The jewel game series: A proposal for the 2024 MLB season

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo (40) warms up in left field prior to the baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the MLB Field of Dreams stadium in Dyersville, Iowa.Mlb Field Of Dreams Game Cincinnati Reds At Chicago Cubs Aug 11 5629
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Nick Lodolo (40) warms up in left field prior to the baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, at the MLB Field of Dreams stadium in Dyersville, Iowa.Mlb Field Of Dreams Game Cincinnati Reds At Chicago Cubs Aug 11 5629 /
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WILLIAMSPORT – Kurt Tanabe of Waipio, Hawaii, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Jesse Burkett’s Frankie Flynn in the fourth inning. Hawaii won the opening game of the Little League World Series, 3-2.Little League World Series Frank Flynn Kurt Tanabe
WILLIAMSPORT – Kurt Tanabe of Waipio, Hawaii, rounds the bases after hitting a home run off Jesse Burkett’s Frankie Flynn in the fourth inning. Hawaii won the opening game of the Little League World Series, 3-2.Little League World Series Frank Flynn Kurt Tanabe /

The Little League and Field of Dreams jewel games

Both of these are already established, and there’s no legitimate reason to dramatically alter either one. The Little League game is played on a field in Williamsport, Pa., in conjunction with the annual Little League World Series. It features rotating teams, although it would be geographic sense to institutionalize a half dozen teams on a rotating basis as “host clubs.” The obvious candidates are the Pirates, Phillies, Orioles, Guardians, Yankees and Mets.

The first two playing of the Field of Dreams game have been scheduled for August for aesthetic reasons. After all, that’s when the corn is at its highest and greenest. Moving it to early September is a concession to the attractiveness of reserving July for a jewel game in conjunction with Hall of Fame celebrations.

In that vein, though, September still works. Granted, the stalks will be browner … but corn harvest in Iowa doesn’t really get underway until mid-September, so an early September return to Dyersville ought to work out nicely from a visual as well as a cultural standpoint.

As with Williamsport, it makes the most sense to rotate host duties at Dyersville among a half-dozen or so geographically positioned teams with at least some rooting base in the region. The obvious candidates, beyond the Cubs and White Sox, are the St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins. Note: If the Brewers are designated as annual hosts for a League of Their Own game, then they drop out of this group.

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Package the whole six-event jewel game rubric together and you have a recurring annual celebration of the shared heritage of baseball and America. From a public relations standpoint, there is nothing that MLB execs ought to want more than that, and there is also nothing that would be a greater benefit to the game.