Tim Anderson admitted recently that he had never seen “Field of Dreams.” He just submitted a script for a sequel.
Anderson hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning into the cornfield to end the Field of Dreams game in cinematic fashion, as the Chicago White Sox outslugged the New York Yankees 9-8 Thursday night in the first Major League Baseball game in Iowa.
Anderson stated, “The fans came to see the show, so we gave them a program.”
Anderson, who already had an RBI double, was able to hit the first pitch of Zack Britton (0-1), for his 13th homer this season.
Anderson clearly had as much fun as everyone else and danced his way around bases after the show-stopper of a hit. He wiggled his fingers near his neck and headed home to celebrate with his teammates.
Anderson said, “Being in a position to walk it off was definitely the best moment of my career,” and led the crowd of 7,832 through the corn to their cars after a light show and fireworks display at the made-from scratch stadium.
Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each hit two-run homers for the Yankees in the top of the ninth off All-Star closer Liam Hendriks (7-2), as the movie-themed throwback event became a home run hitting contest into the cornfield.
This was exactly the thrill that many players had hoped for before the event. There were eight longballs, two of which were by Judge.
Anderson’s game-winning shot was a Hollywood end. It didn’t matter if it was more “Field of Dreams”, than “The Natural”.
“He’s been our energy, our man, and the lifeblood of our team. Miguel Cairo, White Sox’s acting manager, said that Tony La Russa was a great leader.
They played next to the filming site of the beloved 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta and James Earl Jones, and even the Yankees fans who made the trek could hardly have headed home anything but happy with the experience.
Andrew Heaney was the starting pitcher and was hit for seven runs in five innings by his new team. He was struggling to remember the events.
Despite falling to fourth in the AL East and losing the race for two wild card spots, the Yankees will never forget this trip.
Manager Aaron Boone stated, “That was as extraordinary and breathtaking a scene for a baseball match as I have ever been part of.”
Jose Abreu made the first drive in the sea of green stalks. His teammates Eloy Jimenez, Seby Zavala and Seby Zavala followed with homers for White Sox. This was a vintage summer night in farmland with teams dressed in 1919-style uniforms.
Judge wore custom-painted cleats to commemorate the film, with the famous line “If you build it, he will come,” printed on the tongues and cornstalks on the sides.
Lance Lynn, the League ERA leader, was able to avoid a Judge three-run homer and a single shot by Brett Gardner to end five innings for White Sox. He remains unbeaten in eight of his last eight starts.
Costner started the evening with a star’s entrance, slowly walking out of the cornrows — like Shoeless Joe Jackson and his ghost-like teammates did in the film — before turning to watch the players do the same for their made-for-TV pregame introductions. Costner addressed the fans with the obligatory question to honor the film’s famous line, “Is it heaven?”
It’s Iowa. But MLB will return, as Commissioner Rob Manfred promised. The teams are still to be determined.
Gardner stated, “I wish there was more time to take in the season and really appreciate it.”