DYERSVILLE — Matt Gangl walked about the “Field of Dreams” movie internet site Thursday thinking what the scene could seem like on Aug. 11 when the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs appear to city to perform a regular season Major League Baseball activity.
Gangl, together with other associates from FOX Sports activities and MLB, have been back in Dyersville Thursday preparing for the tough process of matching last season’s memorable matchup and surreal exhibit among the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. The video game was performed in the stadium situated near the iconic diamond from the 1989 movie that starred Kevin Costner. Costner performed an Iowa farmer who plowed more than his corn and created a baseball area for the spirits of Joe Jackson and other customers of the banished 1919 White Sox team to perform on.
And like the motion picture, the sport was a massive strike.
“That’s the million-greenback question,” Gangl mentioned on how he strategies to prime final season’s game. “We’ve got some points up our sleeves.”
Every thing went according to strategy in the course of previous year’s celebration, which integrated a photo-ideal Iowa evening, a touching tribute and a thrilling game. It started with Costner going for walks out of the cornfield and on to the discipline although songs from the motion picture blared. Both the Yankees and White Sox adopted him out of the corn as part of the timeless tribute. Then there was the epic recreation that incorporated a back again-and-forth home operate derby that ended with Chicago’s Tim Anderson belting a stroll-off dwelling run into the corn.
A sellout group watched in particular person. Virtually 6 million viewers tuned in that evening, producing it the most viewed frequent-season baseball video game in the prior 16 a long time at the time. It was also the most streamed standard period baseball video game in FOX Sports activities record. The sport was named SportsBusiness Journal’s Celebration of the 12 months. And FOX Sports activities gained an Emmy for Remarkable Stay Specific.
“If we would have sat down and imagined about, ‘How do we want this video game to engage in out,’ I will not know if we would have improved considerably from what actually took place,” Gangl claimed.
But factors may not go precisely according to system this 12 months. That is life. Which is baseball.
There are two new teams playing, the Reds and the Cubs, who are both equally in the middle of rebuilding their rosters. Then you can find the climate, which may well not be great. Or the match, which may not have the leisure it had final calendar year. But Gangl and his colleagues at FOX are even now hoping that, even if those people elements will not tumble perfectly into position, they can still place on a excellent demonstrate. Aspect of that means incorporating some things that worked in previous year’s broadcast, but also adding some wrinkles.
“You have to strategy it a small otherwise,” Gangl reported, “for the reason that you can not appear back again with the very same precise method.”
Gangl said arranging for this year’s sport started around Xmas. They started out with both FOX and MLB throwing out concepts. Those talks have intensified with the video game swiftly approaching. About 35 associates of FOX, MLB and even the Marquee Athletics Community, which broadcasts Cubs game titles, have been on hand seeking all around the web site Thursday to see what might and could not work for this year’s significant game.
Gangl reported many details for the broadcast are nevertheless becoming ironed out. And other factors are currently being saved tranquil to preserve supporters at the game and at home surprised on Aug. 11. Could Costner and other cast members make an look? What about a special first pitch? Gangl didn’t say. But he did say they hope to get edge of the historic pasts of the Reds and Cubs in some way.
“Possibly enjoying off some of the Corridor of Famers that are on both of these clubs,” Gangl claimed. “Currently being in a position to benefit from some of that storied history of all those two franchises that have been around a long time and have a ton of fantastic gamers.”
Gangl hopes to utilize some of the game’s preferred drone pictures even additional this time around. The spouse and children storyline from the motion picture is something he’d like to hit on even additional, also. Matters that received left on the slicing home flooring last calendar year could make their way into the broadcast this calendar year. Gangl added there are presently options in the is effective to honor actor Ray Liotta, who died this week at 67. Liotta performed Jackson in the motion picture. And like previous year, there are designs for what they hope is yet another unforgettable intro to the recreation.
“I would say, if you did not get a prospect to observe past 12 months, tune in this yr,” Gangl stated. “You hardly ever know what’s going to occur. We have loads of very good points in the operate as considerably as ideas.”
Tommy Birch, the Register’s athletics organization and features reporter, has been operating at the newspaper considering that 2008. He is the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Yr. Attain him at [email protected] or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch.
This write-up initially appeared on Des Moines Sign-up: MLB, FOX Sports activities hope to top rated past season’s Subject of Dreams activity in 2022