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Special Field of Dreams MLB game ends with Hollywood-style homer and fireworks display


A Major League Baseball game played as a tribute to classic movie Field of Dreams ended in Hollywood style with a walk-off home run and dazzling fireworks display.

The Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees in the first official MLB game held in Iowa, in a stunning, custom-built stadium in an Iowa cornfield close to the diamond erected for the 1989 Kevin Costner film.

Sox shortstop Tim Anderson batted a two-run homer off New York Yankees pitcher Zack Britton in the game’s ninth inning, treating spectators to an exciting 9-8 walk-off win. 

Amazing video footage showed the 8,000 crowd erupting with delight as Anderson hit the homer at the stadium in Dyersville, Iowa. 

As the White Sox victory was confirmed, fireworks began exploding over the picturesque setting, with a triumphant Anderson filmed jumping into the air in delight and running towards his overjoyed teammates. 

The MLB itself conceded the storybook-perfect ending to the game, tweeting: ‘A #walkoff into the corn at #MLBatFieldofDreams. Couldn’t write a better script,” the MLB tweeted.  

Based on W. P. Kinsella’s novel ‘Shoeless Joe,’ the 1989 film ‘Field of Dreams’ starring Kevin Costner is considered by many to be one of the finest sports movies of all time for the way it captures the timeless nature and universal appeal of baseball. 

It sees Costner play Ray Kinsella, a 36 year-old farmer inspired by the ghost of his dad to build a baseball diamond in a corn field. The diamond is then visited by the ghostly baseball players, and eventually becomes a real-life success among locals.  

Both Costner and co-star Timothy Busfield were seen giving interviews and playing catch on the original field built for the movie – which sits on the same property as the diamond built for Thursday’s game – ahead of the contest. 

The White Sox and Yankees also wore special retro-style Nike uniforms for the game, in a further nod to the movie which inspired it.  

White Sox short stop Tim Anderson celebrates after his two-run homer helped his team win Thursday’s special game 

This is the moment Anderson hit the two-run homer, sparking a walk-off win against the New York Yankees

This is the moment Anderson hit the two-run homer, sparking a walk-off win against the New York Yankees 

Anderson and his team mates' delight was clear to see after they won the game at a specially-constructed stadium

Anderson and his team mates’ delight was clear to see after they won the game at a specially-constructed stadium 

The 8,000 person stadium was built in a cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa, on the same property as the diamond built for classic 1989 movie Field of Dreams

The 8,000 person stadium was built in a cornfield in Dyersville, Iowa, on the same property as the diamond built for classic 1989 movie Field of Dreams 

Fans gather before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees, as both teams wore throwback jerseys for the special event

Fans gather before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees, as both teams wore throwback jerseys for the special event

The Iowan sunset illuminated baseball fans watching the Yankees and the White Sox during the sixth inning of the Field of Dreams Game. About a third of the crowd were Iowans.

The Iowan sunset illuminated baseball fans watching the Yankees and the White Sox during the sixth inning of the Field of Dreams Game. About a third of the crowd were Iowans.

The game was a fitting tribute to Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, as his favorite team, the White Sox, walked off the grass with a 9-8 win over the Yankees in a night to remember for both MLB fans and players, who batted ball after ball into the tall Iowa cornfield.

Pushed back a year by the COVID-19 pandemic, the game was playing in a 8,000-seat stadium and was nationally televised by Fox.

The White Sox started the game brightly, ripping three ‘homers’, with Eloy Jimenez capping off a four-run third inning with a two-run shot. Catcher Seby Zavala added a two-run shot in the fourth to give the White Sox a 7-3 lead.

But the Yankees stormed back. Aaron Judge, wearing special ‘Field of Dreams’ cleats with the quote ‘If you build it, he will come,’ might have had the most fun, hitting two home runs. The first came in the third when he ripped a three-run homer into the right field corn to give the Yankees a brief 3-1 lead.

Brett Gardner added a solo shot for the Yankees in the sixth to make it a 7-4 game. Judge’s second shot, a two-run homer in the ninth, made it a 7-6 game. After a Joey Gallo walk, Giancarlo Stanton smashed a two-run shot to give the Yankees the lead.  

The Yankees had leapfrogged the White Sox with an 8-7 lead before the Hollywood ending, which saw Anderson circle the bases as fireworks exploded in the bottom of the ninth inning to mark up the White Sox’s 9-8 win with swagger.

