Tim Anderson hit a home run into an Iowa cornfield, and the South Side went crazy.
Anderson’s dramatic homer to win last summer’s Field of Dreams game was an incredible baseball moment, the way that game ended making the night as magical as it was.
But in a game inspired by Hollywood’s melding of the national pastime and science fiction, perhaps it’s no surprise the unexplainable arrived the same time Anderson was crossing home plate.
Because no one ever found out what happened to the ball.
I asked Anderson about the ball earlier this season, who never heard about a final destination for the ball he hit into the Iowa night. He jokingly guessed MLB might have made off with it without telling him and laughed while suggesting he’d swipe it from the Hall of Fame if he spotted it in Cooperstown years down the road.
I checked in with the White Sox, too, and they were also without an answer on where the ball ended up. The team then checked in with MLB, which informed the club the ball was never recovered, never authenticated and “lost to the mysteries of the corn.”
A good line, no doubt.
As someone who was in Iowa that night – and made the obligatory walk through the corn – it’s understandable how something (or someone) could get lost in there. Heck, I didn’t need to go to Dyersville to find that out. A cornfield butted up to my backyard when I was a kid, and tons of baseballs got lost after sailing into the crops during summertime home run derbies.
I doubt any of the ones I launched out there will end up in the Hall, though.
(Hopefully they didn’t end up in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s.)
Certainly Anderson’s ball wasn’t the only one hit out into the Field of Dreams that night, either. Not only was that just one of seven home runs hit into the corn during the game, but both the White Sox and Yankees took batting practice beforehand. So even if someone found a ball in the corn, how could they ensure it was the one that left Anderson’s bat for the walk-off winner?
Surely someone grabbed it when the harvest came, right? All that corn died at some point, and before snow covered the Midwest last winter, someone had to go extricate a bushel full of baseballs.
Someone found one, actually, but given where in the field they found it, they deduced it was not Anderson’s.
So maybe Shoeless Joe really did take it back to baseball heaven.
That the best guess for what happened to Anderson’s ball is that it might have disappeared into the Field of Dreams style ether is pretty appropriate, to be honest. Appropriately magic for a magic baseball moment.
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