The Field of Dreams movie site landing a Major League Baseball game on its grounds was every bit as unlikely as Ray Kinsella's gamble ultimately working out. Tomorrow night the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds will play the second installment of what could have been an annual tradition. Vibes are immaculate. Or at least they were until this afternoon, when the fairytale was interrupted by a dose of reality and a twist dripping in so much irony the apartment below is beginning to flood.
Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, part of a new ownership group operating the site, tells the Des Moines Register that MLB won't be coming back for a 2023 game. Not because they don't want to continue an incredible event that somehow cut through a mountain of obstacles to find magic. Because, well, the new group wants to get busy building.
Thomas and his partners, who bought the Field of Dreams site, plan to put in a youth baseball and softball complex that they hope the begin construction on later this summer or fall. That work will impact the site's accessibility.
"It's a lot going on," Thomas said. "They don't want to come back if the stadium's not prepared."
How is this even possible? How do the people in charge of stewarding a sanctuary untouched for so many years by the nonsense of dollars and cents look this impossible gift horse of having the national spotlight for a day, shining as the most unique venue in all of sports, and throw it all away? How do they run operations for a movie with the iconic message of "if you build it, they will come" and managed to build something so they don't come?
Constructing the stadium is a heavy lift. And the long-term viability of this partnership was always an open question. But it's going to be a slap in the face of the freaking Field of Dreams game is short-lived and abandoned due to failure to reach a business decision. To fall apart because two sides have differing goals. To reflect the real world instead of serving as an escape — the one place a person can lean into the corny earnestness they usually keep hidden.
Enjoy the game. Enjoy the sunset embers reflecting off the corn. Enjoy the fact that the best players in the world are playing on a random field in Iowa. Get as close to heaven as you can allow yourself to get.
Because it might have all been too good to be true. Something spectacular reduced to a footnote, done in by the most boring of logistics and the bottom line.