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (pictured) celebrated his walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in the ninth inning during a baseball game while fireworks erupted to mark the special occasion

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (pictured) celebrated his walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in the ninth inning during a baseball game while fireworks erupted to mark the special occasion

Before the game, Costner and co-star Timothy Busfield were seen giving interviews and playing catch on the original field near Dyersville, Iowa ahead of Thursday’s much-anticipated game.  

‘This is perfect,’ Costner said while inspecting the grounds in a promotional video from MLB. ‘Every bit of it. This is perfect.’  

The original field, which abuts its replica, couldn’t be used because its dimensions don’t meet MLB regulations. 

And devotees will notice more than a few differences between the new replica and the modest baseball field built by Kinsella in a film based on W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel, ‘Shoeless Joe.’ 

The plain, wooden bleachers have been replaced by some stadium seating, and there’s even a center field scoreboard at the edge of the corn field, where the ghosts of the former players returned after each game in the film. Perhaps most notably, an outfield wall now separates the field from the rows of corn, but it is somewhat transparent to allow for a bit of the movie’s celebrated ambiance. 

Following the game, construction crews will dismantle the temporary stadium and place the equipment in storage, but the field itself will remain in use for future events, according to MLB. The park holds about 8,000 spectators, about a third of whom were Iowans, MLB explained in a statement. 

The event is part of MLB’s effort to raise the game’s profile away from Major League cities.    

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Costner (center) and co-star Timothy Busfield (left) were seen given interviews on the field ahead of Thursday's schedule game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, the favorite team of Kinsella's father, John, in the film

Costner (center) and co-star Timothy Busfield (left) were seen given interviews on the field ahead of Thursday’s schedule game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox, the favorite team of Kinsella’s father, John, in the film

Based on W.P. Kinsella's 1982 book, 'Shoeless Joe,' the 1989 film 'Field of Dreams' is considered a classic among baseball fans

Costner's character Ray Kinsella is pictured in the film

Based on W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 book, ‘Shoeless Joe,’ the 1989 film ‘Field of Dreams’ is considered a classic among baseball fans

A sign welcomes visitors to the "Field of Dreams" movie set next to the cornfield ballpark near Dyersville, Iowa on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox will play a MLB regular season game on an adjacent ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa on Thursday

A sign welcomes visitors to the ‘Field of Dreams’ movie set next to the cornfield ballpark near Dyersville, Iowa on Wednesday, August 11, 2021. The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox will play a MLB regular season game on an adjacent ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa on Thursday

In one of the more iconic shots from Field of Dreams, the Chicago White Sox players who received lifetime bans from baseball commissioner K.M. Landis for throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds appear out of the cornfield

In one of the more iconic shots from Field of Dreams, the Chicago White Sox players who received lifetime bans from baseball commissioner K.M. Landis for throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds appear out of the cornfield 

New York Yankees Gerrit Cole and teammates walk through the centerfield cornfield as he and teammates admire the 1989 movie set ballpark of the "Field of Dreams"

New York Yankees Gerrit Cole and teammates walk through the centerfield cornfield as he and teammates admire the 1989 movie set ballpark of the ‘Field of Dreams’

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge walks through the cornfield from the 1989 movie set ballpark of the "Field of Dreams"

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge walks through the cornfield from the 1989 movie set ballpark of the ‘Field of Dreams’

Costner is seen playing catch on the field in Dyersville, Iowa ahead of Thursday's White Sox-Yankees game

Costner is seen playing catch on the field in Dyersville, Iowa ahead of Thursday’s White Sox-Yankees game 

New York Yankees starting pitcher Andrew Heaney (pictured) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Field of Dreams on Thursday

New York Yankees starting pitcher Andrew Heaney (pictured) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Field of Dreams on Thursday 

Scorekeepers manually kept track of the game during the fifth inning of the MLB Field of Dreams Game between the White Sox and the Yankees in a cornfield in Dyerseville, Iowa

Scorekeepers manually kept track of the game during the fifth inning of the MLB Field of Dreams Game between the White Sox and the Yankees in a cornfield in Dyerseville, Iowa  

Chicago White Sox players 'disappear' as they walk through the centerfield cornfield they leave the 1989 movie set ballpark of the 'Field of Dreams', and they get ready for game at an adjacent MLB Field of Dreams cornfield ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa

Chicago White Sox players ‘disappear’ as they walk through the centerfield cornfield they leave the 1989 movie set ballpark of the ‘Field of Dreams’, and they get ready for game at an adjacent MLB Field of Dreams cornfield ballpark in Dyersville, Iowa

