Major League Baseball announced August 4 that the Thursday, August 13 “MLB at Field of Dreams presented by GEICO” event between the Chicago White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals has been postponed due to the pandemic. MLB hopes to make the event a part of its 2021 regular season schedule next August, featuring the White Sox as one of the participants.
Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said: “We made every effort to go ahead with a first-class event for the people of Iowa, admirers of the film and fans generally. Unfortunately, we have come to the conclusion that it would not be prudent to ask Clubs to step outside their normal routines, given the evolving public health challenges. We hope to host this event in Iowa in 2021.”
“MLB at Field of Dreams” was to have marked the first Major League game ever held in the State of Iowa, played at the fan-favorite tourist destination. MLB built a temporary ballpark at the Dyersville location, adjacent to the movie site and originally designed to host 8,000 fans in a national broadcast on FOX. The initial plan called for a matchup of the White Sox and the New York Yankees, who were later replaced by the Cardinals when MLB implemented a regionalized schedule due to the pandemic.
“Field of Dreams” stars Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Amy Madigan and was selected to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2017. The 1989 film tells the story of Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, a husband and father who is tending to his cornfield when he hears a mysterious voice intone, “If you build it, he will come.” According to the American Film Institute (AFI), those words are the 39th top film quote of all-time.
Since 1989, the Lansing Family Farm, which was used in the movie, has been a popular tourist attraction, now known as the “Field of Dreams Movie Site.” In 2011, the field was purchased by Denise Stillman and a group of investors with the goal of preserving the “Field of Dreams” and creating a special place for baseball fans, tournament players and families. Stillman began working with MLB in 2015, culminating in plans for this special game.
The conception of “MLB at Field of Dreams” followed other recent special events that have taken groundbreaking Major League games to non-traditional domestic locales, including the Fort Bragg Game in 2016, MLB In Omaha at the NCAA’s Men’s College World Series in 2019 and the annual Little League Classic in Williamsport since 2017. The events at Fort Bragg and in Omaha were the first Major League games ever in North Carolina and Nebraska, respectively.