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2021 White Sox: Field of Dreams Becomes Reality

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The Field of Dreams is a place that captivated baseball fans since the movie was first shown in 1989. Many fans fell in love with the movie and the field. This summer, it will be in the spotlight again. This is true because the 2021 White Sox are scheduled to play the New York Yankees at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.

Yes, they will be playing at the site where the iconic movie was filmed in 1988. The game was originally scheduled to be played in August of 2020 but was canceled due to the pandemic. It promises to be an interesting day for all baseball fans.

2021 White Sox: Field Of Dreams Background

The original Field of Dreams was constructed on a farm in Iowa in conjunction with the movie by the same name. The movie itself has been discussed often over the years, and many fans have fallen in love with the movie and the game.

Baseball fans from all over the U.S have visited the site over the years. However, now there will be a real game on the site. With real MLB teams on the field, and as many as 8,000 fans in the stands. So what do fans need to know?

The Physical Site

As mentioned, the original Field of Dreams was built on a farm in rural Dyersville, Iowa. There was essentially a house and a cornfield on the site for the filming of the movie. In 2020 crews came to the site to build a separate field where the White Sox and Yankees will play an official game.

The secondary field will be a short walk from the original site. The park is expected to hold about 8,000 fans and is designed to honor old Comiskey Park, where the 1919 White Sox played their home games. These were, of course, the famous Black Sox, featuring, among others, Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The town of Dyersville has a population of fewer than 5,000 people. The closest metropolitan is Dubuque, which is about 28 miles east of Dyersville. So, the little town may seem like an unlikely place to play an MLB game. Then again, for many, this adds to the charm and attraction of the whole Field of Dreams theme.

The Opponents: Who And Why

As mentioned, the two teams playing in the Field of Dreams game will be the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. The game will be played as a home game of the White Sox. It will be played on August 12th, at a time to be determined. Yes, the game will be official, similar to the Winter Classics the NHL produces every season. It will count in the standings and will be played using normal rules.

So, why the Sox and Yankees? The White Sox are a natural participant, as they have strong ties to the Field of Dreams. Along with Shoeless Joe, other members of the Black Sox “played” on the original field in the movie. So, the South Siders certainly belong on the newly-built field for a “real” game.

Since divisional play began in 1969, any rivalry between the Sox and the Yankees has not been anything special for most fans. In fact, the team the Black Sox lost to in the 1919 World Series, the Cincinnati Reds are on the Sox schedule in 2021. So, the Reds would have made a lot of sense as participants in the game.

Yet, the Yankees are one of, if not the most-recognized MLB teams, with a long winning tradition. They also tend to appear on nationally televised games frequently. There is also the whole Chicago-New York element. So, while the Reds would have been the most logical choice, MLB went with the bigger markets. Either way, it should be great theater.

How About The Fans?

At this point, who will be able to attend the game is a question with no answers. Surely White Sox season ticket holders will rightly assert that the game is a home team for their beloved Sox. That would be a reasonable conclusion on some levels.

Then again, the bleachers at the Field of Dreams will only hold about 8,000 fans. Add to that the fact that there will no doubt be allotments for players, coaches, and other team staff. Many MLB staff will be in attendance, as well, along with media members and other people associated with the production of a baseball game. Sox fans are going to simply be out-of-luck with the possible option of some sort of lottery.

Many fans from all over the country would love to see this game. There is no doubt that ticket prices on the secondary market will be incredibly high. Still, with the limited seats available, most fans will be relegated to watching the game from their couch or the local watering hole.

The game will be televised nationally by FOX, which will certainly realize high ratings from the telecast. This means that fans will likely be subjected to three or more hours of Joe Buck, for better or worse. Of course, likely, there will also be a national radio broadcast, so all is not lost.

A Time For Baseball To Shine

No matter which team one roots for, the Field of Dreams game is MLB’s chance to shine on the national stage. While baseball may no longer be America’s pastime, it still has appeal to many. With this game, perhaps MLB can reach out to fans and broaden its appeal. There will be no other major team sports in action at that time, and MLB will be in the spotlight.

With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if, for once, MLB did something really well, and used the Field of Dreams game to expand its fan base? Is that too much to ask of those who run the game? The same people who will have prime seats at this event while the average Joe is stuck watching on TV?

Finally, MLB should take a cue from their NFL brethren. Earlier this month, the NFL broadcast a playoff game on the Nickelodeon Network. They reached out to the younger audience, and it went over very well. Hmmm…MLB has had trouble reaching out to the younger generation. Maybe it’s time for new ideas. What do you say, Commissioner, how about using the Field of Dreams game to expand your fan base? Maybe you can turn your losing streak around, and start a whole new chapter for the game so many of us love.

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!