Ed Whitver watched in amazement during the 2021 Major League Baseball game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox at the “Field of Dreams” movie site.
Whitver was dazzled by the touching tribute from A-list actor Kevin Costner, the memorable, nail-biting game between two historic franchises and the awe-inspiring environment that August night in Dyersville.
“Everything about it was just perfect,” Whitver said. “So, it was like, ‘Oh, we’ve got to do everything we can to go'” in 2022.
Whitver is getting his shot.
The Grimes native and father of former Iowa State football player and current Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver was one of the lucky winners of a MLB lottery put on for Iowans. Winners learned Wednesday evening that they won a chance at tickets for the 2022 game.
Tickets for the game cost $375 each for two tickets, plus $76 for fees, for a total of $826. That price includes a parking pass.
More:Want tickets to this year’s Field of Dreams game? You’ll need an Iowa ZIP code to get inside edge
The lottery, which began earlier in the month, required an Iowa ZIP code to sign up for the chance to potentially purchase tickets for this year’s game between the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs on Aug. 11.
The game will be played in a specially constructed stadium near the original diamond built for the 1989 movie. In the beloved film, Costner played an Iowa farmer who plowed over his corn to build a baseball field for Shoeless Joe Jackson and other members of the banished 1919 White Sox. The site instantly became a tourist attraction — and it continues to be.
The Dubuque County site generated more interest last year when MLB brought the White Sox and Yankees to play in a nationally televised game. The night couldn’t have been scripted better, with Costner walking out of the cornfield, followed by members of both teams. The picture-perfect Iowa evening ended with Tim Anderson belting a walk-off homer into the corn for the White Sox.
While Fox Sports officials hope to replicate another grand slam of a broadcast when the Cubs and Reds play, it’ll be a challenge to repeat the excitement of last year’s game. But fans like Whitver still want to be part of the festivities this time around.
“I just don’t know how they could do any better,” Whitver said. “But I’m sure they’ll come up with something.”
More:When is the 2022 Field of Dreams Game? What you should know about this season’s MLB game in Dyersville
Whitver said he received a notification Wednesday night that he was a lottery winner. That gave him a chance to purchase two tickets beginning Thursday.
Josh Smith, who travels back and forth between his residences of Parkersburg, Iowa, and Beavercreek, Ohio, got the same message when he was notified that he won.
The costs were more than worth it for Smith, a Cubs fan who also won the lottery ticket last year and attended the 2021 game. Winners, including Smith, were notified they had by noon Friday to buy tickets. Those who did not win Wednesday’s lottery were notified that MLB will have additional drawings at later dates for tickets.
“It must not be that hard to win, but then I looked on Twitter and people say they haven’t even seen a winner,” Smith said. “I don’t know why. I don’t know how.”
But after last season’s masterpiece and with his beloved Cubbies coming to Iowa, Smith figured he’d roll the dice and see if he could win again.
“I wasn’t a fan of either team, but you couldn’t have asked for a better script,” Smith said of last season’s game.
Tommy Birch, the Register’s sports enterprise and features reporter, has been working at the newspaper since 2008. He’s the 2018 and 2020 Iowa Sportswriter of the Year. Reach him at email@example.com or 515-284-8468. Follow him on Twitter @TommyBirch.