DYERSVILLE, Iowa — The intimate crowd, the film set, all that corn and easily enjoying a significant league sport in Iowa had been the highlights for members of Thursday’s second-ever Area of Desires MLB sport.
The precise competitors on the sector did not reside as much as final yr’s heroics when the White Sox won in walk-off fashion over the Yankees, however the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds loved themselves nonetheless.
“There isn’t a approach something may take away from the day we had right here,” Reds supervisor David Bell mentioned after his team lost 4-2. “It is a fantastic expertise. Heard so many individuals all through our clubhouse saying it is one thing they will keep in mind for the remainder of their life.”
The profitable workforce agreed, particularly Cubs starter Drew Smyly, who pitched implausible. His spouse and daughter joined him as they celebrated the latter’s fifth birthday. He was requested for the day’s spotlight — moreover pitching 5 shutout innings.
“Simply being a vacationer, taking all of it in,” he mentioned. “You simply really feel like a child once more. You are in the midst of Iowa enjoying a baseball sport. It is superior.
“I hope she remembers it. I do know I’ll.”
Gamers toured the film set earlier than enjoying in entrance of a sold-out crowd that comprised simply 7,823 followers. It introduced again a sense many main league gamers hadn’t skilled in a very long time.
“It felt like a school ambiance,” Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner mentioned. “Undoubtedly not regular. I may visibly see a horse from shortstop fairly simply. It was positively quieter than regular. I needed to flip down the PitchCom.”
Not all went excellent as Reds second baseman Jonathan India left due to a contusion on his left leg. Bell was relieved to seek out out India did not maintain a fracture and declared him day-to-day. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras additionally had a scary second as he rolled his ankle after rounding second base within the third inning however stayed within the sport.
“The sector situations had been nice,” Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom mentioned earlier than first pitch. “I did not know what to anticipate however all the things was nice.”
Supervisor David Ross mentioned he was distracted all through the night time by “wanting over the corn” however felt honored to be a part of the sport, which will not be held in 2023 due to development.
The day and night time was additionally an eye-opening expertise for Japanese rookie Seiya Suzuki.
“There aren’t many cornfields like this in Japan,” Suzuki deadpanned.
Nor are there many main league video games with such an intimate really feel. A reminiscence to final a lifetime was the postgame narrative coming from each side.
“It is very tough to place into phrases what it meant,” Bell mentioned. “It was simply excellent.”