Iowa’s first MLB game played next to the “Field of Dreams”

The Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Yankees, 9 to 8, late Thursday at an Iowa cornfield that was transformed into a “Field of Dreams.”

In the film, the field is a place where dreams come true, and now, life imitates art. Major League Baseball spent years building the field next to the movie set.

“Wow … feels perfect,” actor Kevin Costner said of the field. Costner, who acted in the film, was given the opportunity to walk onto the field ahead of the historic game, which is the first MLB game played in Iowa.

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Chicago White Sox players pose for a photo at the “Field of Dreams” movie site. Charlie Neibergall / AP

“I mean to be here — this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Larry Bailey, a baseball fan. Larry and his wife drove 500 miles — all the way from Kentucky — to attend the game.

Whether it’s the game or the movie, Larry wouldn’t miss it. “It’s a perfect baseball movie,” he said.

It’s a sacred story that connects fathers with their sons and daughters. “I’m supposed to believe that you built all this just so you can play catch with your dad?” one of the movie’s lines reads. It’s something every kid dreams about — even when they’re no longer a kid.

“It’s about a father and son relationship,” Bailey said. “I’m sorry to say, my dad and I never did play catch together.”

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Carlos Mendoza of the New York Yankees walks through the “Field of Dreams” movie set on August 12, 2021, in Dyersville, Iowa. Daniel Shirey/MLB via Getty

Costner said, “A lot of the big leaguers probably watched this movie when they were little boys. Watched their dads crying, ‘What was that about? Why are you crying?'”

To understand, you have to be there. You have to see it — anything else seems insufficient. “This place is something magical,” Larry said.

Larry is among some 8,000 fans who made the pilgrimage to this baseball holy site. “It’s like Mecca of America to come here in the baseball world,” Costner said.

In lines from the movie, one character asks: “Is this heaven?” and Costner’s character says, “No, it’s Iowa.” Tonight for baseball fans, was there a difference?