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Yankees to face White Sox in 2020 at Field of Dreams

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New York (AFP)

Baseball's "Field of Dreams" next to an Iowa cornfield will host a 2020 Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, league officials announced Thursday.

The ballpark made famous in the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams" will serve as the unique backdrop for major league teams at what has become a cultural touchstone for the American pastime.

The game will be played on August 13, 2020, with temporary seating for 8,000 people installed at the farm site in rural eastern Iowa, the first major league game ever in the state.

"It's a distinct honor for us to showcase our great game in such an iconic and intimate setting while promoting the movie's legacy," said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said.

"I fully expect this experience will exemplify why baseball remains a cherished American pastime."

The move follows MLB's recent idea of bringing the game to iconic places such as the Yankees' games against Boston in London this year, an annual game at the home of baseball's Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and this year's game at the College World Series site in Omaha, Nebraska.

"As a sport that is proud of its history linking generations, Major League Baseball is excited to bring a regular season game to the site of Field of Dreams," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said.

"We look forward to celebrating the movie's enduring message of how baseball brings people together at this special cornfield in Iowa."

The 30-year-old film featured Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster.

At the center of the story is the baseball field Costner's farmer character builds out of a cornfield, and the ghostly baseball legends who come there to play.

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson, among those implicated in the 1919 "Black Sox" game-fixing scandal, was among those who played on the Field of Dreams and his former club, the White Sox, will be the home team in the 2020 contest.

The Yankees and White Sox will have the following day off before concluding a three-game series with weekend contests in Chicago.

- Stroll through the corn -

Construction of the small ballpark where the game will be staged begins Tuesday, one year out from the contest.

The right-field wall will include windows, as in the 20th Century original Comiskey Park in Chicago, that allows the cornfields beyond the barrier to be seen.

Fans attending the game will walk along a pathway through the cornfield where the movie's players entered and exited before reaching the diamond.

"'Field of Dreams' captures the uniqueness of Iowans' can-do attitude, and there's no better place to host our state's very first Major League game than this legendary baseball field," Iowa governor Kim Reynolds said.

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