The plain, wooden bleachers have been replaced by some stadium seating, and there's even a center field scoreboard at the edge of the corn field, where the ghosts of the former players returned after each game in the film. Perhaps most notably, an outfield wall now separates the field from the rows of corn, but much of the wall is transparent to allow for some of the ambiance of the film

The plain, wooden bleachers have been replaced by some stadium seating, and there’s even a center field scoreboard at the edge of the corn field, where the ghosts of the former players returned after each game in the film. Perhaps most notably, an outfield wall now separates the field from the rows of corn, but much of the wall is transparent to allow for some of the ambiance of the film

Likening Field of Dreams to ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ Costner told MLB Network’s Bob Costas during an interview that the film has entered the American psyche.

‘When it comes down to the ones that stick with you, if that list is five deep or 10 deep, and Field of Dreams isn’t on it, then there’s something wrong with the list,’ Costner told Costas.

‘There’s a magic to this field that wasn’t there when we were shooting,’ Busfield said, referring to the original field near Dyersville, where the movie was filmed. ‘This was just a film location when we were shooting – and it was a tough location for the heat and the flies. 

‘What has happened, it’s become this place that even I’m effected by in a different way than when I was filming You can feel it out there.’ 

Costner explained that he original field is so moving, that he felt compelled to play catch with fans of the film who came to Iowa for Thursday’s game.  

‘I went to play catch out there yesterday, I wanted to take my kids, and we played a little catch,’ Costner said. ‘I couldn’t help but notice, not children, but there were grown men at the end and they all had their gloves and were just watching. 

‘I said to my son, ”I’m going to play catch with these men.”

‘He said, ”all of them?” 

‘I said, ”let’s see what happens.” 

‘I pointed at one guy and I threw to him and after eight or nine catches, he stopped himself and he gave another man a turn,’ Costner concluded. ‘They figured out their own thing out there, and one by one, I probably played with 30 guys.’ 

he New York Yankees gather for the team photo before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Field of Dreams

he New York Yankees gather for the team photo before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Field of Dreams

Former Yankees slugger-turned-announcer Alex Rodriguez takes a selfie on the 'Field of Dreams' in Dyersville, Iowa

Former Yankees slugger-turned-announcer Alex Rodriguez takes a selfie on the ‘Field of Dreams’ in Dyersville, Iowa 

Aaron Judge, wearing special 'Field of Dreams' cleats with the quote 'If you build it, he will come,' might have had the most fun, hitting two home runs

Aaron Judge, wearing special ‘Field of Dreams’ cleats with the quote ‘If you build it, he will come,’ might have had the most fun, hitting two home runs 

The MLB sign tells the story in Dyersville, Iowa before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees

The MLB sign tells the story in Dyersville, Iowa before the game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees

The Chicago White Sox gather for their team photo before the game against the New York Yankees at Field of Dreams

The Chicago White Sox gather for their team photo before the game against the New York Yankees at Field of Dreams

More than three decades after ‘Field of Dreams’ seeped into the country’s cultural consciousness, with a one-year delay caused by the pandemic, one of the most famous cornfields in Hollywood history finally gets the opportunity to host real major league ball.

‘Is this heaven?’ the ghost of John Kinsella asked in the movie that inspired Thursday’s game game next to the actual site used in the 1989 film, which is maintained as a tourist attraction.

‘No, it’s Iowa,’ dutiful farmer Ray Kinsella — played by Kevin Costner — responded to his father with a smile before they played catch under the lights in the movie’s most poignant scene.

This week, the ball playing isn’t fiction.

‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson and other long-ago players who took the field in the movie were replaced by José Abreu and Aaron Judge.

A sign is shown in maze in a cornfield between the ballpark from the "Field of Dreams" movie and a new MLB stadium near Dyersville, Iowa

A sign is shown in maze in a cornfield between the ballpark from the ‘Field of Dreams’ movie and a new MLB stadium near Dyersville, Iowa

The proud and quintessential Midwestern state, usually only in the spotlight every four years during presidential campaigns, hosted a Major League Baseball game for the first time at a temporary venue built for about 8,000 fans in tiny Dyersville — population ‘about 4,400, we’re hoping for in the next census,’ said mayor Jim Heavens.

