If you play it, they will watch. Thursday night’s “Field of Dreams” MLB game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees enjoyed the top spot in ratings. It pulled in an average of more than five million viewers.
The game itself was a dream. From the idyllic Iowa setting—the Dyersville property on which the 1989 movie was filmed—to a walk-off home run at the bottom of the ninth, MLB fans may as well have taken a trip to the movies.
Yankees fans aren’t so excited with the final results, but even they went home with something worthwhile. For a few hours, they got to watch the first-ever MLB game played in heaven. Okay, it was Iowa. But it was the first regular-season MLB game hosted by the Hawkeye State.
The field itself is a stone’s throw away from the iconic diamond where Shoeless Joe Jackson sent Ray Kinsella’s low ball to the deep left corn. If that wasn’t enough, Ray Kinsella actor Kevin Costner appeared from the very same cornfield. And in a moment that will live in baseball lore for as long as the sport endures, the White Sox and Yankees themselves materialized from the corn to the “Field of Dreams” score.
“30 years ago, on the other side of that corn, we filmed a movie that stood the test of time. Tonight, thanks to the enduring impact of that little movie, it’s allowed us to come here again. But now, we’re on a field that Major League Baseball made,” Costner began his remarks, addressing the entire stadium.
Naturally, the “Yellowstone” star brought the whole thing home in a powerful fashion. It’s no wonder the TV ratings were through the roof.
MLB Fans Blown Away By the ‘Field of Dreams’ Game Experience
With a modest 8,000-seat stadium housing the Dyersville audience, the great majority of the fans looked on from their couches. Though it’s safe to say neither was disappointed.
“I’m not really sure MLB could have done an event better than the Field of Dreams Game. Yes, the game was bonkers and the finish was Oscar worthy, but the entire thing—the scenery, the park, the weather, the people involved, the vibe—it was just perfect. Unforgettable experience,” White Sox announcer Len Kasper wrote.
“I really like that MLB tried something different with the Field of Dreams game. Created a cool way to showcase the game and they got a hell of a game out of it,” a Yankees fan wrote.
To put the viewership into perspective, the average eyeballs on a given Sunday Night Baseball game for the MLB is a little over 1.5 million. The “Field of Dreams” game grabbed the attention of more than 3x that number.
The game may very well become a running tradition for the MLB.