The normal thing is that the cinema adapts true stories and represents them on the big screen. They are those films that usually seduce the public with the label “Based on real events.” Without fiction, the verisimilitude pact is even closer. However, this week the sport may have spawned one of the few, if not the only, episodes in which a tournament adapts part of a movie to the point of accurately evoking it through Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams initiative (MLB).
It was a unique event because it had not been done before and because, for now, it may not be repeated after what was organized last Thursday, August 12, 2021. The MLB coordinated so that the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Yankees New York will play in Dyersville, Iowa. This was the first MLB meeting in the area, away from the huge stadiums where the major league regular season is played. It was made with the aim of evoking the story of the film Field of dreams (Field of Dreams), starring Kevin Costner and released in 1989, and as part of a strategy to promote baseball in different areas of the United States.
To achieve this, the MLB devised special uniforms in keeping with the year recreated in the film, 1919. In addition to this, the chosen stadium was suitable in order to simulate, almost exactly, the terrain on which baseball was played in Field of dreams. What is the peculiarity of this? That the gambling site was built in a cornfield. So since MLB, all marketing iconography had something to do with corn. The stadium adapted for a maximum capacity of 8 thousand people is next to the original field where the film was filmed.
The story of Field of dreams
Field of dreams is inspired by the novel Shoeless Joe, written by WP Kinsella. Although at first the idea of the work was not to generate a kind of document on the relationship of the United States with baseball, time put it in that place. The film, directed and scripted by Phil Alden Robinson, adapted the book to find one of the best classic productions when it comes to sport.
Field of Dreams tells the story of Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner. Kinsella is a farmer who, for a day, hears a whisper with the phrase: “If you build it, he will come.” That whisper is accompanied by a kind of mirage in which a baseball field is revealed. Since then, Kinsella has experienced a kind of obsession to build that field, to the point of seeing the family’s finances dramatically affected.
When she built it, Kinsella didn’t quite understand what had to happen until her daughter told her something. She had seen that, for a few moments, a baseball player used the field of play. Kinsella goes to meet him and the player tells him about the possibility of bringing other teammates to make a match. It does. The new players were members of the Chicago White Sox, a team that had been penalized because a handful of their representatives intentionally lost the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The event is remembered as “The Black Sox Scandal.”
In order to play and stop playing, each of these players enters and leaves the cornfield, just as it was done during the event organized by MLB.
A movie game
The tribute ceremony to Field of Dreams It started when Kevin Costner came out of the cornfield holding a ball. As he approached the center of the field, the professional players of both teams began to emerge. They did it and through the internal audio of the stadium the musical notes of the soundtrack of Field of dreams. Perhaps for the first time, sport was adapting a movie scene and not the other way around.
When both teams were lined up on the field of play, Kevin Costner spoke up. During his speech, winking at the film released more than thirty years ago, he asked himself as in the film: “Is this heaven?”. The crowd began to applaud. A short time later the voice of playball was heard that starts the game.
As if that presentation wasn’t important and evocative enough, the game was settled in the ninth inning, which is to say at the last minute, with a home run by the Chicago White Sox to turn the game around. The Yankees lost but baseball, a sport that for years has experienced declining audience ratings, in addition to generating a viral phenomenon on social networks, gave a moment that fans, perhaps, will never forget.
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Watch MLB and Kevin Costner’s emotional tribute to Field of Dreams