As the tears welled up in my eyes I muttered to no one, "My dad would love this.''

Major League Baseball had just announced that the Chicago White Sox would host the New York Yankees Aug. 13, 2020, in a temporary 8,000-seat ballpark constructed in the corn next to the "Field of Dreams" movie site.

If my late father, who introduced me to the best game on the planet, were still with us there would be a few things about the current state of baseball that he wouldn't like, but he would love this.

Jack Marx and I loved watching the film "Field of Dreams" together. When his health was failing in the early part of 2000, we'd sit through an old Randolph Scott or John Wayne western and then watch "Field of Dreams." It never got old, never got boring and it made both of us feel better about life, even as his was drawing to a close.

If you ever shared a father-son-baseball relationship, you understand where I'm coming from. "Field of Dreams" hits a line drive right at your heart.

It should be noted, I played catch with Kevin Costner, the film's star, in 'Heaven' — I mean, Iowa. We tossed the ball around the driveway of the Radisson Hotel, in Davenport, a few years back. The acting legend and his band were playing the Col Ballroom that night.

Taking a scene from the movie when Costner's character, Ray Kinsella, played catch with his dad, I asked Costner if we could "Have a catch in Iowa?'' A beyond cool dude, he obliged.

I've had a catch with my son at the Field of Dreams and played baseball against teams from Delmar, Farley, Worthington, Peosta, Cascade, Sherrill and Dubuque, Iowa towns that surround the famous movie site. 

I was a baseball teammate of Field of Dreams extras Frank Dardis, Jim Doty and Terry Kelleher and played against the movie's Paul Scheurman.

I have been part of a baseball movie based in Iowa. "Sugar,'' about a Dominican-born hopeful chasing his dream of pitching in the big leagues, was filmed at Modern Woodmen Park and featured local semi-pro and college players as extras. I played the manager of the hometown team in the film and served as the local baseball consultant. Former Assumption High School star Mike Orchard was the baseball consultant for "Sugar" in Arizona.

The love of baseball runs deep in the Mississippi River valley.

While I praise Major League Baseball for its commitment and tie to arguably the best baseball-themed movie ever, disappointment is going to be part of the plan.

Stadium mock-up

A mock-up of the temporary 8,000-seat stadium Major League Baseball plans to build at the site of the "Field of Dreams" ballfield in Dyersville, Iowa.

There will only be 8,000 seats available for the game and you will have at a minimum 80,000 — or more — wanting to be a part of the day. I'd give anything to share in the festivities with Quad-Citians like Kevin Corrigan, George McDoniel Sr., the Burkhead brothers, Jerry and Robbe, and P.J. Foley, the five best White Sox fans I know.

Sadly, the day, with so few seats available, will be dedicated to the highest bidders and a bevy of corporate muckety mucks. It has Super Bowl ticket availability written all over it.

And when the game is finished, will they keep the 8,000-seat stadium that is supposed to resemble old Comiskey Park? If this is the case, the integrity of the original movie site will be lost. Is this a plan to bring some kind of professional baseball to the Dubuque area? Let's hope they stick to the plan and the stadium is "temporary."

Frustration and uncertainty aside, the day is worthy of being circled on the calendar. The film, the site and all that is good about a father and son's relationship to the game, should be on display.

I hope.

Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309 757 8388 or jmarx@qconline.com



John is a columnist and reporter for Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.com.

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