Defining our love for baseball in simple terms and rekindling it, Field of Dreams may have helped major league baseball grow into something even more gargantuan and institutional. When the movie premiered, only two major league stadiums had been built in the U.S. since 1973. But starting with Camden Yards in Baltimore in 1992, 19 ballparks have opened in the past 18 seasons—most of them, in their retro style, monuments to the Yoo-Hoo days—at a cost of $7.5 billion, much of it in public funds. Moreover, with one of the most misquoted lines in movie history, the film provided the mantra for the retro ballpark construction boom. "If you build it, he will come," a voice tells Costner's Kinsella, so he plows his corn to build a ball field. The line became popularized as "If you build it, they will come." Every time a city wanted to tap into the public's warm, fuzzy feeling about baseball, not to mention its wallet, it invoked the voice from Field of Dreams.
Twenty years later big league baseball looks very different, but baseball, as Field of Dreams depicted it, does not. And what was true then is true today: If you don't get the movie, you don't get baseball. "Some people think it's a great religious movie," Robinson says. "Some people think it's a drama. Some people think it's a comedy. We don't explain where the magic comes from, why the voice appears to Ray. It's very much designed to elicit an original reaction.
"I don't mind when people say nasty things about it," Robinson continues. "I understand it's a very singular thing, this movie, and if you don't connect with it, it's not very good. But I'm so pleased so many baseball fans and players like it. The game has meant a lot to me, as a child and as an adult, and it's a good thing to honor."