It’s time for the Field of Dreams game, and we know which pitchers will try to keep baseballs out of the cornfield.
Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.04 ERA) (pictured above) will start for the Chicago White Sox as they host the New York Yankees in Dyersville.
At -170, Lynn is the odds-on favorite to win the AL Cy Young award, according to Caesars Sportsbook. Awards like the Cy Young aren’t an approved wager in Iowa, however.
Andrew Heaney (7-8, 5.45 ERA) toes the mound and will start the Yankees defense in the bottom half of the first inning.
Heaney was California Dreamin’ — not Field of Dreamin’ — just a few weeks ago. The Yankees acquired him from the LA Angels at the trade deadline for RHPs Elvis Peguero and Janson Junk.
Field of Dreams game odds at Iowa sportsbooks
Lynn and Heaney are starting the first regular-season MLB game ever played in Iowa. Coverage of the game begins at 6 p.m. on Fox. Pregame coverage begins at 5 p.m.
If you wager $20 on the Field of Dreams game at Betfred Sports, you get $100. Plus all newly registered accounts receive a 100% first-wager match of $500, win or lose.
White Sox favored over Yankees
Legal sportsbooks in Iowa think the White Sox (67-48 after Wednesday’s game) are a top-five candidate to win the World Series.
The Yankees (63-51 after Wednesday) have won 12 of 16 and started the day two games behind Boston for an AL wild-card spot.
Players connect to Field of Dreams
Heaney said he owned the Field of Dreams VHS tape and watched it a few times.
“I need to rewatch it honestly. I need a refresher on it.”
White Sox All-Star closer Liam Hendricks might be called on to make the game’s final pitch. He talked about the trip to Iowa as part of a streamed press conference by Major League Baseball:
“I’m excited about running through the cornfields, because who wouldn’t be? There are certain things that resonate with a game like this and I think a lot of the guys are pretty excited.”
Field of Dreams game was years in the making
Fox considers the Field of Dreams game a jewel event for baseball. Producers said they want to create a cinematic experience for viewers.
Murray Cook was in charge of construction for the field near Dyersville. His crew broke ground on the project in August 2019.
The team had to clear out a cornfield, much like the main character Ray Kinsella and his daughter did in the movie. The Field of Dreams movie site is about 70 miles east of Waterloo or about 25 miles west of Dubuque.
Cook said he’d made about 20 trips to the northeast Iowa venue in the past two years.
“Every time I come out here and see this cornfield and see the corn around the grass, and the construction we had to go through building it — it’s just special. I can’t wait for the fans to see it and I can’t wait for the players to walk on it.”
Field of Dream tickets were in high demand
MLB used a random drawing to decide purchase opportunities for Field of Dreams tickets.
They limited the Field of Dreams lottery to fans with Iowa ZIP codes. The lucky few received two tickets to the game and a parking pass as part of a “ticket strip.”
Iowans waited an extra year for the game as well. The White Sox were supposed to host the St. Louis Cardinals a year ago near the movie set. However, baseball canceled the game due to pandemic logistics.
Movie ‘hits all of the heartstrings’
Field of Dreams is adapted from the 1982 book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. The movie became a National Film Registry selection by the Library of Congress in 2017.
According to MLB’s official website:
“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. The White Sox and the Yankees are the two favorite Clubs of Ray’s father, John Kinsella, at different points of his life.”
There’s a cosmic connection between Ray Kinsella’s mission to build a ballpark and unresolved feelings about his father. One thing the father and son shared was a passion for baseball.
“Everyone’s got an emotional attachment to this movie. We’re all baseball fans. We all have kids and family that we love playing ball with. I’ve been fortunate to work with Major League Baseball for a long time and worked in over 60 different countries building ballparks and fields for them. You know, this one hits all of the heartstrings.”