"If you build it they will come," rings true for Field of Dreams game and the White Sox
Both the game and one of its participants have been in the works for some time now, with both coming to fruition in 2021.
Over 30 years ago, the “Field of Dreams” movie made its debut in theaters and quickly resonated with its viewers. In 2021, all eyes were on the movie site in Dyersville, Iowa, for one evening.
The famous words “if you build, he will come” and of course, James Earl Jones' character Terence Mann’s “People will come” speech went from movie lines to reality. But, unfortunately, both those words lie true with not just the special-themed regular-season game but for one of the teams involved — the Chicago White Sox.
From 2013 to 2016, White Sox had four straight losing seasons while showing no clear direction. This was leaving fans disgruntled and wanting more down for their favorite team. As a response, the attendance numbers dropped significantly and nearly forcing the organization’s hand in making a move.
The White Sox organization dismantled their team, starting with the trades of Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, and then eventually Jose Quintana. Those moves spearheaded the White Sox into a new plan of action that would hopefully result in a World Series contender one day.
Since those trades, the White Sox worked to develop talent (Luis Robert, Yoán Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and several others) while making supplemental moves, including extensions (José Abreu), signings (Dallas Keuchel and Liam Hendriks), and even more trades (Lance Lynn, César Hernández, and Craig Kimbrel).
Despite the pandemic, fans noticed the moves and put more interest in the once-forgotten ball club (looking at you, national media). In the last couple of seasons, fans have watched more White Sox games and purchased more White Sox gear than years past. In June, Guaranteed Rate Field moved to full capacity, and it has resulted in several games with well over 30,000 fans which was a rarity in previous seasons.
In 2016, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was joined alongside John Smoltz and others to visit Dyersville, Iowa. This trip was to take in the Field of Dreams and potentially see a future marriage between Major League Baseball and the site. However, it was not until a 2019 announcement that some event would finally be held between the two. After a few obstacles, the Field Of Dreams game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees would finally be held on August 12, 2021, in front of just under 8,000 fans in Dyersville, Iowa.
The game was everything and more from the corn, to the teams, to the production, and of course, the late-game heroics off the bat of Chicago’s Tim Anderson.
For one night, all eyes were on Iowa and the Chicago White Sox. These two things have spent years in and around the field working to bring excitement to those that visit, and it was felt that night. The overall reception of those from Dubuque County and across the world has been a positive one.
The people have come and gone, but the memories are forever, and this might be the start of many magical, movie-like moments from the Chicago White Sox.
Featured Photo: USA TODAY Sports