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Why Some Baseball Fans Don't Love Kevin Costner's Field Of Dreams

"Field of Dreams" hit theaters in 1989, quickly becoming what many consider to be an instant classic. Critical reception for the film was so positive that it even earned a 1990 Academy Awards nomination for best picture. The film follows Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), a corn farmer who suddenly finds himself with issues immensely more important than figuring out ways to pay his farm's mortgage to the bank. 

Ray begins hearing a mysterious voice from within the corn crops that instructs him to plow down a large portion of his crops to build a professionally-sized baseball field. In fact, he is even shown a vision of the completed field. The initial voice and vision are just the start of Ray's unique journey. As fans of the film know, Ray abides by the questionable request, a move that takes him on a magically heartfelt journey of redemption.

The film continues to spark online discussions about its meaning, best moments, and plenty of other topics. The actual field that was constructed for the film in Dyersville, Iowa, not only still exists, but can be visited by fans as a tourist attraction. Interestingly, however, some baseball fans take issue with the movie for one very specific reason.

Some baseball fans don't consider it a baseball movie

After the instant success of "Field of Dreams," it wasn't too long before fans considered the film one of the best baseball movies of all time. However, some baseball fans not only disagree with that label, they also insist that the film isn't even a proper "baseball movie." And these proponents of this opinion may have a point. When analyzing the overall plot from start to finish, one may wonder, is this film even about baseball?

According to the New York Times, much like the film, W.P. Kinsella's 1982 "Shoeless Joe" novel is about a farmer who hears a voice that instructs him to build a baseball field in order for the late "Shoeless" Joe Jackson to come back and find his redemption for throwing the 1919 World Series. While that may sound quite baseball-centric, quite a few baseball fans don't believe the film adaptation qualifies for the category of "baseball movie" because it differs so much from its source material.

In a discussion about the film on the r/baseball subreddit, u/carver1976 asked baseball fans to explain their hatred of the movie, and this user received quite a heavy response. In one reply, u/RickC-42069 commented, "Don't hate, but if you read the book before seeing the film, you'll be disappointed at the direction they were forced to go in the movie." 

For a large portion of the film, Ray Kinsella searches for the very meaning of all his ghostly directions. When you combine that with the very personal conclusion all these steps lead to, some may have a point when they declare that this movie is far from being about the sport of baseball. For example, u/Otis13 wrote, "It's simply not a true baseball movie. It's a sentimental movie about fathers and yearning and the past and whatnot."