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Field of Dreams

(Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

2024 Field of Dreams Game: Predicting the Participants

Field of Dreams
(Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

2024 Field of Dreams Game: Predicting the Participants

2022 was the second season Major League Baseball sent two teams to Dyersville, Iowa for the Field of Dreams Game at the site of the iconic film. This event has been very successful and generates plenty of nostalgia for baseball fans across the country. Due to construction near the site, the game will not be held in 2023 and MLB has not confirmed whether it will return the following year. Assuming the Field of Dreams becomes a regular installment, let’s try to figure out which teams will feature in 2024.

“If You Build It…”

We start with a pool of 30 MLB teams. First we’ll subtract the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Cincinnati Reds – they’ve already had their go at the cornfield. That leaves 26 teams.

Time Machine

An important aspect of the Field of Dreams Game is the nostalgia, the throwback jerseys, and the old-time vibes. The FOX Baseball crew dresses like it’s the 1920s. Teams wear early-1900s jerseys. It all makes sense – the ghosts in the Field of Dreams movie are all old-time baseball players, most notably Shoeless Joe Jackson from the 1919 “Black Sox” team. Given the historical feel of it all, it makes sense that the next batch of participants have a team history dating back to at least the early 1900s. That trims our list of 26 down to 12.

  • Baltimore Orioles (franchise est. 1901)
  • Boston Red Sox (1901)
  • Cleveland Guardians (1901)
  • Detroit Tigers (1901)
  • Minnesota Twins (1901)
  • Oakland Athletics (1901)
  • Atlanta Braves (1871)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (1883)
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (1882)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (1882)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (1884)
  • San Francisco Giants (1883)

Narrowing the List

We currently have six teams from both the American and National Leagues, all with very rich franchise histories. The 2021 Field of Dreams Game featured the Yankees and White Sox of the American League. The 2022 edition hosted the Cubs and Reds of the National League. If the pattern continues, we can expect the 2024 contest to be held between two American League clubs. That cuts our list of potential teams in half.

Next, I’m going to knock the Twins and Orioles down a peg because their early franchise history is not as strong as the other four clubs.

Final Predictions

The Field of Dreams Game takes place in Iowa and 75% of the all-time participants have been from one of the Central divisions. I think it makes sense that an AL Central team would be part of the next installment, which means the Tigers or Guardians have a very good shot. Of the two, I’ll take the Guardians because I can see the merchandising potential of having Cleveland Blues or Cleveland Spiders jerseys made available. I can also picture the Detroit Tigers throwbacks on the field, but I’m leaning toward the Guardians.

For Cleveland’s opponent, I can see it going either way. The Field of Dreams game has never featured a team from the West Coast, but also the Oakland A’s aren’t really a good choice if you want to maximize viewership, especially if the event takes a year off. For that reason, I think the Boston Red Sox will be the other team for the 2024 game.

If MLB bucks the trend of alternating between the American and National Leagues, I think the Pirates, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Giants are all very strong contenders to get the nod from the NL. But based on the limited precedent we have (and the vibe check), I’m going with the Cleveland Guardians and Boston Red Sox to be the next teams up with the Tigers and A’s having the next best chance to get in on the action.

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