A few nights ago, Field of Dreams was airing on TV and Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer found himself watching the film once again. He has seen it plenty of times, but he was drawn in, knowing he soon would be playing a game near the famous movie site in Iowa.
The Reds and Cubs, two of baseball's oldest and most historic franchises, will have the chance to emerge from the corn stalks and face each other in this year's Field of Dreams Game on Aug. 11 in Dyersville, Iowa. Naturally, a player named Farmer would be included.
"It's an incredible movie and I'm looking forward to being out there," Farmer said in a Zoom call on Wednesday afternoon. " Everybody's excited. Wearing the 1919 uniforms and walking out of the corn and after everybody watching it from last year, I think everybody's pretty excited."
A year ago, it was the White Sox -- the team featured in the 1989 movie starring Kevin Coster -- taking on the Yankees. Costner was on hand and the ballclubs put on a memorable show. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each went deep in the ninth, and Tim Anderson ended things with a walk-off shot to the corn for Chicago.
Cubs first baseman Frank Schwindel smiled when asked how the North Siders and Reds might top last year's event.
"I don't know if we can," Schwindel said. "It's going to be tough to beat, but we're going to show up like it's any other day, play hard and hope we put on a show for the fans."
Farmer said he did a school report in high school about the Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 White Sox (depicted in the movie). Both he and Schwindel added that they were excited to tour some of the spots they have only seen on the silver screen.
"Watching homers go out into the corn, it's just something special," Schwindel said. "It's going to be a lot of fun. We're very spoiled to play at Wrigley every day. A lot of history, obviously. I think we're going to try to soak it all in when we get to that field. We'll walk through the corn, sit on the iconic bench out front."
Part of this year's Field of Dreams week will include a Minor League game on the site on Aug. 9 featuring the Quad Cities River Bandits and Cedar Rapids Kernels. Harold Reynolds will be on the call for MLB Network for the game, slated for 7 p.m. ET.
"This is an exciting moment and opportunity for Major League Baseball," Reynolds said. "Anytime you get a chance to really showcase the different things that we do in our sport, this stands up there as a shining light. Last year did not hurt at all."
April Brown, MLB's vice president of social reponsibility, noted that there would also be several community initiatives around the event.
Commissioner Rob Manfred is scheduled to visit MercyOne in Dubuque, Iowa, to honor military members and veterans. MLB will also be hosting groups from TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and USA Patriots (a softball program for people who have lost limbs).
And, of course, MLB will once again be able to showcase a ballpark unlike any other.
"It's truly a dream come true to have a chance to build this field, really," said Murray Cook, president of BrightView Sports Turf Division and the MLB consultant who oversaw the construction of the Field of Dreams site.
"We're excited to have the teams come out and watch them pop a few into the corn. It'll be fun."