August 17, 2021
This week we asked our writers to think about and respond to the following:
The Field of Dreams game was a huge success. MLB did it well!
What location would you recommend for baseball to host its next special game?
Here are their responses:
Paul Semendinger – There are so many locations where I’d love to see a real MLB game being played. Major League Baseball uses Doubleday Field in Cooperstown for exhibitions, but I don’t think it’s ever been used for a big league game that counts. That would be an iconic place for a game, no doubt.
Another fun idea would be for a small town, Anywhere, USA, to get this honor. MLB could “scout” the country for iconic old or unique baseball fields (such as Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama) and grant the honor of having it upgraded and then used for this purpose. This would be a great way for the players and the sport to connect with the heartland of America.
That field could then be used for tournaments, high school or college ball. showcases, and the like.
Ed Botti – The Field of Dreams extravaganza was entertaining (I wish Britton could have closed it out). But, it was just a celebration of a mythical themed event written in Hollywood. It was not a celebration of an actual and historical Baseball event. No offense, but I don’t need to see a re-enactment of Bad News Bears, Major League or Bang the drum slowly. Ditto for Bull Durham, All good films. But all fake.
My idea would be to play a Major League Baseball game in Brooklyn for the first time since Sept. 24, 1957.
The game could be played at Maimonides Park — home of the Brooklyn Mets.
The theme would be a celebration of the 1956 World Series. Dodgers vs. Yankees–and celebrate Don Larsen’s perfect game on October 8, 1956.
Uniforms would be period accurate.
Many past Dodgers and Yankees, including Rachel Robinson and members of the Mantle and Berra families, could be honored.
Celebrate a real event. Not a fake Hollywood event.
Of course the O’Malley’s would not be invited!!!
Cary Greene – It’s hard for me to imagine a better setting for the Field of Dreams game than in Dyersville, Iowa. The stadium itself cost 6 million to set up and tear down. If MLB can turn a profit from doing this game, via television and marketing hype, then more power to them. I think this game is more about the teams involved than the location.
Andy Singer – I think Major League Baseball should think long and hard about putting its money where its mouth is regarding encouraging minority participation in the sport at all levels by investing in redeveloping old, neglected Negro League ballparks that could host a Major League game and then be used by the local communities surrounding these ballparks.
Given the fact that I’m a Jersey boy, I think they could start by injecting money and manpower into Hinchcliffe Stadium in Paterson. Clean the stadium and the area up on MLB’s dime, and host the Yankees and the Mets at the stadium, and MLB can help run youth baseball programs at the ballpark thereafter.
It’s a win-win: MLB scores revenue, good publicity, and grows the game in underserved markets for a relative pittance compared to its substantial revenue streams. I would prefer something like this compared to a mass marketing campaign that does little to grow the game.
Ethan Semendinger – After watching the MLB do a great job with the Field of Dreams game- the uniforms were cool, the stadium looked fantastic, etc.- the big question is what the MLB will do next. We’ve had a these types of special series in London, multiple series in Japan and Mexico, games in Puerto Rico, Australia, Ohama (for the College World Series), and Williamsport (for the Little League World Series). They’ve even played some exhibition games in Cuba and some spring training games in China. So, where else would make sense?
My first thought would be to head to South Korea, playing a game/series akin to what the MLB has done multiple times over with Japan. South Korea has a booming baseball population and over the past two seasons, 4 new players from South Korean-born have made their MLB debuts.
My second thought would be to build an MLB “Epcot” where each year (or two, or three) the MLB would build a simplified version of an iconic stadium and host a series in the stadium. How cool would it be to go to a place and be able to walk around and see the facades of the Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field, Forbes Field, and others? Build them to the same park dimensions (I’d want to see the super short-porches and huge outfield of the Polo Grounds).