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‘Wow. It’s really unbelievable. The Chicago Cubs soak up the unique atmosphere of the Field of Dreams game. – The Denver post

Chicago Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom searched for the right words.

“Wow,” exclaimed Wisdom, his eyes turning to the dirt field where a few fans were playing catch. “It’s really unbelievable.”

Every player and staff member found a moment to appreciate the unique environment of Field of Dreams on Thursday.

After the Cubs took a team photo in front of the manual scoreboard in right field, Willson Contreras stopped at the edge of the dirt behind first base and raised his camera phone, scrolling it on field. Kervin Castro recorded fellow pitcher Anderson Espinoza doing the movie classic popping corn stalks onto the grass in the outfield of “Field of Dreams.” A smiling Rowan Wick climbed onto a green tractor in front of the famous White Farm and soaked in the sights. Batting coach Greg Brown, assistant batting coach Johnny Washington and coach Juan Cabreja gathered for a photo on the farmhouse porch swing.

Marcus Stroman, with his camera in hand, wandered between the ballpark, through the cornfields and the film set. He took a photo with his cardboard cutout which was submerged in the corn along the gravel path from the ballpark to the home field. His image was interspersed between the fields, among others, including the cutouts of Contreras, Wisdom, Ian Happ, Nico Hoerner, Seiya Suzuki, Christopher Morel – and the recently opted Frank Schwindel.

At some point during the Cubs’ pregame visit to the complex, Stroman took a photo of Franmil Reyes posing with a Field of Dreams sign in front of the cornstalks.

“I just try to take as many pictures as possible, just be present,” Stroman said. “I love taking pictures, so just try to capture moments. Some decent candids with my guys. Obviously you have the aesthetic of the pitch, the whole atmosphere, trying to capture the vibe of where I finds myself through my lenses, which is different than anyone else’s.

The Cubs and Cincinnati Reds’ dismal records — the Cubs won 4-2 behind Drew Smyly’s nine strikeouts and a first-inning three-run — didn’t detract from what that showpiece game meant for both teams. . Rocking throwback cream uniforms, prompting several players to hope they’ll be incorporated in future seasons, the Cubs loved playing for a sold-out crowd of 7,823 fans.

“We’re so used to playing in these huge stadiums and having a bit more of a sense of going back to basics, whether it’s in college or one of those times when you kind of play in front of a more intimate crowd. ,” Happ said. “You ride in a place like this, and it really takes you back to some of those rides you had through the cornfields playing baseball with your family, and that’s what it is about.”

It was a rare opportunity for Iowa baseball fans to watch a local big league game in person or on television, especially for fans at the Cubs’ Triple-A Iowa branch in Des Moines. Major League Baseball blackout restrictions severely limit fans of state teams who can watch television broadcasts.

“We have to continue to make sure that we get baseball to every corner of this country that wants to watch it to grow the game that way,” Happ said.

The game marked the Cubs’ third MLB event, joining their 2019 appearance in the Little League Classic and a two-game series next year in London. This is the second Field of Dreams game after the White Sox and New York Yankees played in the inaugural event last August, which resulted in a landslide win for the Sox.

Out of the playoffs for a second straight season, these types of games give the Cubs’ less experienced players a taste of the attention and hype around the big games. Morel, 23, didn’t make his debut until May 17 but has quickly become one of the exciting young players on the north side with the opportunity to showcase his game on the national stage. After spotting his cutout in the cornfield, Morel said it was thanks to the support of Cubs fans.

“When I got here, the last thing I expected was that my cut was going to be there, that I would be there, especially with the short time I have here with the team and in the big leagues,” Morel said. “But I’m just grateful to God and I’m grateful to the team for giving me an opportunity.”

Stroman would like future MLB showcase events to be based on black league culture.

“Creating an atmosphere within a downtown community that can feel almost like black leagues,” Stroman said. “I think there’s a lot of ways to go about it, to be honest, but it’s an angle I’d like to see them go to. … As African Americans in the big leagues, we’re fewer and fewer in the big leagues, so I think it’s important to shed some light and show the inner city kids that they’re excited and give them role models to look where they can’t normally not have that day to day.

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denverpost

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