Cincinnati Reds infielder Joey Votto recalls his father and childhood ahead of the Field of Dreams game

MLB’s Field of Dreams game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs on Thursday has special meaning for Cincy’s first baseman Joey Votto.

As the 38-year-old watched the cult film of the same name in preparation for the game, he posted a thread on Twitter describing his love for the film. Votto explained that it was a favorite of his youth, and a certain scene from the film resonates with the veteran.

In the flick, Kevin Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, calls out his father John (played by Dwier Brown) to a game of tag after he builds a baseball diamond in the middle of a cornfield. It’s a moment that will touch the hearts of both baseball fans and movie viewers alike.

The scene is close to Votto’s heart because he played tag with his father Joseph as a child. Some three decades later, Votto said he realized how powerful those moments were for him.

“From the age of 8 or 9, my dad and I would play tag together… It was the most important thing we did together. It strengthened our bond,” Votto tweeted.

Joseph Votto died in August 2008 at the age of 52. On May 30, 2009, Votto was put on what was then called the disabled list because of stress-related issues. After the death of his father, he suffered from anxiety attacks due to prolonged grief. After a period away from the team, he was activated by the DL on June 23, 2009.

Votto said he understands the emotional depth of this occasion for him personally and professionally.

“Being given the opportunity to play a game on the mythical field that planted the hope of a Major League Baseball career is a significant moment for me. Couple that with the father-son connection and this game is an extraordinary moment in my life,” Votto said in a tweet.

Thursday’s competition will be the second part of the MLB game Field of Dreams, inspired by the 1989 sports drama. It will take place in Dyersville, Iowa, adjacent to the film’s location. This year’s competition also features special uniforms commemorating the Reds’ 1919 World Series victory over the Chicago White Sox and the Cubs’ 1929 National League pennant-winning season.

The inaugural event featured a classic between the New York Yankees and the White Sox, with Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson hitting a walk-off home run into the cornfield in the ninth inning to give his team a 9-8 win.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/34381820/cincinnati-reds-infielder-joey-votto-recalls-father-childhood-ahead-field-dreams-game Cincinnati Reds infielder Joey Votto recalls his father and childhood ahead of the Field of Dreams game

Emma Bowman

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