“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
-James Earl Jones
Major League Baseball gave all of us the pleasure of watching a game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox on the very field that the 1989 Kevin Costner classic, Field of Dreams, was played on.
The attention to detail was nothing short of spectacular.
From the corn field beyond the wooden fence, to the houses that look just the same as they did over 30 years ago, to the hand made scoreboard, to the perfectly done uniforms, this takes the throne of baseball heaven.
Watching the players emerge from the corn field while Kevin Costner introduced them was as cool as it gets. Major League Baseball takes a lot of heat for some of the decisions they make on content related matters, but there is no denying that this was poetry in the form of baseball on this Thursday night.
Field of Dreams is a movie that I wish I didn’t watch for the first time at a young age.
If you’re looking for a movie with a ton of action, as most kids are, you’re looking for movies more like The Sandlot, Angels in The Outfield, Benchwarmers, and more fast paced movies. The first time I watched it, I was simply just bored.
Field of Dreams is more of a slower paced movie that tugs at the heart strings. I am lucky enough to have a great relationship with my Father and picked up the game from him at a very young age. I am now at the age where I can truly appreciate the last scene of the movie, and I cherish every time I get to put the gloves on and go to the backyard with him. You never know when that last time will be.
Kevin Costner playing catch and making plays on the Field of Dreams field with Field of Dreams music in the background pic.twitter.com/sn3rKS7WvO— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) August 12, 2021
The White Sox and Yankees players were able to live out the dreams of millions by playing on that iconic field. The American League leader in ERA, Lance Lynn, got the start for the White Sox. He was opposed by Andrew Heaney, who was recently acquired by the Yankees from the Angels at the deadline.
The White Sox got out to an early lead after 2020 American League Most Valuable Player, Jose Abreu, hit his 23rd HR of the year over the Left Field wall and into the corn field. The ball flying deep into the Iowa night was a sign of things to come.
Aaron Judge gave the Yankees the lead in the Top of 3rd with a 3 run opposite field HR to make it a 3-1 ballgame. That lead was short-lived, however, as Tim Anderson hit an RBI double in the Bottom of the 3rd to make it 3-2, and Eloy Jimenez hit an opposite field HR of his own to put the White Sox ahead 5-3. Seby Zavala hit a 2 run HR in the Bottom of the 4th for the White Sox to expand on their lead and make it 7-3, and Brett Gardner, who is somehow still on the Yankees, hit a solo HR in the Top of the 6th to get one back and make it 7-4. For a while, it looked like that would be the way the game ended.
Maybe on a normal field it would have, but there was magic here in between the painted lines.
Heading into the Top of the 9th, the White Sox looked like they had full control of this game. They’ve put together a bullpen oozing with talent, and it was on display with new addition Craig Kimbrel throwing a scoreless 8th inning to put the Yankees down to their final three outs.
The Hollywood Ending
Yankees fans themselves could not have written a better script for how the Top of the 9th inning went. Tyler Wade singled to start the inning, but after two straight strikeouts it was starting to look like it was a lost cause. Down to their final out, Aaron Judge pumped some life into the crowd with his second long ball of the game, but still, the Yankees trailed by a run.
New addition Joey Gallo worked a walk to keep the game alive, and that set the stage for Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton was 0/4 with a K on the day so far, but all it takes is one swing of the bat to make those last plate appearances become irrelevant. A breaking ball that caught just a little too much of the plate was met by the bat of Stanton, and it went ever so slightly over the Left Field wall and into the corn field to send Yankees fans into a frenzy with an 8-7 lead.
Now, it was time for the White Sox to get their hands on the pen and finish the script on their terms.
After Danny Mendick grounded out to start the inning, Seby Zavala drew a walk to put the tying run on first, and the winning run at the plate in the form of Tim Anderson.
One pitch later, one of the most electrifying players in Major League Baseball in Tim Anderson had his signature moment.
The eighth homer of the game, a no doubter deep into the corn capped off one of the most picture perfect nights baseball has ever seen. We all fell in love with the game all over again.
TIM ANDERSON WALK-OFF CORN BOMB WHAT A GAME WHAT A FINISH BASEBALL IS KING pic.twitter.com/QdpL0gFN3N— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) August 13, 2021
This feels like something Major League Baseball simply HAS TO continue on a yearly basis. There’s no going back now, not after you put together something like this. It has the makings of something like the NHL’s “Winter Classic”, where every year two new teams could meet and play in this surreal environment.
Major League Baseball took a huge step in the right direction with providing new refreshing content, and all we can hope is that this is just the beginning.