The New York Yankees play the Chicago White Sox during a baseball game, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021 in Dyersville, Iowa. The Yankees and White Sox are playing at a temporary stadium in the middle of a cornfield at the Field of Dreams movie site, 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 take in Tuesday night’s first-ever minor league baseball game at the Field of Dreams movie site that involves his club and Quad Cities. All the pomp and circumstance expected to go with it.
He’ll walk around the perimeter of the temporary stadium near Dyersville to get every breathtaking view possible. He’ll cheer on his Kernels vigorously.
Then once the final out of the Midwest League game is officially recorded, he’ll remain in his seat and wait. And wait and wait and wait.
“I know I’m not leaving my seat until every single person is gone from the stadium, because I’m not a fan of the traffic, 8,000 people trying to leave at the same time,” Wilson said in a tone that made you wonder if he was kidding or being serious. “So I’ll wait until my car is the last one in the cornfield, then I’ll go to my car and drive home.”
Just a few tickets in the left-field bleachers remain available for the game, according to MLB’s official ticket site. It’s slated for a 6:08 pm opening pitch and will be televised live by MLB Network.
The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds, of course, play the second-ever major league game at the field Thursday night. That one’s long since 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 was not part of the MLB atmosphere there last year. I watched a little bit of it on TV, and I thought MLB did a really good job of showcasing the piece. I expect it’ll be the same here with the minor leagues. We’ll see.”
Wilson said final plans for the event, and it certainly will be an event, have been cemented. He, Kernels clubhouse manager Nate Sinnott and a couple of others will head to Dyersville on Monday to set up the Cedar Rapids clubhouse: a large, deluxe tent that even includes showers.
They’ll hang up at each locker stall the special Cedar Rapids Bunnies uniforms the team will wear for the game. Quad Cities will don special Davenport Blue Sox jerseys, as the longtime minor league cities pay homage to their past.
Cedar Rapids was known as the Bunnies from 1904 to 1932, while the Blue Sox were in existence at various times throughout the same time period.
“Tuesday will be kind of a long day with a bunch of celebratory things,” Wilson said. “The team is going to stop outside of town and get a police escort into town. MLB thinks that will be pretty cool, I think some of the people driving through town will think that’s pretty cool.”
Wilson said players and coaches will have an opportunity upon arriving to walk around the facility and everywhere else, if they wish. The original movie site is adjacent to the ballpark, complete with the original farmhouse and barns.
“They’ll have an hour and a half there, about 1:30 to 3, to be able to meander around the field, go into the cornfields, do whatever they want before the gates for the general public open up,” Wilson said. “They’ll also be doing live film intros. From what we understand, MLB Network will be filming all of our guys, like ‘Hey, I’m Seth Gray from (Springfield, Ohio).’ Kind of what they do for the big league guys. I definitely think the guys will be into that, for sure.
“Then it’s pregame meals, lots of different hoopla stuff.”
After the game is over, everyone goes back to reality, being high-Class A baseball players and coaches. The Kernels travel to Davenport from Dyersville for the remainder of the six-game series, and the grind continues.
But not after hopefully a lifetime of memories from their time on the big, corny stage.
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