Today's version: 'Field of Dreams II'

Players Corn FieldAP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Released 25 years ago this week, "Field of Dreams" tells the story of an Iowa farmer who listens to a mysterious voice that tells him to build a ballfield in the middle of his corn so the long-dead Shoeless Joe Jackson can return to the game. Shoeless Joe had been part of baseball's worst scandal -- the White Sox fixing the 1919 World Series -- but "Field of Dreams" helped restore his reputation.

The movie was filmed just before two other major scandals hit baseball. Which begs the question: If Hollywood filmed a re-make of "Field of Dreams" now, what baseball players would step out of the cornfield?

Field of Dreams 2.014

[SCENE 1: Iowa farmer RAY KINSELLA (played by Bradley Cooper) is working in his field on a warm summer day when a voice from out of nowhere speaks to him softly.]

THE VOICE: If you build it . . . he will come.

[RAY either doesn't hear the voice or ignores it. He continues to work in the field. The Voice returns, this time a little louder.]

THE VOICE: If you build it . . . he will come.

[Again, RAY either doesn't hear the voice or ignores it and continues to work in the field. This time The Voice starts yelling.]


RAY: Hello? This is 2014, buddy. If you want a response, shoot me a text.

[SCENE 2: KINSELLA is in his kitchen, speaking with his wife, ANNIE (played by Amy Adams).]

RAY: Annie, I think I know what The Voice means when he says, "If you build it, he will come."

ANNIE: Uh-oh. Why does that sound as bad as when you said we should invest our life savings in Nokia because everyone was going to be using their phones instead of Apple's and Samsung's?

RAY: Forget that. This is different. I think the message means if I build a ballfield, Shoeless Joe Jackson will come.

ANNIE: Build a baseball field on our farm? With the price of corn these days because of Ethanol? What, are you seeing visions?

RAY: Yeah, kind of. The Voice sent me an image of a baseball field on Instagram. He also tweeted it and posted it on my Facebook page.

[SCENE 5: It is many weeks later. Ray has transformed his cornfield into a gorgeous baseball diamond but despite what The Voice said, no one has appeared at the field. RAY and ANNIE are at the kitchen table, going over their finances and realizing they are near bankruptcy. Daughter KARIN is in the living room, peering out the window.]

KARIN: Daddy, there's a man on your lawn.

[Excited, RAY races to the front porch to see if the man is who he thinks it is, who he desperately hopes it is, who it damn well better be. After a while, RAY returns inside the house with a disappointed look.]

ANNIE: Well? Is it him? Is it Shoeless Joe Jackson?

RAY: No. It's Pete Rose.

ANNIE: Charlie Hustle? Hmmm. Maybe The Voice wasn't telling you to build the field. Maybe he was warning you what would happen if you did.

[SCENE 6: RAY and PETE are talking on the diamond. PETE is sitting at a table, waiting impatiently for fans to show up and buy an autograph.]

RAY: When the Voice told me, "If you build it, he will come," I thought he was referring to my grandfather's favorite player, Shoeless Joe Jackson. Not you. I mean, you're not dead, are you?

ROSE: No, but I might as well be. Baseball banned me for life 25 years ago and it's still killing me. I go to sleep in the middle of the night with the smell of the ballpark in my nose and the thrill of the grass under my feet. Well, the Astroturf. But this place takes me back to old Crosley Field when I still had a crew cut instead of this weird mop of Tang-colored hair.

Man, I miss the sound of the fans roaring as I run to first base on a walk. The dirt on my chest when I slide head-first into third base. The bruising when I crash into Ray Fosse at home plate.

Hell, I even miss the odor of Schottzie dropping a load by the dugout.

RAY: I bet you loved the game so much you would have played just for meal money. I bet you would have played for free.

[ROSE stares incredulously at RAY.]

ROSE: What, are you nuts? The only thing I love more than baseball is money. Which is why I bet on the game. But why was that considered so bad? I only bet on the Reds to win, so that means I tried even harder to win.

