They will come.
Eight thousand fans on a path through the corn to the legendary “Fields of Dream” baseball field for the first-ever Major League Baseball game near Dyersville, Iowa, in 2020.
And, the first in Iowa.
The announcement that the New York Yankees will play the Chicago White Sox caused great excitement, a rise in blood pressure.
It was the site of a 1989 movie which made Iowa famous in the baseball world.
“If you build it, he will come.”
And so they are. That the teams the White Sox and the Yankees is the proverbial “no-brainer” as those teams are central to the movie.
The father of Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, was a catcher for the Yankees. Another key role, played by Ray Liotta, was Shoeless Joe Jackson, a member of the Chicago White Sox team who allegedly threw the World Series after receiving bribes from gamblers.
It also helps that Chicago is only 400 miles from Dyersville. It plays as the home team on Aug. 13, 2020.
Information is just coming out, but it appears an 8,000 seat temporary stadium will be constructed around the field.
I’m not counting on being included on the media list; or to have enough dollars to even get a distant look at a ticket. I’m pretty certain those will go to a lot of celebrities – Hollywood, sports and politics – who might have at one time attended a baseball game.
The “Field of Dreams” remains a much loved story about the need of a son who needs to reconcile with his father, whom death took away before that step was taken.
Another key person in the film is Archibald “ Moonlight” Graham, played by Bert Lancaster. He had one at-bat in 1922 for the New York Giants. Graham emerges from the land of broken dreams to once again become young and spry.
During a pivotal moment Graham must decide between stepping away from the legends and playing baseball or saving a young child and returning to his 1972 life as a doctor, Shoeless Joe Jackson looks over and says “You were good, kid.”
That scene brings memories of others who had broken dreams; people encountered on a journey through life. Their dream was within their grasp and then gone.
One was the father of a classmate and a member of my church. Travie was just a guy in a church pew who sometimes served as deacon and greeted people as they entered. Many years later I learned he had been signed to play shortstop for the Saint Louis Cardinals.
Bennie Coomer was the police chief in the town of my first newspaper job, Princeton, Ind. Bennie, one of the good guys, was playing in the Minor League farm system for the New York Yankees when Tony Kubek was injured and the call was made to Bennie.
Talking it over with his wife, who like Bennie was from a small town, found she was not exactly excited about going to New York City. So, the offer was turned down.
In my mind, Bennie Coomer was Moonlight Graham. At the pinnacle of baseball, he opted for another course and many people benefitted.