Kevin Costner, the iconic star of Field of Dreams, lauded the late Ray Liotta, his co-star in the movie, as MLB paid a visit to Iowa, Thursday, for a regular season game.
Liotta died in his sleep, May 26. He was only 67. It seemed appropriate that MLB would shine a special light on his memory when the Cincinnati Reds took on the Chicago Cubs at a stadium adjacent to the Field of Dreams set in Dyersville, Iowa.
Liotta portrayed Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams. While Costner is the face everyone remembers from the 1989 movie, Liotta’s Shoeless Joe represented the film’s spirituality. Baseball has its own mysticism and magic. The film showed it was capable of uniting the living with the dead.
“That’s the beauty of baseball and a movie like ‘Field of Dreams.’ He gets to live forever in our hearts.”
Earlier his year, Ray Liotta sadly passed away at the age of 67. Kevin Costner looks back at his time on set with Liotta and honors the life of his former colleague. pic.twitter.com/HRQ681OgbZ
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 11, 2022
Liotta Was First Ghost Who Appeared from Field of Dreams Cornfield
Liotta was the first ghost who walked out of the cornfield, the one who told Costner’s Ray Kinsella that “if you build it, he will come.” For the whole movie, Ray thought he was building a baseball field for a bunch of dead baseball greats, save for Ty Cobb. Because after all, Iowa represented heaven to a team of spirits reverting back to the day when they were young, carefree and playing a game they loved. In Field of Dreams, Shoeless Joe looks at the newly built field in amazement, telling Ray that he cherished the game so much he’d play for meal money.
As it turns out, Liotta’s Shoeless Joe was there for a different reason. The whole journey was to entice Ray’s long-dead father to have a catch with his son. As the movie ends, we see Ray and John, who took off his catcher’s gear, finally connecting. They were estranged while John was alive, but now forever united in eternity.
Costner narrated the tribute to Liotta, who was on the cusp of greatness when Field of Dreams premiered. In a year, Liotta starred in Goodfellas, his career-defining role.
Costner Remembered When Liotta Swatted a Curveball Towards His Gut
Fox Sports sent out the video of Costner’s tribute. “That’s the beauty of baseball and a movie like Field of Dreams, Costner said. “He gets to live forever in our hearts.”
Costner brought up a specific scene in the movie.
“When Ray died back in May, I reminisced about how our batting practice moment together was not a stunt,” said the Yellowstone star. “It was real, and it happened as you saw it. I said that God gave us that stunt that night, and now God has Ray. And though he may be gone, that’s the beauty of a game like baseball and a movie like Field of Dreams.
“He gets to live forever in our hearts whenever he steps out of that cornfield,” Costner said. “He’s become eternal. Long live Shoeless Joe, and long live Ray, who helped show us that when dreams come from the heart, they really can come true.”
And as the clip ended, we see Shoeless Joe walking back through the cornfields, finally disappearing from our screens.