Martin: MLB Misses Opportunity by Postponing Field of Dreams Gameby B.J. Martin August 13, 2020 0 comments
Today would have been MLB’s Field of Dreams game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox. The game was to be played on the iconic cornfield-turned-baseball diamond in rural Dyersville, Iowa, made famous in the 1989 motion picture “Field of Dreams.”
Last week, Major League Baseball announced they were postponing the event until 2021 “due to the pandemic.” Today, the Midwest diamond will remain vacant instead of being occupied by some of the game’s best talent.
Understandably, MLB would like to play this neutral site, regular-season game before Iowa baseball fans lucky enough to secure a ticket for the game. In other ways, what better context is there for playing a game on this iconic field with actual MLB players than within a season featuring no spectators at any of the games?
Field of Dreams was a baseball fantasy in which deceased baseball players of bygone eras such as Joe Jackson magically returned to play on this field. Only the protagonist Ray Kinsella, his immediate family, and a chosen few could actually see the players play the games from their small metal bleachers. How apropos to have the actual St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox playing the game on a cornfield without any fans with perhaps the selection of a chosen few.
Major League Baseball is once again missing another wonderful opportunity to market the game at a time when people are looking for positive, uplifting news and events. Having the game played this year would have provided a few extra traveling inconveniences for the two clubs and officials involved, but the return on investment could be unprecedented.
How cool would it be to possibly talk to Kevin Costner and his fellow co-stars that portrayed the Kinsella family reunited to sit on the bleachers, socially distanced and microphoned for the action? If getting the actors is not an option, how about making a contest and bringing a lucky fan and their family to the field while distanced from players and other personnel to enjoy this exclusive MLB game to themselves.
So many Americans are struggling this year and MLB had a vehicle to provide some goodness to a select few. The goodwill from such an event could have gone a long way in promoting the strength of family and the national pastime of baseball that truly separates itself from other sports.
Once again, Major League Baseball comes across as unimaginative and scripted in their response to anything related to the COVID-19 crisis. They seem either unwilling or unable to promote their product in a manner that will give them the competitive edge they are so quick to state is a priority for the sport. MLB could have still had this game this year without fans and played the game again next year in front of fans.
Instead, they have opted to postpone entirely until next year.
As for today, the little ballfield in Iowa will remain barren due to a lack of imagination. A stark contrast to the vision and commitment to his cause as the fictional Ray Kinsella.