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‘Field of Dreams’ game: White Sox walk it off over Yankees in cinematic fashion

Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson celebrates his walk-off home run against the New York Yankees.
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson celebrates his walk-off home run against the New York Yankees in the ninth inning on Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox played at a temporary stadium in the middle of a cornfield at the “Field of Dreams” movie site, the first Major League Baseball game held in Iowa.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Tim Anderson recently admitted he has never watched “Field of Dreams.” Well, he just submitted a pretty good script for a sequel.

Anderson hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning into the cornfield to end the Field of Dreams game in cinematic fashion, as the Chicago White Sox outslugged the New York Yankees 9-8 Thursday night in the first Major League Baseball game in Iowa.

“The fans came to see a show, and we gave them a show,“ Anderson said.

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Anderson, who had an earlier RBI double, hit the first pitch from Zack Britton (0-1) for his 13th homer of the season.

Clearly having as much fun as anyone in attendance, Anderson danced his way around the bases after the showstopper of a hit and wiggled his hands near his neck as he headed for home and the celebratory dousing at the plate from his teammates.

“Being able to walk it off was definitely one of the best moments of my career, for sure,” said Anderson, who sent the crowd of 7,832 back through the corn and to their cars — after a light and fireworks show — at the made-from-scratch stadium.

Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a game.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a game against the New York Yankees on Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)
A general view of the Field of Dreams between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.
A general view of the Field of Dreams during the first inning between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees on Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa.
(Stacy Revere / Getty Images)

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each hit two-run homers for the Yankees in the top of the ninth off All-Star closer Liam Hendriks (7-2), as the movie-themed throwback event became a home run hitting contest into the cornfield.

This was precisely the thrill many players hoped aloud for prior to the night. There were eight longballs in all, two by Judge.

It had a Hollywood finish, too, with the game-clinching shot by Anderson. So what if it was more from “The Natural” than “Field of Dreams?”

“He’s been the energy, the man, of our team. What a leader,” said White Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo, who filled in for Tony La Russa.

They played next to the filming site of the beloved 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta and James Earl Jones, and even the Yankees fans who made the trek could hardly have headed home anything but happy with the experience.

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox.
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox in the third inning during on Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Starting pitcher Andrew Heaney, who was tagged for seven runs in five innings in another struggle with his new team, was having a hard time reflecting on the memories in the aftermath.

Still, even though the Yankees fell into fourth place in the AL East — and in the race for two wild-card spots — there will be no forgetting this trip for the rest of their careers.

“That was as special and breathtaking a setting for a baseball game as I’ve ever been part of,” manager Aaron Boone said.

Jose Abreu hit the first drive into the sea of green stalks, and teammates Eloy Jimenez and Seby Zavala followed him with homers for the White Sox on this vintage summer night in farm country with the teams in 1919-style uniforms to match.

Judge wore custom-painted cleats to commemorate the film, with the famous line “If you build it, he will come,” printed on the tongues and cornstalks on the sides.

League ERA leader Lance Lynn sidestepped a three-run homer by Judge and a solo shot from Brett Gardner to finish five innings for the White Sox, remaining unbeaten in his last eight starts.

Costner started the evening with a star’s entrance, slowly walking out of the cornrows — like Shoeless Joe Jackson and his ghost-like teammates did in the film — before turning to watch the players do the same for their made-for-TV pregame introductions. Costner’s address to the fans included the obligatory question in ode to the famous line from the movie, “Is this heaven?”

No, it’s Iowa, but MLB will be back, as Commissioner Rob Manfred promised for 2022, the teams still to be determined.

“I wish we had a little time here to kind of take it all in and really appreciate it,“ Gardner said, “but the season moves along in a hurry.”


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