It’s time for MLB to adopt and promote the concept of a regular jewel game.
Previously in this space, I have called on MLB not to abandon the Field of Dreams in ensuing seasons.
Despite two successful iterations of the game, that possibility cannot be discounted. Due to construction at the site, there will be no game played in Dyersville, Iowa, in 2023, and no firm commitments have been made beyond that.
Indeed, at least part of MLB’s discussion has shifted from the Field of Dreams Game to other iterations of what might be termed a jewel game.
A jewel game could be thought of as a showcase contest devoid of competition on the MLB schedule and designed to emphasize an aspect of baseball history and/or culture.
The thing is, over the length of baseball’s normal six-month season, the idea of a jewel game — or an entire series of them — is not only entirely compatible with an annual Field of Dreams game, the two concepts mesh beautifully.
That’s why MLB executives should be working right now to institute, as early as 2024, an annual programmed jewel game series highlighting one major league contest per month in a setting evocative of a unique cultural aspect linking America’s National Pastime with America itself.
Given a season’s worth of planning time, there is no legitimate reason why this cannot be done, and why such games cannot be played in legitimate major league-quality facilities. Where restoration and/or expansion is required, the year’s worth of lead time would be more than sufficient.
What follows is a proposal for exactly how — on a one-game-per-month basis — a jewel game series could be developed, who ought to be playing in such a game, and what singular aspect of baseball history it ought to be designed to evoke.