How the Field of Dreams is connected to MLB’s Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds infielder Kyle Farmer understands the story that fueled the plot of “Field of Dreams” as well as anyone.

When Farmer was in high school, he wrote an article about Chicago White Sox star Joe Jackson and his teammates. They were part of the 1919 team that was kicked out of baseball for allegedly starting the World Series. The team they lost to? The Reds.

Shoeless Joe and the 1919 Sox are central characters in the 1989 film, which was filmed in Dyersville and other Dubuque County locations.

“I know the story behind it,” Farmer said during a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday. “I know the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and all that.”

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer reacts after hitting against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday July 31 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

The Reds’ role in the 1919 series will be a storyline when they take on the Chicago Cubs at a purpose-built stadium near the film’s site on August 11. The contest is the second major league game to be played on the ground. The first, played a year ago, featured the New York Yankees and the Jackson White Sox.

The film tells the story of an Iowa farmer who plows his corn to build a baseball field for Jackson and his banished friends. Champion reds are practically a forgotten footnote. The underdog Reds won the series in eight games.

Jackson was one of the greatest hitters of his time. He and seven teammates were kicked out of baseball for allegedly taking money to “start” the series. Farmer’s diary told the story.

Actor Kevin Costner enters the field before a game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees at Field of Dreams in Dyersville on August 12, 2021.

“I loved baseball so much in high school,” Farmer said. “That’s the only thing I knew.”

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Farmer also developed a love for the film. When he saw it was on TV a few nights ago, he tuned in and watched from start to finish. Excitement for his team’s trip to Dyersville next week has started to build.

“I can’t wait to be there,” Farmer said.

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