Tim Anderson hit a two-run walk-off homer to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 9-8 victory over the New York Yankees and give Major League Baseball’s “Field of Dreams” game in Iowa a real Hollywood ending.
The thrilling finish was fitting for the game played Thursday in a temporary ballpark set amid cornfields in Dyersville, Iowa, just a stone’s throw from where the Academy Award-nominated 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed.
The movie’s star, Kevin Costner, was among those in attendance at the 8,000-seat venue, where players from both teams marveled at the bucolic setting and the lovingly created ballpark.
“A lot of us, we had our phones out, taking videos, taking pictures,” Yankees star Aaron Judge said. “Getting a chance to be at the Field of Dreams and play a game here, and to represent the Yankees here, never in my life did I think I would experience this.”
Judge belted a three-run home run into the cornfield in the third inning.
He and teammate Giancarlo Stanton both hit two-run homers in the top of the ninth as the Yankees scored four runs to take a one-run lead.
But with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Seby Zavala walked and Anderson stepped up to hit Chicago’s fourth home run of the game.
“The game’s never over,” Anderson said. “I knew what I was looking for and I didn’t miss.”
Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez and Zavala also homered for the White Sox in the opener of a three-game series between the teams that will resume in Chicago on Saturday.
But before the teams got down to the serious business of a late-season game, the players allowed themselves to soak up the atmosphere.
They gathered in the outfield for team photos. They emerged, with Costner, from the cornfield as music from the movie played shortly before the game started.
“My camera reel is pretty much full right now,” Chicago relief pitcher Liam Hendriks said. “I walked through the bullpen. There’s no fence right behind the bullpen, so I ran through the cornfields there.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said a Field of Dreams game will be played again next August, although he didn’t say which teams would take part.
This first edition — the first Major League game ever played in Iowa — had been delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.