[ANNIE and KARIN join RAY and ROSE.]

KARIN: Are you a ghost?

ROSE: (Laughing.) No, I'm alive. I'm Pete Rose. Charlie Hustle. Baseball's all-time Hit King. Would you like my autograph?

KARIN: Sure!

[ROSE grabs a baseball from under the table and signs it: "To Karin. Your dad is a wonderful man who is going to change my life. For the better. Pete Rose/Hit King." He hands the signed ball to her.]

ROSE: That will be $50.

[RAY and ANNIE exchange looks of disgust.]

ANNIE: Would you like to come inside our house for dinner?

ROSE: No, I don't think I can.

RAY: Because it would break the spell? Ruin the magic of this field I built for your?

ROSE: No, I've got a greyhound race to get to. But hey, can I come back? And if so, can I bring the others as well? You know, I'm not the only player disgraced by scandal in recent decades.

RAY: Sure, they're all welcome.

[ROSE gets up from the table and heads toward the corn. He pauses and looks back.]

ROSE: Hey, is this Heaven?

RAY: No. It's Iowa. Why did you think it was heaven?

ROSE: I just meant the field kind of reminded me of the Heaven Resort & Casino outside of Vegas. You can bet on baseball there.

[ROSE disappears into the corn, raising goosebumps the size of Bruce Bochy's cap on RAY's arms. RAY turns to ANNIE.]

RAY: Hey, I think I need to get going, too. That Voice is telling me to "Ease his pain." I think that means I must drive to Boston and bring the writer Terence Mann to a game at Fenway Park.

ANNIE: Now I know you're crazy. Ray, I supported you when you put us on the verge of bankruptcy by tearing up our cornfield to build this diamond. But taking Terence Mann to a game at Fenway -- that's just going too far.

RAY: Why do you say that? He's your favorite writer. Don't you want me to connect with him?

ANNIE: Sure, I do, but why does it have to be Fenway? You know we're almost broke -- we can't afford tickets to Fenway Park. Why can't you take him to a game in Arizona instead?

[SCENE 14: RAY has gone the distance. He has driven a VW van on a cross-country trip to Fenway and Chisholm, Minn., bringing back TERENCE MANN and MOONLIGHT GRAHAM with him. When they arrive at the field, they see ROSE there, along with JOSE CANSECO, BARRY BONDS, MARK McGWIRE, SAMMY SOSA, ROGER CLEMENS and others stained by PED allegations.

[What draws RAY's attention, though, is not the players but what lays beyond the field. The corn is gone, plowed under and replaced by seedlings of another plant.]

RAY: This was my corn. You people were guests in my corn. Who dug it up and what the hell did they plant in its place?

ROSE: Barry's old friend, Victor Conte, did that. He's growing flax seed. Makes the lies more convincing.

RAY: Well, at least the diamond is still here. The Voice was right. And so were you, Terence. I built it and people came.

[RAY points toward the two-lane road which is now clogged bumper-to-bumper by SUVs from every state in a long line of vehicles stretching to the horizon and beyond.]

ROSE: Yeah, well, they didn't come to see me hit. Or buy my autograph, either.

RAY: What do you mean? Why are they here?

[ANNIE's banker brother, MARK, steps up to RAY.]

MARK: Hey, Ray! I thought you were crazy but it turns out my brother-in-law is a genius. To save you and Annie from foreclosure, my partners and I bought you out. And we've turned this diamond into a site for travel team baseball. We're able to charge each kid and his parents thousands of dollars a week to play in the tournaments! Isn't that great? We call it "Field of Dreams!" But "Field of Money" is more like it.

[Appalled, RAY turns to the field where he sees a SON and FATHER standing by the foul line, each with a glove in his hand. Well, RAY thinks, at least that is a heart-warming sight. A father and son playing catch. And then he overhears their conversation.]

FATHER: Son, do you wanna have a catch?

SON: I'd like that , Dad, but I can't. We've got six games this week and Coach has me on a strict pitch limit.