The Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees played a regular season game in Dyersville, Iowa, at the site of the beloved 1989 baseball movie, Field of Dreams, on Thursday August 12. “MLB at Field of Dreams” marked the first Major League game ever held at the fan-favorite movie location as well as in the State of Iowa.
The contest began with both teams walking to the field together, coming out through the corn, as Kevin Costner, the star of the Field of Dreams movie, stood on the field after the opening introduction.
“MLB at Field of Dreams” was the most-watched regular season baseball game in 16 years, according to FOX Sports, with 5,903,000 viewers across FOX and FOX Deportes. Chicago and New York ranked as the top two markets, and it was the most-streamed regular season baseball game in FOX Sports history.
When asked what it was like to walk back onto the field, Kevin Costner said, “I felt like it was perfect. You want something to over-deliver, and this absolutely has. It’s a place to play.
“Field of Dreams is a sweet movie, but at its core it’s about things that go unsaid between fathers and sons. And we wish we could just get it back. We can hurt… and sometimes we hurt the ones we love. And with our dads, it’s biblical almost. Somehow, in this sweet little movie, that whole sub-plot was really strong. In the end, with this movie, it boiled itself down to, ‘Do you want to have a catch?’ ”
Field of Dreams stars Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones and Amy Madigan. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1990 and was selected to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 2017. The 1989 film, adapted from W. P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel Shoeless Joe, tells the story of Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, a husband and father who is tending to his cornfield when he hears a mysterious voice intone, “If you build it, they will come.” The White Sox and the Yankees are the two favorite Clubs of Ray’s father, John Kinsella, at different points of his life.
Since 1989 the Lansing Family Farm, which was used in the movie, has been a tourist attraction, now known as the Field of Dreams Movie Site. In 2011, the field was purchased by Denise Stillman and a group of investors with the goal of preserving the field and creating a special place for baseball fans, tournament players and families. Stillman began working with MLB in 2015, which has now culminated in this special game.
Presented by GEICO, “MLB at Field of Dreams” was part of the GEICO Summer Series. Major League Baseball constructed an 8,000-seat ballpark on the Dyersville site. A pathway through a cornfield took fans to the ballpark, which overlooks the famous movie location. The right field wall included windows to show the cornfields beyond the ballpark.
Just steps away from the original movie set, the lead MLB on FOX broadcast team of Emmy Award winners brought the action to life as Joe Buck and John Smoltz made the calls and reporters Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci provided information from the ground at the purpose-built ballpark.
The network delivered the game in 4K HDR, employing multiple aerial production drones for the first time ever at an MLB game. As part of an arsenal of nearly 40 cameras, four cinematic Super SloMo cameras, a pair of mirrorless Sony A1 camera Megalodons and a Flycam capable of traveling between the movie set and primary field highlighted the lineup. The network also used more than 50 microphones, including multiple mics buried in the MLB field and one in each base, to capture the sounds of this historic game.
LiveU teamed up with T-Mobile to play an integral role in the live production, enabling the aerial production drones to output High Dynamic Range (HDR) over T-Mobile’s 5G network using a single 5G SIM card in LiveU’s LU800 production-level field unit and a LiveU 5G modem.
The workflow included two LU800 field units with two 5G sim cards inside each connected to the drones streaming back to the production truck. Additionally, two LU800 field units were used for secondary transmission and two LU300 HEVC field units distributed live video to Fox News and Fox affiliates via LiveU Matrix, the company’s cloud video management and distribution solution.
READ MORE: FOX Sports ‘MLB at Field of Dreams’ Broadcast Delivers Cinematic Viewer Experience with HDR 5G Live Drone Shots (LiveU)
FOX Sports VP field operations and engineering Brad Cheney explained the cinematic look for the production to Brandon Costa at Sports Video. “With the grass and the colors, you’re able to capture the contrast that 35mm film gives you. HDR gives you that same ability. I think that’s going to translate across, especially to the viewers watching at home on television. You’re going to capture the feeling of a movie with the crispness, the detail, and the contrast.”
According to Alyson Footer at MLB, commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that Major League Baseball will be returning to Iowa to host the Field of Dreams Game in August of 2022.
“I have to tell you when I walked out today — I haven’t been back since 2015 — and saw the finished product, I’m just blown away,” Manfred said. “The work that our people at Major League Baseball did is absolutely phenomenal, right down to the littlest details about what the dugouts are going to look like, what the scoreboard was going to be, how it was going to be operated.”
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