On Thursday night, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are meeting in Dyersville, Iowa, for the second edition of MLB's Field of Dreams Game. The game is a living tribute to the iconic 1989 film "Field of Dreams" that starred Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, and the late Ray Liotta that was in part an exploration of baseball nostalgia.
While opinions vary on how effective the movie is, there's no disputing that it's one of the most discussed and recognizable baseball films ever made (it was also an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture). The film hinges on the decision made by Costner's farmer character to carve a baseball diamond of his corn field -- at great personal risk and expense -- all because a mysterious whispering voice told him to:
That field will be visited by the ghosts of long-ago baseball players and by a lost presence in Costner's character's life. But enough spoilers.
The dimensions of the movie field itself -- now a prominent tourist destination in Iowa -- aren't such that a major-league game can be played on it, but a nearby field constructed for last year's inaugural FoD Game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox certainly captured the essence of things. People, there was lots of corn. Construction, however, will apparently prevent MLB from hosting a game in Iowa next year.
Now let's set the scene for the second edition of the Field of Dreams Game by running down the essential things to know.
How to watch the Field of Dreams Game
Where: Dyersville, Iowa | When: 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 11
TV channel: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: Cubs -105; Reds -115; O/U: 9 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Now for a few things to know about the 2022 edition.
1. The Reds and Cubs will be wearing throwback uniforms
Given that the movie Field of Dreams draws heavily from the Deadball Era of more than a century ago, the two competing squads will be outfitted appropriately. It says here they'll look pretty darn good. First up, the Cubs:
Can't wait to see the @Cubs rocking these unis for #MLBatFieldofDreams! 🌽 pic.twitter.com/w5gGMDxVsd— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2022
Throwin’ it back for #MLBatFieldOfDreams. 🌽 pic.twitter.com/f7B9P0i1Lu— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) August 8, 2022
This is a bit of a mashup that works very well. The jersey and pants are from the Cubs' pennant-winning campaign of 1929, and the hat is from the 1914 season.
Now for the Reds:
Party like it's 1919❗️#MLBatFieldOfDreams 🌽 #RedsThreads pic.twitter.com/62HQCGYj5p— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 8, 2022
That ensemble was featured prominently during the 1914-20 period, and you may consider the Reds' batting helmet to be the early favorite for "best thing going" when it comes to the uniforms of the 2022 FoD game.
2. Joey Votto and Ian Happ will be mic'd up
MLB has leaned into having mic'd-up conversations with players in the dugout and even on the field while the game is ongoing, and not surprisingly that's going to be the case on Thursday night. The lucky/afflicted players for this game will be Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. They'll be rocking the two-way mic at some point during the game. Given Votto's engaging presence and sense of humor, he could be an ideal fit for this sort of thing.
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3. The ballpark will be the star
Much like last year, the specially constructed FoD ballpark will be the story of the night. As noted above, the field from the movie isn't suitable for MLB competition, but the one that's being used captures the same essence thanks to grace notes like the manual scoreboard and the 159 acres of surrounding 10-foot corn stalks. Adding to the ambience is the fine mesh seven-foot high green chain link fence that makes it look like, yes, they're playing right in the middle of an Iowa cornfield.
Also, each team will have a throwback logo carved into the corn just beyond the right-field wall. Regard:
They built it, so we will come.#MLBatFieldOfDreams pic.twitter.com/Oq2fSChV9E— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 6, 2022
4. It'll be hard to top last year's edition
The first FoD game, unlike this year's model, involved contenders and eventual playoff teams. As well, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson provided one of the most memorable closing acts of the season against the Yankees:
As well, MLB notes that last year's game "delivered nearly six million viewers and marked the most-watched single regular season baseball game on any network since 1998."
Given that the Reds and Cubs are both near the bottom of the National League Central standings and at most are competing for draft position in 2023, the stakes are obviously much lower. That said, the venue and the visuals are the real stars of the FoD game, and those will be in peak form once again.