The New York Yankees take on the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game, Thursday, August 12, 2021 in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox play in a temporary stadium in the middle of a cornfield on the site of the film Field of Dreams, the first Major League Baseball game held in Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
CEDAR RAPIDS – Scott Wilson has a plan.
The Cedar Rapids Kernels general manager will attend Tuesday night’s first-ever minor league baseball game at the site of the film Field of Dreams which involves his club and Quad Cities. All the expected pomp and circumstances go with it.
He’ll wander around the perimeter of the temporary stadium near Dyersville to get all the jaw-dropping views possible. He will vigorously encourage his Kernels.
Then, once the Midwest League game final is officially taped, he’ll stay in his place and wait. And wait and wait and wait.
“I know I won’t leave my seat until everyone leaves the stadium, because I’m not a fan of traffic, 8,000 people trying to leave at once,” Wilson said in a tone that made you ask if he was joking or serious. “So I’ll wait until my car is last in the cornfield, then I’ll go to my car and go home.”
Only a few left-field bleacher tickets remain available for the game, according to the official MLB ticketing site. It is scheduled for an opening pitch at 6:08 p.m. and will be televised live by MLB Network.
The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, of course, will play the second major league game at the field on Thursday night. This one has long been sold out.
The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox played at the Field of Dreams last August.
“I can’t wait,” Wilson said. “I wasn’t part of the MLB vibe there last year. I watched it a bit on TV and thought MLB did a really good job of putting the play on. expect it to be the same here with the minor leagues. We’ll see.”
Wilson said the final plans for the event, and it certainly will be an event, have been cemented. He, Kernels clubhouse manager Nate Sinnott, and a few others will travel to Dyersville on Monday to set up the Cedar Rapids clubhouse: a large, luxury tent that even includes showers.
They will hang in each locker room the special Cedar Rapids Bunnies uniforms that the team will wear for the game. Quad Cities will wear special Davenport Blue Sox jerseys, as longtime minor league towns pay homage to their past.
Cedar Rapids was known as the Bunnies from 1904 to 1932, while the Blue Sox existed at various times during the same period.
“Tuesday is going to be a long day with a lot of festive stuff,” Wilson said. “The team will stop outside of town and bring a police escort into town. MLB thinks it’ll be pretty cool, I think some people driving through town will think it’s pretty cool.
Wilson said players and coaches will have the opportunity upon arrival to walk around the facilities and everywhere else if they wish. The original film site is adjacent to the ballpark, along with the original farmhouse and barns.
“They’ll have an hour and a half there, about 1:30 to 3 a.m., so they can walk around the field, get into the cornfields, do whatever they want before the doors open for the general public,” he said. Wilson said. “They will also do live movie intros. From what we understand, MLB Network will film all of our guys, like, “Hey, I’m Seth Gray from (Springfield, Ohio).” Kinda what they do for the major league guys. I really think the guys will be in it for sure.
“Then it’s the pre-match meals, lots of different stuff.”
Once the game is over, everyone comes back to reality, being top class A baseball players and coaches. The Kernels bus to Davenport from Dyersville for the remainder of the six-game series, and the grind continues.
But not after hopefully a lifetime of memories of their time on the nerdy big stage.
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