Cubs welcome change of pace with intimate Field of Dreams originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The 2021 Field of Dreams game set record viewership totals as the most-watched MLB regular season game since 2005.
But as much as it’s a marquee, made-for-television event, the in-person setting is about as intimate as an MLB game can get.
It’s something the Cubs are looking forward to ahead of Thursday’s matchup against the Reds in the second edition of the Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa.
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“I was talking to Jed [Hoyer] about it because he went last year,” Wisdom said. “He was saying the atmosphere there, it's different, because you don't have 40,000 people screaming at you.”
Other than being in the middle of a cornfield, the stadium in Dyersville holds approximately 8,000 fans.
It’s a change of pace from the Cubs’ experience at Wrigley Field, when upwards of 40,000 pack the stands day or night.
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"To play in a really historical stadium, I don’t get the chance to be able to play in a countryside stadium as well," said Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki of Wrigley Field through interpreter Toy Matsushita
"Get a different perception and perspective, different town to be able to play baseball in is very special. Very excited."
Said Wisdom: “It's very intimate. They're right on top of you. The lights are basically only on the field — or the stage, if you will.
“[Hoyer] said it's a really good time. I'm looking forward to it.”
Wisdom’s baseball career has taken him across the United States, even including two summers in Alaska (2010-11) for college ball.
Thursday figures to be among the most unique gameday experiences yet for him and his Cubs teammates. They’re traveling to Iowa Thursday morning, and hours later will take the field for the ballgame.
“I did that a lot in the minor leagues. That's just how it was,” Wisdom said. “You drive in, get off the bus and you go play.
“I think it'll bring some fresh perspective to the game and just showing that it's just a game. We'll have fun with it.”
Cubs manager David Ross said he recently re-watched the 1989 film starring Kevin Costner that inspired the game.
He related the Field of Dreams experience to MLB’s Little League Classic — which the Cubs played in during the 2019 season — as both offer breaks from the monotony of a 162-game season.
“A small environment, small stadium in the middle of nowhere in Iowa and cornfields, kind of mimicking the movie,” Ross said. “Unique jerseys, all the cool things that come along with that and the spotlight of being in a primetime game is always fun.
“It's good for baseball. I think when you can travel around the different environments, it just makes you feel even more like a kid than we get to feel here at Wrigley Field in a packed house on a Friday day game.
“It's just another one of those cool moments. I'm sure the moment will present itself when we get there and how great that'll feel. Looking forward to it. I think everybody is.”