The second annual Field of Dreams game, featuring the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs, will be played at the recently built ballpark adjacent to the movie site just outside Dyersville, Iowa at 6:15 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, August 11th with a national broadcast on FOX.
And once again, just like in 1919, Cincinnati is playing a team from Chicago that looks like they’re trying to intentionally lose. However, this time it’s the ownership group that’s tanking the Chicago ballclub, not the actual players. As you’ll recall the situation was reversed during the 1919 World Series, when the Reds took on a White Sox team that featured several key players trying not to win, in order to both get paid by gamblers and exact revenge on cheapskate owner Charlie Comiskey.
And since we’re talking about betting and baseball, well, this game will feature two teams that are almost always the underdog on a given night. According to the odds at Betway, the Cubs are price at +145 tonight against the arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals who are backed at -176. Your total is 8.5 in that one. Meanwhile the Reds are +120 against the Florida Marlins -140 The over/under on runs is set at 7.5 for that ballgame.
Like we said, these are two terrible teams squaring off and they’re bound to become even worse here during the home stretch of the season. The Reds did a major fire sale, of what few talented pieces they still had left, at the deadline. They are currently 42-61, and sit 15 games out of first place in the NL Central. That’s actually not too bad though when you consider that Cincy started the season 3-24.
The Cubs are even worse, albeit just so slightly, as they currently brandish a record of 41-61. Although Willson Contreras and Ian Happ both surprisingly stayed put at the deadline, the team dealt away both its closer and set up man for prospects.
Updates: we analyzed this film on the sports movie podcast “Goals on Film” (listen to that here) and for our written review of Field of Dreams, go here
If you’re a seller at the deadline, then basically, you’re not really trying too hard. You’ve given up, at least for the season, so all your remaining contests are now essentially meaningless. That’s what MLB has in the Field of Dreams game this year.
It was the polar opposite last year, when the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees in a battle of contenders. But while this game will feature two bad teams, playing for nothing but pride, it does have a ton of historical significance.
We already covered the Reds portion. As for the Cubs, the 1919 fix was only uncovered due to suspicions about one of their games. Yes, it’s true, rumors abounded relating to a late 1920 season Cubs-Phillies game, and all the suspicious talk led to an unearthing about the awful truth that was the previous season’s fall classic.
Remember, Field of Dreams is about Shoeless Joe Jackson and the 1919 Black Sox scandal, so if this game has a tie-in to that World Series from over a century ago, all the better.
That said, getting into the small, about 8,000 capacity ballpark is a very tough ticket. Currently, the cheapest tickets for the Field of Dreams game between the Cubs and Reds are going for $450 on StubHub, $710 on Vivid Seats to $744 on Seat Geek. Yikes! That’s big money, but remember, you’re paying for the spectacle, imagery and atmosphere. You’re “doing it for the ‘Gram” as the kids used to say like five or six years ago.
This is still way cheaper than the 2021 Field of Dreams event. The cheapest tickets on StubHub were north of $1,000 each in the final days leading up to the contest, which had a story book ending.
The end result, and the way it happened was so made for TV that….well, we have been talking about the 1919 World Series, so I’ll just leave it there. There will also be a Field of Dreams Minor League Game on Tuesday, August 9th, featuring the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Quad Cities River Bandits, will be nationally broadcast on MLB Network.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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