Dyersville, Iowa’s “Field of Dreams,” the site of Aug. 12’s Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, will be playable in MLB The Show 21 following a free update on Tuesday. That trailer above shows what it looks like in action, with newly minted Bronx Bomber Anthony Rizzo (acquired from the Cubs on July 29) blasting the Mazola out of a Lucas Giolito delivery.
A PlayStation Blog post explains the meticulous construction Sony’s San Diego Studio put into this new park, just as much as developers would do in the months-long process it takes for a regular-season MLB facility.
“As stadium construction in Iowa had yet to be finished,” when developers started work, said environment artist Shawn Robles, “our designers needed to research previous construction projects from the builder to craft all the minute details that would make a true-to-life stadium interior. Ultimately, our designers aimed to create a playable, in-game replica that gives the Field of Dreams the respect it deserves and is something that we, the fans, and the players would be proud of.”
The site, made famous by the 1989 film by the same name, was to have hosted a game between the two clubs in 2020, but the event was postponed to this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Field of Dreams involves the 1919 White Sox, eight of whom were banned for life for their part in fixing the World Series that year. The eight, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, played their final games in 1920.
In the movie, as well as the 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, a corn-farming baby boomer (Kevin Costner) is told by an ethereal voice to mow down this year’s crop and stick a baseball diamond in the middle of it. When he does, Jackson and his comrades return and get back to playing ball. In the film’s finale, Costner’s character discovers that his own father, shown as a young man playing catcher for the pre-Ruth New York Yankees, is among the ghosts who have come back.
MLB The Show 21 will get has a week of Field of Dreams-themed live content to celebrate the event. The post didn’t specify what this is, but it will probably include daily moments, challenges, and missions involving the site via the game’s Diamond Dynasty mode.
The Dyersville Field of Dreams is largely preserved as it was shown in the movie — a simple backstop, wooden bleachers on the first base line, and not much else. For the game Thursday, MLB constructed a temporary facility about 500 feet away, although still with cornfields wrapping the outfield fence and foul territory.
The original field’s modest dimensions (281 feet to left, 314 to center, 262 to right!) made a bigger park as much of a necessity as extra seating to handle 8,000 fans. (Diamond Dynasty players would no doubt farm extra-base hits and XP all day long at such a park, too.) The temporary site is intended as an homage to Chicago’s first Comiskey Park, which hosted its final game one year after the movie’s premiere.