Cubs’ Marcus Stroman pitches idea for next ‘Field Of Dreams’-type event
The Cubs and Reds played in the second annual ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ game on Thursday. What’s the next marquee event?
DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Cubs pitcher Marcus Stroman roamed the “Field of Dreams” movie set Thursday, snapping photos with his Leica Q2 camera.
He wasn’t playing in the “Field of Dreams” game, so he could focus on taking it all in: the setting, his teammates’ reactions, the atmosphere. He also has ideas for what Major League Baseball should do next.
“I think we should do something based around, like, the Negro League culture,” said Stroman, who is African American. “I have a couple of ideas. But we’ll see where it goes. Definitely within the inner-city community, creating an atmosphere within an inner-city community that can be resemblant of the Negro Leagues.”
Last year’s inaugural “Field of Dreams” game between the White Sox and Yankees drew upon themes from the 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner, which connected to the 1919 Black Sox scandal. That connection was looser this year, with the game featuring the Reds, who won the 1919 World Series, and the Cubs.
Cities across MLB’s east and central regions and beyond were home to Negro League teams. Picture the Chicago American Giants taking the field again.
Sticking with the movie concept, Stroman also tossed around the idea of basing a marquee game off the 2001 film “Hardball,” about youth baseball players from Chicago housing projects.
“I think there’s a lot of ways they can go with it, to be honest, but that’s an angle I would like to see them go towards,” Stroman said. “I think it’s important to spread light to show the inner-city youth, slash, gain some excitement for them and give them role models to look up to, where they may not normally have that on the day-to-day.”
Stroman noted the decline in the number of African American players in MLB since the mid-1990s. MLB used to hold an annual Civil Rights Game, but the tradition, which started in 2007, ended after 2014. The White Sox played in three, including a spring-training game in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2008.