill the stands in the makeshift stadium just outside of Dyersville, Iowa. Many of those fans were there, witnessing corn outfields with MLB players on the field for the first time. The lottery was available to Iowans only, but resale tickets for out-of-staters was popular. Come game time Thursday, the cheapest single, non-standing room-only ticket was just under $700 when I checked Stubhub.
More on this year’s game in a bit, but first. Could we ever see the Minnesota Twins play a major league game in Dyersville? My fairly-uneducated guess is yes.
The MLB has announced the past two teams, who picks them? I don’t know. What we do know is Target Field is a little more than 4 hours away from Dyersville, Iowa if you are driving the speed limit. Twins territory spreads into Iowa, so there are Twins fans who would buy tickets for the game. Some live closer to the Field of Dreams than they do Target Field.
We also know there is not going to be a game in 2023 because Frank Thomas and ‘Go the Distance Baseball’ is expanding the Field of Dreams site. Earlier this year Thomas and his company purchased controlling interest in the movie site. They then announced a $50-$80 million expansion including a hotel and youth sports complex. Why does this matter? Well, they are also going to build a more permanent MLB stadium. This stadium is essential in providing the funds necessary for the rest of the expansion to be feasible. Dubuque County has crunched the numbers.
This means more minor league games and then maybe the one Field of Dreams MLB Game a year? I don’t know, but in this plan it seems there will be more MLB games to come because there has to be. Will the nostalgia stick? I think it will if they keep the stadium around 8,000 seats. There are not many places to stay in the area, so if you do get a bigger stadium, it’s hard for people to get there. This also makes it remain a hot commodity. Ticket prices can stay high. I know some people are unhappy about that, but it is what it is. They have to afford to put on the game.
So, if there is one MLB game in Iowa a year, the Twins have to eventually make it there. The Twins fan base isn’t the best, but fans would travel to Iowa. If not to watch their favorite team, to check out a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Also, the Twins are always neck-and-neck with the White Sox, and as much as I don’t like Chicago’s southsiders, I do think they should constantly return to the Field of Dreams Game. At least every other, or every third year. They have the deepest connection to the original movie by far, and their fans show up. Just like Cubbies fans do.
The Twins played no role in the Field of Dreams movie, so that’s one curve ball. I don’t know if the MLB and whoever makes the call from the Field of Dreams will take that into consideration, but if they are looking to do an MLB Game there once a year from 2024 onward, you’d think the Twins would eventually make the cut. Sooner than most other teams who are much farther away.
I will admit when I heard they were going to have a game again in 2021, I was like ‘why? You can’t relive the Kevin Costner coming out of the corn magic like we saw in 2022, with multiple ‘corn shots.’ But after being there again in 2022, I was wrong. It was just as amazing, and it was a whole new group of fans. Yes, the Costner coming out of the corn was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and I couldn’t believe the Tim Anderson walk-off, but most of the experience was still as awesome. Beautiful weather this year as well. So if you think about it, say from 2024 to 2039 they have 15 games there, one a year. You can really bring in a lot of teams and give Cubs and White Sox fans, or even Yankees fans a few chances to make the trek to Dyersville. I think it’s a great idea and this magical place will never lose its nostalgia.
Some things I took away from Field of Dreams game #2.
The players absolutely love it.
Even though they have to fly to Dubuque, Iowa then bus to the Field of Dreams, play a game, then return to Dubuque only to fly to their next destination, everyone I spoke with says that was not an issue, and they were happy to be there. I spoke with former Guardian, now Cub, Franmil Reyes, and he was so excited to be there. He said when he was in the Domincan Republic growing up, they watched Field of Dreams.
“I can’t believe I am here, look at the corn!” he said.
Fans come from all over the country to watch the game. It’s expensive to be from out of state, so it’s a bit of a boujee crowd.
I spoke with fans from Texas, California, Ohio, Minnesota and beyond.
There isn’t much better than the calm, country setting for ‘having a catch’ or catching an MLB game. The corn is incredible.
Though, if you know anything about farming, you know crop rotation is important. Farmers don’t plant corn in the same fields every year, but they had to here.
These games will keep the Field of Dreams movie alive for years and years to come.
It will also remind people of the legendary baseball player that is Shoeless Joe Jackson. Perhaps someday, he will no longer be banned from the league and make it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fun random facts from the Field of Dreams movie
- Tom Hanks was originally cast for the main role, but he turned it down and Kevin Coster got it.
- Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were actually in the Fenway Park scene as extras because they wanted to go to Fenway. As far as I know, you didn’t actually see them in the movie.
- My biggest gripe with the movie - Ray Liotta bats right and throws left. Shoeless Joe of course did the opposite. It’s not that Liotta didn’t try, he just could not get it he previously said.
- Roughly 1,500 Iowans were in their cars for the final movie scene. They flashed their high beams and low beams to make it look like they were driving. This scene was also shot out of a helicopter, and with their small budget, they only had one chance to get a good shot.
- There was a drought in 1988, so the corn in the movie was quite a debacle. Green paint was required.
- When they went to ‘Minnesota’ to find Moonlight Graham, they really shot that in Illinois.