When the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees square off for a baseball game on the “Field of Dreams” in Iowa Thursday evening, they will be welcomed by a four-ship flight of A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.
The Warthog pilots, assigned to the 303rd Fighter Squadron, took off from Whiteman Air Force Base Wednesday and headed to Dyersville, Iowa, for a flyover before the 6 p.m. EDT nationally televised game on Fox.
What’s more, all four pilots hail from Iowa themselves or have family from what fans of the 1989 blockbuster movie know to be “heaven.”
Capt. “Pistol” Rindels is from Waterloo, Maj. “Zero” Carlton from Sioux City, Maj. “Jewcy” Berry from Des Moines, and Lt. Col. “Deuce” Siems from Dewitt.
More than three decades after “Field of Dreams” seeped into the country’s cultural consciousness, with a one-year delay caused by the pandemic, one of the most famous cornfields in Hollywood history finally gets the opportunity to host real major league ball.
“Is this heaven?” the ghost of John Kinsella asked in the movie that inspired the game to be played Thursday next to the actual site used in the 1989 film, which is maintained as a tourist attraction.
“No, it’s Iowa,” dutiful farmer Ray Kinsella — played by Kevin Costner — responded to his father with a smile before they played catch under the lights in the movie’s most poignant scene.
This week, the ball playing isn’t fiction.
The proud and quintessential Midwestern state, usually only in the spotlight every four years during presidential campaigns, will be hosting a Major League Baseball game for the first time when the White Sox and Yankees play at a temporary venue built for about 8,000 fans in tiny Dyersville
The event, part of MLB’s increased effort to grow the game by setting up shop in places without in-person access to the highest level of the sport, has been in the works for years. The original plan to play in 2020 was postponed when the coronavirus forced a shortened schedule at mostly empty ballparks, but if the White Sox, the Yankees or the Iowans became impatient then they were out of step with the spirit of the film.
“The one constant through all the years,” as the sage author Terence Mann declared to Ray Kinsella in the film, “has been baseball.”
— Associated Press Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed.