Fielding Our Dreams: Rounding Third in Dyersville

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Ithaca College
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While contemporary American sport films seem to be targeting the adolescent audience for a message of empowerment, a smaller group of sport films seems to have reached out to the adult audience with the “preposterous” claim that sport allows us opportunities for personal redemption. Through interviews conducted at the Dyersville, Iowa, site of Fields of Dreams, a critical examination of several contemporary adult baseball films, and analysis of the Pete Rose saga, I hope to show that the opportunity for personal redemption is not only possible but in fact is a primary function of all sport. When asked in Field of Dreams by Shoeless Joe Jackson, “Is this heaven?” Ray Kinsella responds, “No, it’s Iowa.” I maintain that the predominant mythos in contemporary sport is that, indeed, it is heaven.

Stephen D. Mosher is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, 40 Hill Center, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY 14850.

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