The event, part of MLB’s increased effort to grow the game by setting up shop in places without in-person access to the highest level of the sport, has been in the works for years. The original plan to play in 2020 was postponed when the coronavirus forced a shortened schedule at mostly empty ballparks, but if the White Sox, the Yankees or the Iowans became impatient then they were out of step with the spirit of the film.

‘The one constant through all the years,’ as the sage author Terence Mann declared to Ray Kinsella in the film, ‘has been baseball.’

Dyersville found its place on the map through the movie that starred Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan, but the sport has been entrenched in the town for more than a century. Commercial Club Park is where the team from Beckman Catholic High School and the local semipro club play, a spot as much at the heart of the community as the well-kept farms around it.

One-third of the crowd on Thursday were Iowa residents.

Ray Liotta (left) as Shoeless Joe Jackson talks with Kevin Costner's character Ray Kinsella during the 1989 film Field of Dreams

Ray Liotta (left) as Shoeless Joe Jackson talks with Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella during the 1989 film Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams begins with farmer Ray Kinsella hearing a voice in his Iowa cornfield: 'If you build it, he will come'

Field of Dreams begins with farmer Ray Kinsella hearing a voice in his Iowa cornfield: ‘If you build it, he will come’ 

(From left) James Earl Jones, Kevin Costner, and Amy Madigan appear during the film Field of Dreams in 1989

(From left) James Earl Jones, Kevin Costner, and Amy Madigan appear during the film Field of Dreams in 1989 

Kevin Cosnter's character is rewarded for building the ballpark with the opportunity to pitch to Shoeless Joe Jackson's ghost

Kevin Cosnter’s character is rewarded for building the ballpark with the opportunity to pitch to Shoeless Joe Jackson’s ghost

‘I see a lot of people as I travel around the state, and when they find out you’re from Dyersville, they all know about this MLB game,’ Heavens said. ‘I think there’s a real element of pride in Iowa that MLB is coming. It’s kind of warmed my heart to see that the people of Iowa are so honored that this is happening.’

The original movie site was quickly deemed too small for a standard game, so the made-for-the-moment ballpark required removal of 30,000 cubic yards of material and the installation of 4,000 tons of sand and 2,000 tons of gravel. The bullpens were designed to mimic those at old Comiskey Park, the former home of the White Sox. There’s even a just-for-fun corn maze beyond right field.

This has been an especially hot and dry summer in this part of the country, so an irrigation system was installed to keep the prime crop in good shape for its time to shine on national TV — between 10 and 12 feet high.

‘We wanted to make sure we didn’t show up in the middle of August with brown corn,’ said Chris Marinak, MLB’s chief operations and strategy officer.

White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez sports Chicago's throwback jerseys for Thursday's game against the Yankees in Iowa

White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez sports Chicago’s throwback jerseys for Thursday’s game against the Yankees in Iowa

Fox Sports announcers Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz at the MLB Field of Dreams Fox Sports 'MLB at Field of Dreams'

Fox Sports announcers Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz at the MLB Field of Dreams Fox Sports ‘MLB at Field of Dreams’

Although it's not a huge departure from his regular uniform, the Yankees' Aaron Judge shows off his throwback jersey

Although it’s not a huge departure from his regular uniform, the Yankees’ Aaron Judge shows off his throwback jersey 

Just about everything about this event is unique.

‘When we first heard that this game would happen, I think everybody had that kind of initial rush of ‘Oh, this is going to be amazing to be a part of this broadcast,’ said Brad Zager, executive vice president of production and operations for Fox Sports. ‘When you start looking at it, there are very few events that we get a chance to produce that there’s no blueprint for.’

Both teams wore throwback uniforms harkening back to 1919, when Jackson played for the White Sox and was one of eight players banned for fixing the World Series. The history of that team is one of the many themes woven into a film that transcends sports.

The White Sox and Yankees were also the two favorite teams of the John Kinsella character in the movie, at different points of his life.

‘I was an actor for 40 years, and nobody stops and asks me about the episodes of ‘ER’ that I did, but a certain amount of people look at me strangely from across the room and then come over and tell me some amazing story about how that movie changed their relationship with their dad,’ said Dwier Brown, who played John Kinsella. ‘All I did was take off my catcher’s mask and walk right in, so I’m grateful for my little piece in the whole puzzle.’

In the movie's tearjerking finale, Ray Kinsella gets to meet a his father's ghost (right) for a game of catch

In the movie’s tearjerking finale, Ray Kinsella gets to meet a his father’s ghost (right) for a game of catch 



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